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HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Nepean goalie Thomas Kiazyk selected by Saskatchewan in 2nd round of NLL Draft

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By Martin Cleary

The bus transporting the Carleton University Ravens men’s lacrosse team to Montreal for a Saturday night game against the McGill University Redbirds was making its way peacefully along the highway.

Then came a loud announcement from a coach at the front of the bus.

Once the news reached second-year goalkeeper Thomas Kiazyk near the back of the bus, his teammates erupted in celebration.

Kiazyk, 19, is familiar with blocking all sorts of shots in the course of a field or box lacrosse match, but there was no defense for this special onslaught of congratulations.

Moments before the announcement on the bus, the Saskatchewan Rush had selected Kiazyk as its second pick of the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft in Oakville and the first pick of the second round.

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“I’m super pumped,” Kiazyk said on Sunday about having the door open to his pro career. “I got the news on the bus. It’s special. I’m super excited.

“It’s special to be around these guys, some of whom I’ve played with since I was young. A lot of hard work has gone into it and there’s still a lot more work to keep going.”

The Ravens rallied to tie McGill, but lost 9-8 in overtime, after defeating McGill the previous weekend. But Carleton rebounded on Sunday to defeat Trent University at home 10-9.

Although he primarily played junior B lacrosse with the Nepean Knights for the past two box seasons and saw spot duty as a junior A call-up, the six-foot, three-inch and 180-pound Kiazyk is quick, agile and produced great statistics.

He was named the MVP in the East Conference of the Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League as well as the top goalkeeper.

For the past two regular seasons, the Knights posted an 18-2 record and he won 14 of his 15 games this season with a 3.96 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.881. While his playoff run lasted only two rounds, he had a 4.53 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.892.

In 2022, he sparked the Knights to the club’s first-ever Ontario and Canadian junior B championships, winning the Founders Cup in the latter event. After Nepean completed its season this year, he was called up as the backup goalie for the Burlington Blaze, which won the Ontario and Canadian junior A titles, including the Minto Cup in the latter championship.

Kiazyk hopes to talk to Saskatchewan head coach/associate general manager Jimmy Quinlan this week, after initially exchanging some text messages.

“There are a lot of questions to ask. I’m excited about getting to training camp and competing,” Kiazyk said.

NLL training camps are expected to open at the end of October or early November.

“The goal is to make the team, whether I start, backup or be on the practice roster,” added Kiazyk, who hopes to play junior A box lacrosse next summer in Ontario. “Whatever happens, happens. I’ll compete and see what I can do.”


Ottawa’s Emmanuelle Proft and Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, PQ., made their international debut as a pairs team and captured the bronze medal during the Autumn Classic International figure skating meet in Pierrefonds, PQ.

Despite a couple of errors, Proft and Nadeau performed a strong free skate and finished with a total of 165.39 points.

Deanna Stellate-Dudek of Chicago and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, PQ., won the pairs gold medal at 203.61 points, while Oakville-based world champions Rioku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan were second at 188.05 points.

“Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in myself as I would have really liked to have done the triple loop side-by-side, but aside from that, I’m happy with our performance,” Proft told Skate Canada.

“I stayed in the character, and in the choreography, and the solo and I’m really happy about that and I’m even more happy that I got a medal on home ice.”

Former Gloucester skater Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary rallied in her free-skating final to earn the women’s singles silver medal.

After placing fourth in the short program, Ruiter was second in the free-skating program and finished with a combined 172.68 points. Two-time world champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan was the gold medallist with a commanding 203.20 points.

“It was a fight for sure, but it felt like a good fight,” Ruiter told Skate Canada. “It felt like a good performance and I’m very excited to take some things that I’ve been working on and put them towards the next performance this season.”

Meanwhile at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Osaka, Japan, Gloucester Skating Club’s David Shteyngart was the top Canadian in men’s singles with a 13th-place finish.

In his first Grand Prix competition, Shteyngart struggled with various aspects of his jumps, but was 13th in the free-skating program, after a 15th-place result in the opening short program. The judges gave him 164.74 points for his two programs.


A pair of local cyclists finished at the head of the Tour de Gatineau UCI women’s road race on Saturday.

Ottawa Bicycle Club product Laury Milette, who now races for Grand-Est Komugi La Fabrique, and Kiara Lylyk of Ottawa-based The Cyclery Racing crossed the line in a blanket sprint finish where the top seven riders were awarded an identical time of 2 hours, 46 minutes and 52 seconds for the 112-kilometre race.

Canadian cyclist Alison Jackson took the silver medal behind USA’s Megan Jastrab, while Milette and Lylyk took fifth and fourth place respectively.


The Carleton University Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees had opposite results on the OUA football field.

The Ravens recorded their first win against two defeats with a lopsided 52-0 victory over the winless York University Lions, who have allowed 259 points and only scored 32 points in their first four games. Carleton is tied for sixth place in the OUA with the Queen’s University Gaels.

Quarterback Tristin Lefebvre threw three touchdown passes, including two to Hunter Brown, which covered 12 and 13 yards, and one to Kaseem Ferdinand at 11 yards.

