HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-At-Home Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
Give Kevin Domingue a hockey stick, puck and skates, and life is good.
“I love to shoot the puck, love to play with the puck and love to be around the puck,” he recently told Nottingham Panthers’ Radio Buzz.
When Domingue returned to the University of Ottawa for his fifth year last September and learned the OUA had cancelled its varsity sports leagues for 2020-21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was disappointed. But he needed his hockey.
By early December he was part of the Tulsa Oilers of the East Coast Hockey League, which lasted almost two months. A month later, he was signed by the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom.
In his first six games with the cellar-dwelling Panthers during a 12-game, one-month season, Domingue has the puck firmly on his stick and has returned to his goal-scoring ways with a team-high four goals and one assist.
“When I was at university, I found myself. My four years at university and my four years in junior were not the same, day and night,” said Domingue, who didn’t forget his most productive hockey days as a Gee-Gee during his Radio Buzz chat.
And the University of Ottawa didn’t forget Domingue during the Gee-Gees’ Year-End Award announcements. Domingue won the Career Achievement Award for his cumulative athletic impact and for making an indelible mark on Gee-Gees sports history.
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Domingue was the Gee-Gees’ top goal scorer for all four of his seasons, finishing with 71 goals and 127 points in 112 regular-season games. In 2017-18, he ranked second in goals (19) in U Sports, and two years later was second in the OUA (18).
“We know that there are incredible people on our varsity teams and this year was a challenge which they rose to meet,” said Gee-Gees’ athletic director Sue Hylland.
“Our award winners absolutely deserve to be recognized for what they accomplished this year. The incredible student-athlete spirit that we are proud to support at uOttawa is as strong as ever.”
The Gee-Gees’ Team MVP winners were: Adele Dossou, Jacob Hanlon (hockey); Simone Julien-Sparks and Lenny Sabourin (volleyball); Maddy Grant, Sam Mace (rugby); Ben Maracle (football); Kerin Hudson (rowing); Natalie Liguori, Guillaume Pepin (basketball); Quinn Lyness, Maeliss Trapeau (track and field); Robbie Mitchell, Tiarra Ward (cross-country running); Abby Simms, Allen Zheng (swimming); and Mikayla Morton (soccer).
The President’s Award for athletic and academic performance went to: Tylo Borsboom, James Flemming de Wal (rugby); Melina De Iulio, Gage Sabean (basketball); Christine Deaudelin, Jacob Hanlon (hockey); Daniel Oladejo (football); Portia Cooper (volleyball); and Cooper Lee (soccer).
The Gee-Gees’ Community Engagement Award for a significant contribution to the community through leadership and involvement went to: James Peter (football); Borys Minger, Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu (basketball); Milana Grahovac (volleyball); Kennedy Banton-Lindsay, Elias Hancock (rugby); Kate MacLean, Yvan Mongo (hockey).
The True Sports Award for athletes exemplifying the True Sport Principles through their attitude and actions were: Mikaila Kraczynski, Jean-Robin Mantha (hockey); and Alana Renon (basketball).
The Competitive Club Sport Team MVPs were: Nevin Begel, Andrea Rondeau-Brown (water polo); Giulian Dela Merced, Jessica Fang (badminton); Shilo Rousseau, Edward Southward (nordic ski); Nicholas Aramouni (soccer); Camille Dube (fastball); Caitlin Ennis (dance); Aylen Ferguson (equestrian); Evan Fox (lacrosse); Cameron Kennedy (ultimate); Isabelle MacLean (artistic swimming); Tim Moloney (baseball); Sierra Mohun (golf); Julian Rogers (volleyball); Rebecca Snider (cheerleading); Daphne Stone (alpine ski).
Winning the Merit Award for combining academic, athletic and community excellence were: Benjamin Racine, Nathalie Rowlinson (nordic ski); Madeleine Berry (artistic swimming); William Chen (badminton); Mohamed Ebeid (soccer); Wade Miner (lacrosse); Mathew Gaerke (volleyball); Reese Handley (cheerleading); Harry Hopper (ultimate); Amy Murphy (equestrian); Serena Solari (dance); Ryan Sudhakar (baseball); Ashley Thompson (golf); and Vanessa Tinlin (fastball).
The Leadership and Initiative Award for coaches and team presidents who go above and beyond to provide exceptional support to their club went to: Madi Billings (dance); Maiah Lodu (equestrian); Minh Pham (badminton); Aidan Schaaf (lacrosse); Nour Eddine El Guemri (soccer); Isabelle MacLean (artistic swimming); Madeline MacMillan (golf); Anna Pazdzior (nordic ski); Evan Symons (baseball); Simon Walker (ultimate); and Courtney Welch (cheerleading).
The True Sport Award recipients were: Amy Cameron (artistic swimming); Bridie Hamilton (equestrian); Jillian Lacroix (dance); Terrence Manly-Elliot (soccer); Benjamin Racine (nordic ski); and Payton Storey (cheerleading).
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for over 47 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.