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HIGH ACHIEVERS: OUA varsity sports return Friday, after more than 2-month pandemic break

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

After a two-month-plus absence, university varsity sports competition returns Friday.

It won’t come back all at once. OUA basketball will make its way up the floor first and it looks like hockey will take to the ice in the second half of this month.

The OUA and RSEQ varsity winter sport schedules started in November, but stopped in early December because of shutdowns related to health and safety issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OUA recently released the final segment of its men’s and women’s basketball and men’s hockey regular-season schedules for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton University Ravens. The RSEQ is expected to present an updated women’s hockey schedule shortly for Ottawa and Carleton.

The Ravens and the Gee-Gees women’s hockey teams had originally been scheduled to play Friday night at the Carleton Ice House, which would have been a great way to return to their seasons, but the game has been cancelled. Both teams had nine games postponed in January and early February.

In their last RSEQ regular-season game on Dec. 5, a 5-2 uOttawa win, Ariane Aubin counted two goals and one assist and Christine Deaudelin added four assists as the Gee-Gees improved to 6-6 and the Ravens fell to 4-8.

The Gee-Gees also have had their home game against McGill University cancelled for Feb. 13.

The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team also was denied a pair of games this weekend, when its home-and-away series with Concordia University was postponed Friday and Sunday. The Gee-Gees hope to play the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières on the road Wednesday, Feb. 16, and at home Feb. 19.

The Gee-Gees improved to 5-3 and extended their winning streak to three games by defeating McGill 3-2 in their last game Nov. 28. Charles-Antoine Roy scored the final two goals of the game for uOttawa.

Carleton’s men’s hockey team is scheduled to play Concordia on the road Feb. 18 and at home Feb. 19, after enduring eight postponed games. In their last game, the Ravens (4-4) fell 5-2 to UQTR.

The OUA basketball schedule is much more stable for Ottawa and Carleton.

The Gee-Gees men’s and women’s teams, which are leading their respective East Division standings at 6-0, will play at Queen’s University on Friday night and again Saturday night at Montpetit Hall.

The Ravens men’s and women’s squads will travel to Sudbury for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader against Laurentian University. The Ravens are tied for first place in the men’s East Division with the Gee-Gees at 6-0, while the women’s team is in third place at 5-1 behind uOttawa and Ryerson University.

The two games for each of the four teams will serve them well heading into the annual Capital Hoops Classic on Feb. 18 at the Ravens Nest. The Carleton-Ottawa women’s and men’s rivalry games are sold out.

The Gee-Gees men’s team last enjoyed a victory at the end of November by a 61-53 decision over the University of Toronto. Guillaume Pepin led the way with 16 points. The Ravens swept a pair of men’s games that weekend over York University 92-71 and 87-48.

Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu counted 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Gee-Gees to a 78-43 decision over Toronto for their last win. The Carleton women’s team split a doubleheader against York, losing 71-69 and winning 100-68. Madison Reid and Kali Pocrnic are the Ravens’ top two scorers with point-per-game averages of 15.2 and 14.7.

Here is the revised schedule for the OUA winter championships, the host university and the venue:

Feb. 25-27:
Nordic skiing, Laurentian University, Laurentian campus
Women’s curling, University of Waterloo, Westmount Golf and Country Club

March 5-6:
Women’s fencing, Royal Military College, Kingston Military Community Sports Centre

March 10-12:
Swimming, University of Toronto, Athletic Centre

March 11-13:
Squash, Brock University, White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa

March 18-19:
Track and field, York University, Toronto Track and Field Centre

March 19:
Men’s/women’s volleyball & women’s hockey – to be staged by the highest remaining seed

March 26:
Men’s/women’s basketball & men’s hockey – to be staged by the highest remaining seed

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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