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Newest hockey Gaels will be familiar faces to some

June 17, 2014

You don’t need six degrees of separation to link two of the Queen’s Golden Gaels newest hockey recruits to members of the current varsity team.

Take Ryan Bloom, for instance.

Bloom, one of four recruits announced Monday by the Gaels, most recently played for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He came to be with Fort McMurray when he was the player to be named in a trade that sent centre Harrison Hendrix from the Barons to the Drumheller Dragons.

Hendrix preceded Bloom to the Gaels by a year. He scored four goals in his rookie intercollegiate campaign last season.

Then there’s Eric Chevrier, a 5-10, 195-pound defenceman from Dunnville, Ont., who wound up with the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta junior league in time for their run to the 2013 RBC Cup championship on Prince Edward Island.

In the final game of that tournament, Brooks defeated the host team from Summerside, whose goaltender was another transplanted Ontarian, Kevin Bailie of Belleville.

In his first year with the Gaels last season, Bailie won the Clare Drake Award as national university rookie of the year.

Besides Chevrier and Bloom, the Gaels announced Monday that defenceman Liam Maaskant and centre Braden Mercier have committed to attend Queen’s and play hockey in the fall.

That brings to 10 the number of recruits the Gaels have confirmed for the 2014-15 season, one where Queen’s has eight graduates to replace.

Bloom, a 5-10, 175-pound right wing, played 30 games in the Western Hockey League before going to Drumheller, where he led the Dragons in scoring two years in a row. He had 27 goals and 72 points in 58 games with Fort McMurray last season.

A 6-3, 205-pound defenceman from Clinton, Ont., Maaskant spent the last three years in the Ontario Hockey League, with Erie and Barrie. He had seven goals and 18 points in 130 major junior games.

Mercier, a 6-foot, 175-pound centre from Yarmouth, N.S., had his best year as a junior with 14 goals and 36 points for the Yarmouth Mariners in 51 Maritime Hockey League games 2013-14.

All four players are bound to study arts.

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