The Carr-Harris Cup returned to the Leon’s Centre on Thursday Feb. 2 for the first time since 2020, continuing the world’s oldest hockey rivalry. Queen’s beat the RMC Paladins 2-1 in overtime.
After the first period ended with a blank scoreboard, Dalton Duhart scored for the Gaels early in the second period. Josh Curtis set up Duhart, who fired a beautiful shot right above the goalie’s high glove side. Later in the period, the Paladins responded and found the back of the net, bypassing the Gaels’ strong defense and goalie Luke Richardson.
Queen’s dominated in regulation, doubling the Paladins’ shots on goal at 49-24. However, RMC goalie Joey May kept the Paladins afloat and the scored tied with countless saves, ultimately receiving RMC MVP.
In overtime, Nolan Hutcheson and Jack Duff set Alex Robert up for the most clutch goal of the game. Nearly 4,000 fans erupted when Robert scored the winning goal for Queen’s in a scramble in front of the net, placing the 35th Carr-Harris Challenge Cup in the hands of the Gaels.
Robert was named Queen’s MVP for the game. He told The Journal in a post-game interview that scoring the game-winning goal was a surreal experience.
“Honestly it took me a couple seconds. I shot it, it was rolling over the RMC goalie’s shoulder, and then once I scored, I forgot what was going on […] It was surreal.”
The ongoing rivalry between RMC and Queen’s is the world’s oldest. Former Gael and coach Stu Crawford, Bill Fitsell, Bill Hamilton, and Ed Grenda started the Carr-Harris Cup to honour the first game between the two teams back in 1886.
“It’s a marquee game in U SPORTS Men’s Hockey that brings both universities together to celebrate our sport. The history and significance of the game from both universities cannot be overlooked,” said Queen’s Head Coach Brett Gibson in a press release.
“Alumni always remember their record in the Carr-Harris Cup, and they take great pride in hosting this trophy.”
The cup trophy, donated by the Centennial Committee, features a hand-crafted sculpture of Queen’s player Lennox Irving, the lone scorer in the inaugural 1886 game. The trophy also honours the Carr-Harris family and their long-standing connection to both Queen’s and RMC.
During the trophy ceremony after the game, each team presented the Mary Carr-Harris Most Valuable Player Award to one of their players. The award commemorates Mary Carr-Harris, who was the matriarch of the family until she passed in 2006.
Most recently, Queen’s won the Carr-Harris cup back in 2020 and leads the all-time Carr-Harris Cup series with a record of 21-11-2. RMC won 5-1 in 2019.
The Gaels and Paladins have played each other twice already this season in November, with the Gaels winning both games. The Carr-Harris Cup is a bigger deal than the regular season games at the Memorial Centre for the Gaels, but the game also counts for the OUA standings.
Queen’s was in a must-win position heading into this year’s cup; a loss to RMC would have mathematically eliminated them from the OUA playoffs.
“All season long, our team [does] a good job at keeping things to the outside and not giving up a lot,” Richardson said to The Journal in a post-game interview.
Richardson made two massive saves right before Robert scored the winning goal for the Gaels.
“In overtime, it’s a must win for us, you can’t afford to lose right now; I just did whatever I could to make a save,” he said.
After defeating the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks on Saturday Feb. 4, Queen’s record is now 12-13. The Gaels have one more regular season game this year against the Concordia Stingers on Feb. 10th in Quebec. A win will punch their ticket to the OUA playoffs.
Carr-Harris, Hockey, Leon's Centre, Paladins
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