Kelly Jackson would have led the Gaels to victory over the Nipissing Lakers — but his shootout attempt was ruled a miss by referee Ron Stakes.
The Gaels couldn’t recover from the 4-3 loss to the Lakers on Friday and fell 3-0 to the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Memorial Centre on Saturday.
Head coach Brett Gibson declined interviews after the game against the Lakers on Friday night. The next day, he told the Journal that he approached the referee after the game to contest the call.
Gibson said Jackson’s shot went through the net’s mesh and hit the boards.
“I showed the referee [the video] after the game,” he said. “He just made a mistake, and that’s human error.”
According to the OUA’s Referee-in-Chief Bryan Lewis, protocol was followed during Friday’s shootout and no footage has been submitted to the league to suggest the decision on the ice was inconclusive.
After Jackson’s goal was disallowed, Lakers forward Brogan Bailey scored the game-winner.
Despite the controversial call, Gibson said his team should have maintained their 3-2 lead late in the third period.
In the final minute of regulation play, forward David Chubb coughed up the puck on a clearing attempt and Lakers forward Dorian Peca scored seconds later to send the game into overtime.
“We played a great game and a perfect third period,” Gibson said. “But a mental lapse by a player cost us the game.”
Saturday’s loss to the Varsity Blues was only the third time all season the Gaels have been held scoreless. Gibson said his team was outplayed in every aspect of the game.
“There was zero effort,” he said. “We never showed up from the minute that game started.”
Goaltender Riley Whitlock made 24 saves against the Varsity Blues.
The Gaels were visibly frustrated on Saturday — forward Bryant Doerrsam picked a fight with Varsity Blues forward Kevin Deagle immediately after the Varsity Blues’ third goal, earning a roughing penalty, a fighting penalty and a game misconduct.
Saturday’s game was the team’s third in four days. First year forward Tyler Moore said even though fatigue was a factor on the weekend, it won’t be a valid excuse if they miss the playoffs.
The ninth-place Gaels are two points behind the Concordia Stingers for the final playoff spot in the OUA East, but have two extra games to play. They travel to Ottawa to play the fourth-place Carleton Ravens on Tuesday.
— With files from Benjamin Deans and Jake Edmiston
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