Lame Ducks fall short while GOFO’s rule the Rink
On Thursday, June 1, 2017, four teams battled for two trophies in the season finale of the Commando Challenge 2017 hockey series at the Jim Durrell Arena in Ottawa.
In the first game of the double-header, the Ottawa Service Attachés Association (OSAA) Lame Ducks played the Commando Lites for the coveted Esprit de Corps Cup.
The Lame Ducks were coming off a rare three-game winning streak, but the Commando Lites tenaciously tore them apart in the early going. Midway through the second period, the Lame Ducks already trailed 5:0 and that gap proved impossible to overcome despite a late rally by the desperate Ducks. Final score was 6:2 with Esprit de Corps’ own office manager, Julie Simoneau, and U.S. Military Attaché Capt(N) Greg Depinet taking home the player of the game awards for the Commando Lites and Lame Ducks respectively.
The second game of the afternoon quickly turned into a Battle Royale between the General Officers & Flag Officers (aka the GOFOs) and the Esprit de Corps Commandos. The lead changed hands several times, but with just five minutes to go in the third period the score was all tied up at 4:4. Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier earned himself the GOFO player-of-the-game award when he outraced Commando back-up goalie Gawain Harding to a loose puck in the offensive zone, which resulted in the game-winning goal. After the Commandos pulled Harding in favour of the extra attacker, the GOFOs secured their win with an empty netter. Final score 6:4. Commando player of the game was Simon Jacques of Airbus Canada, who had opened the scoring early in the first period.
The 2017 Commando Challenge trophy, which was designed and crafted by Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance using the Commando dagger he won as a top Army Cadet, was presented to acting GOFO team captain, Major-General Al Meinzinger.
As with all the Commando Challenge events, regardless of who wins on the ice, the real winners are the military charities that these games support. For Commando Challenge VIII, we’d like to thank post-game VIP reception host Boeing as well as our other game sponsors: Commissionaires, Pratt & Whitney, Airbus, BMT Fleet Technology, David Pratt & Associates, Atlas Elektronik Canada, Canadian Centre for Product Validation, Novatel and York University’s School of Continuing Studies.
The 2017 three-game series raised a total of $13,550 for the Cadet Leagues of Canada (Army, Air and Sea). A hearty Bravo Zulu is once again sent out to the Cadet League organizers who were a huge part of the logistic support for the hockey games and the subsequent VIP receptions.
For more photos go to http://www.richardlawrencephotography.ca/clients/edec/challenge8/index.html