Scoring goals and assists is not the only triumph to be proud of in a sport. Sometimes you can be proud of the little things that take hard work.
University of Ottawa (U of O) Gee-Gees men’s hockey forward Brendan Jacome is not known around the league for his show stopping points performance, but rather, his style of play that has earned him countless awards for most sportsmanlike player.
Like many hockey players, Jacome got introduced to the sport through his father.
“My dad played hockey as well, he played for Western University, so he got us involved when we were pretty young, and ever since I was a little kid, we had a little rink in our backyard, so we’d always go out and skate on that, and it kept developing as the years went on,” Jacome said.
Prior to joining the Gee-Gees, Jacome did stints with the Brampton Battalion Minor Midget AAA of the South-Central Triple A Minor Midget (SCTAMM) league, the Brampton Battalion Midget AAA of the South-Central Triple A (SCTA) league, and then would spend the next four years of his life playing for the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), before making the jump to the Gee-Gees.
While a part of the Brampton Battalion Minor Midget AAA, Jacome played in 55 career games, recording 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points.
Following his year with the minor midget AAA team, Jacome moved on up to the midget AAA team for the 2011-12 season, playing in 58 career games, and recording 33 goals and 36 assists for 69 points.
Starting in the 2012-13 season, Jacome began what would be his longest career on a team so far, when he joined the Georgetown Raiders.
While a part of the Raiders, Jacome played in 249 career games, recording 84 goals and 82 assists for 166 points.
And what made the Raiders an even more memorable experience, was that Jacome was on the team along with his younger brother Jack for two seasons.
“He’s a very good player, so he was a fun guy to play with. We played on the same line for three quarters of our last year together, so that was a lot of fun,” Jacome said.
“It’s pretty special to be able to play with your brother, I don’t think many people have the opportunity to do that, so, for myself, for my brother, and especially my family, it was really cool to see,” he added.
During his time with the Raiders, Jacome set an impact for himself as a player, when he won the OJHL Most Gentlemanly Player Award in the 2015-16 season.
“He’s always been an honest player who plays the game the right way. The type of player you want on your team. Very good leader. I definitely look up to him on that aspect,” Jacome’s brother, Jack, said.
While a part of the Gee-Gees so far, Jacome has played in 95 career games, recording 32 goals and 43 assists for 75 points.
Jacome’s sportsmanlike conduct didn’t stop at the OJHL level, in fact, it increased. While a part of the Gee-Gees, Jacome has racked up only 20 minutes of minor penalties, which has been further followed by not taking a single penalty for the 2018-19 season.
Due to not taking a penalty this past season, Jacome was recently recognized by U SPORTS for being the Most Sportsmanlike Player.
“Well, in hockey, you always want to be able to play five-on-five, and whenever we were on the PK or powerplay, he was always on the ice because he’s an all-around good player,” Gee-Gees teammate, Kevin Domingue, said.
“So, him not taking penalties was really good to be in every position on the ice, five-on-five, PK, powerplay, so, it’s an honor for him to win that and I think he deserves it,” he added.
While earning many accolades for his sportsmanlike play, Jacome has also made many memorable moments that will last a lifetime.
As well as being named Most Gentlemanly player in the 2015-16 season, the Raiders also went on a decent playoff run.
“I think it was our playoff run that we had in my last year. With my brother. So, we had an amazing playoff together, and unfortunately, we couldn’t win it all that year. But we made it to the finals, and it was just pretty special to do that and to be a big contributor along with my brother,” Jacome said.
And while being a part of the Gee-Gees, Jacome’s most memorable moment has come from the playoffs as well.
“I think the most memorable moment was beating Carleton first round of the playoffs last year, that feels pretty good,” Jacome said.
Like many athletes, Jacome has faced many challenges and adversities in his hockey career to get him to the player he is today.
“Well, I’ve always been labeled as a smaller guy, so, I’ve had to battle through that. You’re not always given the opportunities that many other players are given, so I’ve had to work and work extra hard to prove that I belong,” Jacome said.
“And I think I’ve done that for the most part over my career, but it’s something that I’m always going to have to keep doing as long as I keep playing hockey,” he added.
Due to these challenges, Jacome has also grown on and off the ice as a player and as a person.
“Brendan has always been a smart player. I think for him, it’s just a matter of confidence. When he’s confident, he’s a very good player,” Jack said.
“He’s always been a very good skater. As far as him as a person, he’s probably the best role model I could ever ask for. I think he’s as close to a perfect human as you could meet,” he added.
And to help him with his sportsmanlike play, the sport of hockey has taught Jacome so much valuable lessons.
“If you work really hard at something, and you have a goal set out, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to achieve it, and I think that’s very valuable and that can carry over to real world work situations as well,” Jacome said.
And as an athlete, Jacome takes pride in the fact that he’s a hard worker and that he has a good work ethic.
“The one thing you can really control, is your work ethic. You can’t control whether you’re going to score three goals, but you can work really hard and create chances for yourself, and if you’re working really hard, you’re probably going to be able to put some points on the board as well,” Jacome said.
In his finance degree at the U of O Telfer School of Management, Jacome has one year left in his degree, and in regards to the future, he will “probably end up trying to go pro for a little bit and see where it takes me.”
And in regards to the future on the Gee-Gees having the best regular season record in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), this year, the team is brewing with potential in the years to come.
“Well, I think that’s a really good start. And I think that it’s going to do a lot in helping bring in new recruits. And I’m happy for the team too, it’s amazing what we’ve accomplished this year, but I think we all know that we need to take the next step next year and win the league,” Jacome said.
And in regards to Jacome’s own development on the team, Domingue believes he is an essential member of the Gee-Gees.
“Throughout the three years so far, he’s shown how, as a leader, he can be on the ice because he’s always ready to play any type of situation,” Domingue said.
“And by leading as a player who doesn’t take penalties, it shows how he’s really mature on the ice and he knows how to play hard but clean at the same time, so, he’s a big piece on our team, that’s for sure,” he added.