Charge of the Cavalry : Men’s Hockey Road Trip Feature

[Commentator] A Thursday five o’clock departure for the uOttawa men’s hockey team. The Gee-Gees are heading to Guelph, Ontario. In the locker room, Equipment Manager David Bellochi and players make their final preparations for the trip. For the team’s American goaltender Graham Hunt, this weekend’s six-hour trip, one of the team’s longest this year, is nothing. [Hunt] I played for Corpus Christi, which is in South Texas, so, we made a trip up to Minnesota on a sleeper bus with stops in… …Dallas for two games, Topeka, Kansas, for two games. And then… So up to Kansas for 16 hours and then from there and to Minnesota, we had a showcase where we played four games in about five or six days. And then we flew back, so… …overall, it’s about a two, two and a half week trip. [Commentator] The trip offers players the chance to catch up on homework, take in a movie, or have a spirited game of cards. [players laughing while playing cards] A quick pit stop in Cobourg for dinner and then it’s on to Guelph. It’s a late 11:00 p.m. check-in and a glance around the room shows a collection of the various other places hockey has taken players on this team. [Dunlop] As your routine changes, little things like… …staying in a hotel room as opposed to, you know, staying in your own bed. But the level of focus is gonna be there for the guys and we’re really looking forward to the weekend. It’s huge. Going to playoffs, we definitely want to end off on a big note. We want to make sure we have momentum going into them. [Beckstead claps his hand together] Well, we have carrots, good for the vision. Some celery. Hydration, while you’re eating. We got some snap peas, great asset to have. Here at uOttawa we promote healthy eating. That’s what you got to do to be a Gee-Gee. [Commentator] This is life on the road. After a mid-morning breakfast, the team takes a walk, then a nap, and then it’s off to London for a date with Western. [Music plays] [Music ends] [Grandmaitre] We’ve played so well now that we put ourselves in a really good position. They’ve played pretty bad and put themselves in a really tough position. They are fighting to be in the playoffs. It’s sometimes very tough to play against a team that’s desperate, okay? We have to play desperate hockey. That’s the way we’ve been playing, you know, for a while now. Okay? So, we can’t come out there thinking we are better than what we are. We have to think the game the way we’ve been doing so far. It’s hard work, intensity, good team discipline, and you know, sacrificing each other. Starting… [players applaud and cheer] Hunt in net. [Cheers] [Grandmaitre announces the other starting players] Let’s get out of here fellows! [Soft music] [Music changes and becomes louder] Jake Harris, an OHL alumnus who spent most of last season with Guelph, would have a weekend to remember. [National anthem of Canada playing] uOttawa jumped all over their hosts from the start and soon, a breakthrough. [Sports announcer] Mike Dipaolo does a nice job getting to that one quick and now Rusk and Polesello behind the net. Coming out in front, and that is a goal! Mitchell Gibson cuts out in front and beats Dodds low on the ice… for a goal for the Ottawa Gee-Gees [voice fades away] [music continues] uOttawa took a one to nothing lead into the first intermission. The visitors continued to press and were rewarded just four minutes into the second. [Sports announcer] …Pouliot carrying it down the right side. His shot, high goal side! And he beats Greg Dodds on that one! Antoine Pouliot gives the Ottawa Gee-Gees a two nothing lead. [Other announcer] Western Mustangs had that puck in the zone of the Ottawa Gee-Gees. You see the differences of both teams. [Commentator] At the other end of the rink, Graham Hunt was holding down the fort in the uOttawa net. That would set the stage for a pretty finish from Cody Drover to make it three to nothing. [Sports announcer] …Drover with a nice passing, playing by the Mustangs net catches Dodds out of position. That’s going to be another Gee-Gees goal. [Sports announcer] …back to Fiset. Big shot. Hits the post and in. Wow. Yeah I think, Tyler, you just said that loud enough for me to hear it, but wow! What a wrist shot there by… [voice fades away] [Marching band plays] Despite a pushback from the Mustangs and a drop in intensity on their own part, the Gee-Gees see out a 5-2 victory in London. [End of game buzzer] In the dressing room postgame, Head Coach Patrick Grandmaitre is happy with the win but not thrilled with his team’s third period. [Grandmaitre] Okay, big [bip] win. It’s something special that we’ve been building. Keeps building on and on and on. I’m really happy for… …Mr. Harris tonight. Good [bip] job Harry! [clapping] It’s all for the [bip] team, all for the team. It’s a bit of negative talk. It’s 5-1. It’s a negative talk on the bench. Very this and this and that. [Bip] that. [Bip] that. We’re a team, we’re positive, we’re helping each other out, all right. Hard hat award, please. [players clapping] All you guys played good, but there you go. Harry, Harry! [Harris] Good game from everyone. Let’s rest off and come back at it tomorrow. Following the win and an hour trip back to Guelph, it’s a late night pit stop at the Gryphon Ice Centre to deposit the team’s gear. Saturday morning shines bright and early with the players participating in study hall. [Hanlon] It’s a good way to keep some balance between hockey and school. It’s always important to stay on top of your studies and you want to perform very well on the ice but you also have perform in the classroom. I’m in business right now. I’m doing some macroeconomics homework. Down the road I’m thinking about entrepreneurship. It’s a pretty interesting topic for me and I think it would be a pretty fun way to work. After lunch and a nap, it’s off to the film room to study up on Guelph. [Coach] They can play off this wall, so this winger here is gonna hold and stretch, right? And we’re going to try to stretch out the players. They actually get a turnover here because their D jumps. Anthony Brodeur starts between the pipes against the Gryphons, one of the hottest teams in Canada. [Music plays] Despite a late comeback attempt, the Gee-Gees fall 4-3 and their winning streak snapped at seven. After the game, hometown boy Brendan Jacome and the team’s biggest name, Brodeur, signed some autographs for a local youth hockey team. Then it’s back on the bus and back to business and the push towards playoffs continues for uOttawa.

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