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134th anniversary: Kingston hosting hockey’s oldest rivalry Thursday

The Queen`s Gaels and RMC Paladins prepare to battle for the Carr-Harris Cup
Hockey's oldest rivalry resumes on Thursday in Kingston.

Hockey’s oldest rivalry resumes on Feb. 6 at the Leon’s Centre in Kingston.

It’s a rivalry that dates back to March 10, 1886, when the Queen’s University Gaels defeated the Royal Military College of Canada 1-0 on a goal by Lennox Irving.

This year’s game mark’s the 134th anniversary between the two historic institutions.

“It’s a game that everyone looks forward to every year,” said RMC’s head coach Richard Lim.

Now in his fifth year behind the Paladins’ bench, Lim looks forward to winning the Carr-Harris Cup for the second year in a row.

“We beat them last year 5-1 and I think it still stings,” Lim said.

“After that loss, they proceeded to win the Ontario university championship for the first time in 38 years. We beat the best team in the OUA and to do it again it will take a full 60 minutes of hard work.”

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READ MORE: A thrilling overtime goal decides the Carr-Harris Cup

RMC is looking to win hockey’s triple crown. For the first time since 2006, the Paladins have qualified for the OUA playoffs. On Jan. 18, they defeated West Point, N.Y., 3-2. — their first win over the U.S. Army in 18 years.

“For us, winning the Carr-Harris Cup would be hockey’s trifecta,” said Paladins captain Matthew Michie.

The fourth-year cadet from Port Coquitlam, B.C, looks forward to the annual contest.

“Queen’s is still a very good team,” Michie said. “They lost a few players off last year’s championship squad but we know how tough they will be. To beat the Gaels it will take a total team effort and a full 60 minutes of hard work.”

As for the Gaels, they’re eager to make up for last year’s performance.

“We got embarrassed in last year’s game,” said Queen’s captain Patrick Sanvido.

The third-year arts and science student from Guelph enjoys playing in the Carr-Harris contest.

“We had over 4,000 fans last year,” said Sanvido, a former star with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.

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“The atmosphere is unbelievable, and RMC always plays us tough. We have to match their work ethic. We need a win to gain some momentum as we head into the playoffs. We also need a win to regain the bragging rights for the Carr-Harris Cup.”

READ MORE: The RMC hockey Paladins have post-season aspirations

Queen’s assistant coach Spencer Abraham agreed.

“You can never outwork RMC, so you have to try and match their effort,” the former Gaels captain said.

“We want to make up for last year’s performance and we need the two points to move up in the OUA standings.

“It’s an exciting game for everyone involved. I can’t wait for the drop of the puck.”

Game time on Thursday is 7.30 p.m.