The Queen’s hockey Gaels open a new season with high expectations.
The Tricolour begin play in the Ontario University Association on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Kingston Memorial Centre against the Royal Military College Paladins.
Queen’s opened pre-season play with a 6-0 victory over their crosstown rivals in the annual Lou Jeffries scholarship game played in Gananoque.
The Gaels enter the regular season as one of the favourites to win the OUA championship and the Queen’s Cup.
Head coach Brett Gibson has a number of veteran forwards returning. The lineup includes Slater Doggett, Eric Ming, Jaden Lindo, Luke Bertolucci and Francesco Vilardi.
Returning defencemen include Spencer Abraham, Graeme Brown, Patrick Sanvido, Warren Steele, Nathan Billitier and Nevin Guy.
Among the talented new recruits is defenceman Steven Gibson, a five-year OHL veteran with the Mississauga Steelheads, and goaltender Jack Flinn.
Flinn has some big pads to fill in replacing all-star netminder Kevin Bailie.
“I didn’t ask for number 30,” joked the 22-year-old from Halifax, N.S.
“No one can ever take the place of Kevin, but I will certainly try to keep my team in every game we play,” added Flinn, who stands six-feet-eight-inches tall.
Flinn is no slouch when it comes to stopping pucks. He played three years in the OHL with Mississauga and the Owen Sound Attack. He also enjoyed a cup of coffee in the American Hockey League with the Ontario Reign, a farm club for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
After being reinstated as an amateur, Flinn looks forward to playing for the Gaels.
“We’ve got a very talented team at Queen’s and I can’t wait to see what we can do. If we focus and work hard, good things will happen. Our goal is to reach the U-Sport nationals. It’s certainly within our grasp, if we play up to our potential.”