Queen’s and RMC are set to renew the oldest rivalry in hockey history in the Carr-Harris Challenge Cup

Nearly 140 years after Lennox Irving scored to lead Queen’s University over the Royal Military College (RMC) 1-0 in the first game of the oldest hockey rivalry between the two Kingston, Ontario, schools, scheduled for renewal on Thursday, current fifth-year forward Alex Robert added a goal. Another win for Giles in dramatic fashion.

Last February, in the 35th edition of the Carr-Harris Challenge Cup — which the International Hockey Hall of Fame started in 1986 to celebrate the competition — Ottawa native Robert took advantage of chaos in front of the net in overtime to lead the Gaels to a second-place finish. The 2-1 win keeps Queens’ playoff hopes alive.

Although there is no official count of the number of spectators at the 1886 match on the Kingston Ice Pier, it would be safe to assume that the 3,800 jubilant Gaels fans who packed the Lyons Center to watch Robert’s goal outnumbered the crowds in the 19th century.

“Scoring a goal in front of that many people… I could lie to myself, but it’s definitely the biggest moment I’ve ever had (in my hockey career),” said Robert, who played two seasons with the North Bay Battalion in the OHL. and four seasons in the CCHL before coming to Queen’s in 2020.

“Once you get to our level (at U Sports), you have a lot of players where every game might be the last meaningful hockey game (they play), and to be able to score a goal in front of everyone that way, in hockey. The older rivalry, it was Definitely surreal.”

RMC head coach Richard Lim will take part in the 12th Annual Carr-Harris Challenge Cup on Thursday at 7:30pm ET, which is broadcast live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

This will be the seventh game behind the Paladins bench for Lim after playing as a striker in five of them between 2007 and 2011, winning the Mary Carr Harris Player of the Year Award as his team’s best player in 2008.

No matter how many of these games he’s been a part of, the immediately heightened atmosphere can always be annoying.

“The first five minutes are completely different (from a normal game); it feels like the last five minutes of Game 7 (of the NHL playoffs) with the speed and physicality,” Lim said. “We probably go through eight line changes in the first five minutes just because players are going to the metal…

“It’s unbelievable hockey, and it’s very similar to the other three times Queens play every year.”

The overall results in the rivalry were one-sided in Quinn’s favor, as the Gaels held a 22-11-2 all-time record in the Carr-Harris Cup, as well as claiming 25 of 28 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) contests. Between the two teams in Lim’s tenure since 2015, though, the Calgary native improved the Paladins’ hockey program after taking over after a winless 2014-15 season.

Familiar enemies

Robert got to know the competition very quickly in his first season in 2021-22, as eight of his team’s 19 conference games were against the Paladins with a more streamlined schedule coming off a lost 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you play the same teams over and over again, you not only start to get rivalries, but you get to know each player individually on other teams…” said Robert. “People will start tweeting and hitting each other. If someone gets you, in the next match, you remember that name, and you can get it back immediately.”

Queens (17-8-1) has already clinched a spot in the playoffs this season, led by forward Dalton Duhart who has scored 41 points in 26 games, good for fourth in the country.

While the do-or-die nature of last year’s game — which the Queens then lost by two points short of a playoff spot — is off the table, this season the Gaels are trying to lock down home ice in a first-round playoff series. Later this month.

And for the 24-year-old Robert, who is having his best season with 20 points in 23 games, taking Quinn’s head-to-head record against RMC to 15-0-0 in his time with the team would be a perfect fit. In his final season at U Sports before a trip to the playoffs.

“It’s a competition we hate to lose,” Robert said. “In my time here, we haven’t lost to RMC, and I really plan to keep it that way… We’re still playing for our seed… in the playoffs, so it’s definitely still a huge game for us. As much as we’re not playing from “For our livelihood (in the playoffs), we’re definitely playing for our pride.”

For Lim and the Paladins (6-18-2), the game won’t have the playoff implications it did in 2020 when RMC played in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but Lim’s 2-2-2 record in the year-end rivalry game shows With victories in 2017 and 2019, the team’s ability to gel as the season continues continues.

Along with another late-season rivalry game against the Army Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy – which RMC renewed for the first time in four years on January 28 with a 6-1 loss at West Point, New York, in the 85th round. Game Edition – Lim appreciates his opportunity To make these historic games so close to the end of the season with the temporary nature of U Sports rosters.

“For both teams, we know who we are, and the players have settled into their roles,” said Lim, whose team is led by fourth-year captain Christopher Puckett and sophomore Austin Saint, as the two forwards combine for the Paladins’ 35-man squad. 71 goals this season. “Just the team structure for both teams, we are comfortable with it and we are adjusting it at this stage…

“I know from talking to (Queens head coach) Brett (Gibson) back when we got to the playoffs…it was a perfect warm-up in terms of the intensity that each playoff game brought, with the fans being there. It’s a playoff type game.” Without playoff repercussions.”

About the world of U Sports

  • The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s curling team won its fourth straight OUA title, and the Laurentian Vogageurs women’s team captured its first conference championship since 2017 on Sunday in Guelph, Ont. Next up for both teams is the U Sports Championships in Fredericton from March 12-16, where Laurier will look for its third straight title.
  • The Sherbrooke men’s volleyball team dispatched Montreal 3-2 and 3-1 on Friday and Sunday, respectively, to improve to 13-0 on the season, needing to win two games this weekend against UNB and its final game of the season in February. .17 against Laval to put the bow on a perfect season.

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