The men’s hockey team returned to Kingston after travelling to southwestern Ontario with two games decided by a goal each. After surviving a wild third period against the Guelph Gryphons to win 4-3, Queen’s fell in overtime to the Brock Badgers by a score of 2-1.
Head coach Brett Gibson said he was impressed by the results posted by his players this weekend, but not by their play.
“Any time you go to western Ontario and come out with three points, you get happy with the results,” he said. “But we didn’t play our best hockey. We have yet to play 60 minutes of hockey this year, so it’s frustrating from a coach’s standpoint, but I’m happy with the result.”
In Guelph, the Gaels had commanding first and second periods, with goals from Pat Doyle and Jarrod Thompson and a pair from David Chubb. But going into the third up 4-1, they allowed 19 shots and two goals in the final eriod as Guelph gave the Gaels a run for their money. Although they hung on for the 4-3 win, Gibson said he wasn’t happy with his team.
“I was frustrated,” he said. “We played two great periods. We were up 4-1 because we stuck to our game plan. In the third we let our guard down; in this league you can’t do that. Guelph took it to us in the third.”
In the game against Brock, captain Jon Lawrance was given a game misconduct 13 seconds into the game for checking from behind. The Gaels rallied, their first goal coming courtesy of Blake Pronk on the powerplay, but gave up the winning goal less than a minute into the overtime frame.
Gibson said the loss of Lawrance was a tough pill to swallow as his team had to rework itself and new leaders had to step into his place.
“Losing Jon Lawrance 13 seconds into a game affects everything,” he said. “It affected our rotation, this is a guy who plays over 20 minutes a game for me. I thought it gave guys like Blake Pronk a chance to step up. … But losing your captain always hurts.”
As for improvements, Gibson said the Gaels need to maintain a high level of effort going into this weekend’s home games against the Carleton Ravens and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
“We need to play more consistent,” he said. “We’re playing two first-place teams and two teams we hope to be ahead of at the end of the season. We’re playing on home ice so we need to come out with a win. When you’re playing against teams who you’ll be fighting for playoff spots and divisional titles, you need the early wins.”
Gaels’ goaltender Brady Morrison, who stopped 31 shots against Guelph and 25 against Brock, said the team should be pleased with its performance this weekend.
“We did pretty well,” he said. “Three out of four points on the road, especially against the decent teams we played. I think we should be happy with the way we played.”
Morrison said the team needs to learn to maintain intensity from start to finish.
“We have a pretty young team so it’s all about learning. Learning how to solidify wins, stuff like that. Games like that are a learning process and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”
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