U SPORTS: Trophies Galore for the Guelph Gryphons in 2019-20

Guelph,ON- Another year has gone by and the Guelph Gryphons are once again updating their trophy cabinets with new hardware. 2019 – 2020 saw the Guelph Gryphons continue their dominance, winning championships and trophies galore as they steamrolled their way to the top of competitions all across the board.

Four medals for Gryphon wrestlers at Guelph Open meet – Guelph ...
Multi sport athlete Job Reinhart celebrates another victory. Reinhart received Male Athlete of the Year Honours and was drafted in the 2019 CFL Draft. (Gryphons Athletics)

Men’s Hockey

 Hoisting the Queen’s Cup is the goal for all OUA men’s hockey teams, but the way that the Gryphons went about capturing the 109th championship, their seventh in program history is what dreams are made of. The Gryphons were led by Mikkel Aagaard who finished the season with 22 goals and 46 points, those statistics being first and second highest in all of U SPORTS. It was not just Aagaard who helped contribute to the team’s high powered offence as the Gryphons had seven players finish the regular season with 20 or more points. 

 The Men’s Hockey team finished the regular season behind the Varsity Blues and Ryerson Rams and were viewed as a team who would win a round or two but would not be able to go all the way this year. Matched up against the Laurier Golden Hawks the Gryphons lost Game 1, providing them with the adversity that every championship team has to face. Guelph was quick to bounce back, getting back to their style of game and eliminated Laurier with wins of 6-3 and 4-2. They were then able to dispatch Brock in two very close, hard fought games that brought out the toughness of this hockey team and displayed their desire to win.

Guelph was able to put an end to Western’s Cinderella story in the OUA West Finals where they won in three games with each game only being separated by one goal. The OUA Finals were truly a sight to behold as it was standing room only inside a sold out Gryphons Center. The matchup between the Ottawa Gee Gees and the Gryphons had it all with physical play and both teams trading chances as the crowd “oohed and ahwed” at the skill on display. The game came to a dramatic end when at 1:14 into triple overtime second year forward Ted Nichol scored the biggest goal of his career, lifting the roof off the Gryphon Centre. 

Giordano Finoro celebrates with his OUA gold medal (Benjamin steiner/49 Sports)

   The Gryphons season would come to an end at Nationals where they fell 5-1 to the Saint Mary Huskies in the quarter finals, however, it proved to be moot, as the U CUP was cancelled that evening. The experience of winning the Queen’s Cup and going to the U CUP will benefit the Gryphons, as they have shown their true potential and will look to learn from this experience in what was a very successful and memorable season. 

Track and Field

The Guelph Gryphons once again saw themselves atop of the podium in both the men’s and women’s U SPORTS Track and Field Championship. Guelph showed everyone why they are one step ahead when it comes to Track and Field as they easily dismantled the competition all year long leading to them completing the trifecta (This was the third consecutive season the men and women’s track and field team won Nationals).

Meet Zoe Sherar: a 400m sprinter who's becoming one of the fastest ...
Sherar at U Sports Track and Field Championship (Canadian Running Magazine)

This Guelph team is full of stars across all disciplines but there were a few standout performers this year. Third year athlete Zoe Sherar recorded six gold medals (3 OUA, 3 U SPORTS and is viewed as one of the best long sprinters in Canada. She set a new school record in the 300 m and was named Guelph’s Female Athlete of the Year at their year end award banquet. The Track and Field team also had help due to some great recruiting with rookies like Gunnar Eyjolfsson coming in and making an immediate impact in their first year. The first year art and science major comes all the way from Iceland finishing the year with an OUA gold medal and U SPORTS silver medal while being named to the U SPORTS  All-Canadian Second Team. The prowess of this Guelph team is on display whenever its athletes show up and based on this year the Gryphons are clearly planning on maintaining this powerhouse for years to come.

 The 2019 – 2020 campaign was another one for the record books and the dominant display of the Gryphons’ student athletes begs the questions of whether the Guelph Gryphons deserve to be recognized as the best athletic school in all of U SPORTS.

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