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OUA Men's Hockey Team Mining for U Sports Gold at 2017 Winter Universiade

By Randy Lucenti on January 28, 2017

Queen's Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie (pictured) and Sebastian Auger of the UQTR Patriotes will attempt to backstop Team Canada to gold at the 2017 Winter Universiade Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Alex D'Addese photo)

Ontario University Athletics officials are hoping a tough selection process will result in a return to glory for the U Sports men's hockey team at the upcoming Winter Universiade Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The massive international multi-sporting event is held every two years and draws a field of more than 2,500 student athletes in a variety of winter sports. This year's competition will take place beginning Jan. 29 and run through to Feb. 8.

While the Canadian women's team roster for the Games was named before the start of the 2016-17 season, the men's squad went through a selection process that included a pair of exhibition games against the Canadian junior team prior to the World Junior Championships and a week-long training camp over the Christmas break before the 22-member squad was selected from a field of 40 hopefuls.

Also, while the women's squad was selected from university teams across the country, the men's team consists of players and off-ice officials this time around from just the OUA as U Sports rotates among the OUA, AUS and Canada West.

In three previous appearances, the OUA reps have captured a pair of bronze medals (1999 and 2011) while placing fifth overall in 2005.

Overall, the Canadian men’s team has medaled 14 times in 15 appearances at the event including four championship titles. At the last games in Granada, Spain, the Canada West all-stars placed third overall behind champion Russia and runner-up Kazakhstan.

Queen's Gaels head coach Brett Gibson will be at the helm of Team Canada which is made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders. His staff includes assistant coaches Brian Bourque of the Waterloo Warriors (who will also act as the team manager), Craig Duncanson of the Laurentian (Sudbury) Voyageurs and Marty Johnston of the Carleton Ravens.

The Team Canada men’s roster includes six players from the defending OUA champion and nationally-ranked UQTR Patriotes.

Heading the UQTR list of players is sniper Guillaume Asselin (Quebec, Que.). He is joined by forwards Tommy Giroux (Quebec, Que.) and Pierre-Olivier Morin (Trois-Rivières, Que.), defencemen Martin Lefebvre (Terrebonne, Que.) and Charles-David Beaudoin (Drummondville, Que.) as well as goaltender Sebastian Auger (St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Que.).

Gibson also selected four players from his Queen's roster including goaltender Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.). The others are defenceman Spencer Abraham (Campbellville, Ont.) along with forwards Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) and Eric Ming (Williamstown, Ont.).

The Carleton Ravens also had four players (all forwards) selected to the roster. They are Brett Welychka (London, Ont.), Ryan Van Stralen (Prescott, Ont.), Michael McNamee (Perth, Ont.) and Corey Durocher (Ottawa, Ont.).

McGill Redmen placed three players on the squad. They are defencemen Nathan Chiarlitti (Maple, Ont.) and Etienne Boutet (Quebec City) along with forward Mathieu Pompei (Laval, Que.)

The remainder of the Team Canada roster includes forward Scott Simmonds (Uxbridge, Ont.) of the Guelph Gryphons; forward Brent Pedersen (Arthur, Ont.) of the Voyageurs; forward Olivier Hinse (Sherbrooke, Que.) of the Concordia Stingers; defenceman Alex Basso (Toronto, Ont.) of the Ryerson Rams; and defenceman Mike Moffat (Waterloo, Ont.) of the Waterloo Warriors.

Eighteen of the 22-player Team Canada roster honed their skills in the CHL before becoming student-athletes.

Canada will open the Games on Jan. 30 against arch-rival Team U.S.A.

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By Randy Lucenti| January 28, 2017
Categories:  College
Keywords:  U Sports

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