Hockey Universities

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Gee-Gees defenceman Nicolas Mattinen captures two major OUA men’s hockey awards


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

By Martin Cleary

The defence has rested its case and the verdict is grand for two University of Ottawa Gee-Gees hockey rearguards and a Royal Military College Paladins defender.

Second-year defenceman Nicolas Mattinen was recognized as a double major men’s award winner by the OUA, while graduating women’s team captain Christine Deaudelin was named an RSEQ first-team all-star for the second time in as many seasons.

Third-year defenceman and Paladins captain Liam Murray won the East Division Randy Gregg Award for his leadership on and off the ice.

At 6-5 and 225 pounds, Mattinen was a solid and consistent contributor, whether it was defence or offence, which led to him being selected the East/Far East Division’s most valuable player and the defenceman of the year. He also was named to the OUA’s Far East Division’s all-star team along with teammate and forward Yvan Mongo and Carleton University Ravens’ Mark Grametbauer.

He was the fourth Gee-Gees player to earn MVP honours, after Jean-François Rivard (1995-96), Alain Tardif (1993-94) and Phil Comtois (1992-93), but the first to win the top defenceman award.


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Mattinen, who scored six goals and added seven assists in 18 games, was a threat on the ice, whether defending his zone with his long reach and size, leading his team out of the defensive zone or firing a shot at the opposing net. Averaging 24 minutes a game, the 2016 sixth-round NHL draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs scored two power-play goals, added one short-handed marker and counted two game-winning goals.

He regularly played on the powerplay and anchored the penalty kill, which ranked fifth in the OUA with a success rate of 83.9 per cent.

After spending four seasons in the OHL with London, Flint, Hamilton and Oshawa, and winning league titles with London (2016) and Hamilton (2018) and the 2016 Memorial Cup, Mattinen joined the Gee-Gees for the 2019-20 season. He posted seven goals and nine assists in 24 games. In nine playoff games, he notched two goals and nine assists to share the team lead at 11 points.

Meanwhile, Deaudelin finished her four-year career at the University of Ottawa with a stellar season on the Gee-Gees’ blueline. An RSEQ first-team all-star for the second straight season (no hockey in 2020-21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic), she was second among Gee-Gees point scorers with three goals and six assists in 15 games.

She was an excellent leader throughout her career, which saw her collect 11 goals and 30 assists in 73 games. Defensively, she was a key reason why the Gee-Gees allowed only 34 goals in 15 games and their 2.27 goals-against average was the team’s best since 2005.

“[Deaudelin] has made an impact in the league – from year one to now she’s kept getting better and she’s at the top of her game right now,” said Gee-Gees head coach Chelsea Grills in a press release.

“She is a competitor who provides a key threat offensively for us. Her leadership skills are also excellent. She is a role model for the young defensive core.”

Deaudelin’s career with the Gee-Gees also included representing Canada at the 2019 Winter Universiade and winning a silver medal. After the 2017-18 season, the two-time U Sports Academic All-Canadian was named to the RSEQ and national rookie teams.

The Gee-Gees’ Mahika Sarrazin was selected to the RSEQ rookie team. Playing alongside Aurélie Dubuc, Sarrazin posted a 3-1 win-loss record in her five games as well as a .936 save percentage. She faced 110 shots in 253 minutes of ice time.

Three former Nepean Junior Wildcat players were named as OUA all-stars. Defender Caroline Eagles of York was placed on the OUA’s second all-star team, while the rookie squad included Toronto’s Abby Howland of Battersea, Ont., and Ontario Tech’s Zoe McGee of Kanata.

Gee-Gees’ Nicolas Ouellet and Carleton’s Oliver Castleman were selected to the OUA men’s all-rookie team.

Besides his dedication to RMC hockey, Murray helps coach in the Greater Kingston hockey program, is a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington and is the team ambassador for Hockey Gives Blood.

Murray is a part-time member of the Canadian Armed Forces in the Canadian Army Reserve with the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment. He recently was promoted to the rank of corporal for his leadership and dedication.

Carleton’s Aaron Boyd covers the full rink each game and was assessed only six minutes in penalties, which significantly contributed to the third-year forward winning the OUA’s most sportsmanlike award. The business major posted 13 points in his 11 games.

The Gee-Gees and Ravens men’s hockey teams finished third and fourth in the OUA Far East Division with respective records of 9-8-1 and 4-4-3. Both teams were eliminated in the opening round of the Queen’s Cup playoffs by Nipissing and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières respectively.

On the women’s side, the Gee-Gees were fourth in the RSEQ at 7-7-1 and Carleton was fifth at 4-11. The Gee-Gees lost to McGill and Bishop’s by extending their best-of-three playoff series to the limit, while the Ravens dropped a pair of games each to Bishop’s and Montreal.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 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 martincleary51@gmail.com and on Twitter @martincleary.


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