Sports

How are our athletes from Caledon? Hometown stars coping with the pandemic

February 18, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Robert Belardi 

Sometimes we ask the curious question, how are our athletes from Caledon doing in their respective leagues?   Especially since all professional and semi-professional leagues continue to be hampered by COVID protocols and the ‘what-ifs’ when a team and/or player come down with the virus. 

Let’s take the Vegas Golden Knights, for instance. Last week, against the Anaheim Ducks, Knights forward Thomas Nosek was yanked midway through the game because of a positive test. 

That, of course, raises a few eyebrows. Not only is COVID a cause for raising concern, but the Knights have already had three games postponed thus far this year. 

Who knows what will transpire out of all of this. But, for now, let’s take a look at some of our hometown athletes and how they’ve been doing in their respective situations. 

Brendan Jacome 

In March of last year, French Ligue Magnus side Gothiques Amiens began contacting Jacome in the same month the Caledon native won the Randy Gregg award at the University of Ottawa.

“I decided I wanted to join Amiens after seeing how successful they have been over the past few years, and after hearing about how well they treat their players (especially imports),” Jacome said. 

He walked into a hockey culture without any expectations. He is there, pleasantly surprised. He loves the passion from the fans (when fans were able to be there) and the love people have for the game of hockey. 

“And with the hockey, I was surprised by how good all the local players are. They all have great skillsets and are high level players.”

In the past three seasons in Ligue Magnus, Gothiques Amiens have lost in the semi-finals subsequently before the season was cancelled last year. 

Jacome brings a competitive edge to the team and, with hopes of winning it all in France, he is humbled to be playing hockey in a great country for a little while longer. 

“For me, I came over here to travel, see different sights and continue to play hockey for a little longer,” Jacome said.  

“I was fortunate that I was able to visit the majority of the Canadian war sites like Vimy Ridge, Juno beach, Dieppe, etc.… and that is something I will always remember and really made me appreciate the sacrifice that so many young men and women made to protect our freedom.”

Jacome is currently alongside other Canadians on the team including captain Joey West, Alexandre Boivin, Skylar Pacheco and Dan Gibb. 

In 13 games, Jacome has five goals in northern France. 

Jack Jacome 

Brendan’s brother Jack, in his final year at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, is also enjoying his hockey season in the NCAA. 

The 22-year-old has recorded 14 points in 20 games thus far, three points shy of his season total last year. 

“I think the main thing is we (our team) just feel extremely fortunate to be playing…. There are plenty of hockey players still not playing right now. Obviously, it is a year like none other,” Jacome said. 

In this season unlike any other, there have not been fans in the stands, of course. And, in college, with passionate fans and bands playing throughout games, Jacome said this is something taken for granted. 

“This is something you definitely take for granted when you have fans in the stands. It is such an important part of the game. Specifically, the fans of college hockey are what makes playing so much fun. It’s an atmosphere that you don’t even see watching an NHL game (with the bands, student section, etc.)”

As of now, Jacome loves the group this year. He believes Clarkson has plenty of depth and can be very dangerous moving forward in the year. 

His best memory at the school and with the team is winning the ECAC championship in his second year. He believes this group has that opportunity to repeat that same feat. 

Andrew Mangiapane 

The 24-year-old forward has four goals and three assists on the year (as of Monday night). 

Since his 17 goals and 15 assists in 68 games last year, technically you might say, he is having a pretty good start to the year. 

And the Flames in this rivalry-ridden North Division, got a nice win Monday night against the Canucks in overtime after allowing Brock Boeser to score in the final seconds of the game. 

The Flames have been fairly competitive for the most part and, in a division that seemingly doesn’t play defence, it looks like Mangiapane might have the chance to record, roughly around the same number of points as he did last year. 

If not, maybe one or two more if all goes well. 



         

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