Last night at the K-Rock Centre, 2,576 fans watched the men’s hockey team win its fifth straight Carr-Harris Cup 4-1 over the Royal Military College Paladins.
Both teams sported retro jerseys in front of a crowd that included bands from both schools. It was the Queen’s Bands’ second public appearance since the University lifted the suspension, imposed on Nov. 17.
Gaels captain Jon Lawrance is the only Queen’s player to have won five consecutive trophies. Last night’s game was the first Carr-Harris Cup to be held at the K-Rock Centre.
“It was a great turnout, we’ve never seen this before,” Lawrance said. “School pride is always on the line and it made for an entertaining game.”
Although a trophy was at stake, it was also a regular-season game. With the win, the Gaels move up to sixth place in the OUA East.
Lawrance said last night’s game against the last-place Paladins was a must-win.
“With three games left, for a team pushing to make the playoffs, we really needed this one,” he said.
The Cup was initiated in 1986 by the International Hockey Hall of Fame (IHHF) to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of a rivalry between the two schools that dates back to 1886. According to IHHF records, it’s the oldest hockey rivalry in the world.
Gaels forward Jordan Mirwaldt opened the scoring halfway through the second period. He celebrated by jumping into the glass in front of a roaring crowd while the Queen’s Bands played the Oil Thigh.
Forward Kelly Jackson doubled the lead with a power-play goal seven minutes later, but Paladins’ forward Matthew Pinder responded within eight seconds to make it 2-1 after two periods.
But in the third period, Jackson scored another goal and notched an assist to clinch the win. He was named Carr-Harris Cup player of the game for the second straight year. After a three-point night, Jackson leads the team with 23 points.
Head coach Brett Gibson also won his fifth straight Carr-Harris Cup last night. He said the turnout at the K-Rock Centre was by far the biggest crowd he’s seen for the game.
“The location was great,” he said. “The Memorial Centre and the Constantine Arena could never fit that many fans.”
Tonight, the Gaels visit the second-place Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes. The Patriotes beat the Gaels 10-1 when the two teams met in Kingston on Nov. 26.
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