Backup quarterback Tristan Rinaldis connected with Frederik Hachey for a 37-yard, pass-and-run touchdown. The Ravens’ other touchdowns were scored by Othman Brahm on an 80-yard punt return and Joshua Ferguson on a one-yard run.

Brandon Forcier kicked field goals from 43, 38 and 32 yards as well as five converts. The Ravens opened their scoring with a team safety.

Playing at TD Place, the 2-1 Gee-Gees couldn’t overcome large deficits and were outscored 42-31 by the University of Windsor Lancers. Windsor led 32-10 at halftime.

Running back Amlicar Polk, the rushing leader in the OUA, had touchdown runs of 16 and 49 yards for the Gee-Gees and finished the game with 108 yards on 17 carries.

Wide receiver Matt Mahler passed to another wide receiver Nicholas Gendron for a 75-yard touchdown. Campbell Fair kicked field goals from 44, 30 and 14 yards and also chipped in two converts. The Gee-Gees also counted a team safety.

Linebacker Max Charbonneau had 10 solo tackles and six assisted tackles and leads the OUA in tackles per game at 9.3.


A pair of shutout victories allowed the Carleton University Ravens women’s soccer team to move into a three-way tie for third place in the OUA East Conference soccer league at 3-1.

The idle University of Ottawa Gee-Gees are in that group as well at 3-0.

Carleton, which had only two shots on goal, defeated Nipissing University Lakers 1-0 on a marker by Salena Devellis in the 63rd minute, while Chloe Lachance-Soula faced 10 shots for the shutout.

The Ravens showed more offence in their 3-0 decision over Laurentian University Voyageurs. In a seven-minute span in the middle of the second half, Ana Itoafa, Mikayla Moser and Mia Hollingsworth scored for Carleton.

Lachance-Soula played the opening 79 minutes in goal and Ty Dukart guarded the net for the final 11 minutes for the shared shutout.

In OUA men’s soccer, East Conference-leading Carleton improved to 5-0 defeating Nipissing 4-0 and Laurentian 5-1.

Luca Piccioli counted two goals for Carleton against Nipissing, while single markers went to Kevin Kaba and Raphael Garcia. Roberto Frankovic didn’t face a single shot to earn the shutout.

Five players shared the Carleton scoring against Laurentian – Brady Curkovic, Darren Bouaziz, Piccioli, Mohammed Bouzidi and Omar Darwich.


The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees registered their first RSEQ women’s rugby win of the season, while the Carleton University Ravens absorbed their first loss.

Receiving two tries each from Nagozi Mosindi and Ketsia Kamba, the Gee-Gees defeated the Université de Montréal Carabins 36-21. Rachel Steel and Ella Blyth had the other tries for the Gee-Gees, who received converts from Jamie Lee Walker, Taelor Hendrick and Aurora Bowie.

Brianna Messer scored the try and Kaitlyn Cox added a convert and a penalty as Carleton fell 45-10 to Concordia University Stingers.


The Ottawa Sooners have followed their three-game losing streak to open their Ontario Football Conference season with a three-game winning streak.

After defeating Quinte Skyhawks 50-3 and the GTA Grizzlies 76-0 earlier this month, the Sooners turned back the Skyhawks once again 40-3.

The Sooners’ 76-0 win was the eighth highest offensive output in OFC history and the third best for the team.

Meanwhile in the Quebec Junior Football League, the Ottawa Junior Riders experienced their first loss as South Shore Junior Packers improved their first-place record to 4-0 with a 33-9 victory.


The Canadian women’s volleyball team is 1-1 after two marathon matches in the Olympic Qualification tournament in Ningbo, China.

After defeating The Netherlands 32-30, 19-25, 15-25, 25-17, 15-13, Canada was extended to the maximum again, but lost to the Dominican Republic 25-17, 22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12.

Ottawa players Vicky Savard and Shainah Joseph are active players on the Canadian roster.

Canada is scheduled to play Serbia on Tuesday. The top two teams from each of the three pools will advance to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The Canadian women’s volleyball team hasn’t played in the Olympics in almost three decades.


The Canada Army Run attracted 10,659 entries for the 10-event road race over Ottawa streets.

The winners of the main three races were:

10 kilometres – Jonathan Lefleur of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, PQ. (33 minutes, 26 seconds) and Ottawa’s Leah Larocque (39:48)

5 kilometres – Kingston’s Linden Head (16:22) and Ottawa’s Amy Harkness (17:47)

Half marathon – Toronto’s Eric Bang (1:11:26) and Ottawa’s Julia Nikonorova (1:17:35)


Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton held its first recruitment camp for potential skeleton sliders since before the pandemic on Saturday at Terry Fox Athletic Facility in Ottawa.

The recruitment initiative targeted athletes age 14 and up with backgrounds in sports like football, rugby, track, lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and others. They were evaluated on physical testing drills such as short sprints, standing long jump and medicine ball throws.

The recruitment camp, which will be followed by similar events in Calgary and Richmond, B.C., came shortly after the announcement of a new coaching staff for the national skeleton team.

Two-time Ottawa Olympian Mimi Rahneva had previously been vocal in calling for leadership change at Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

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 High Achievers “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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