The 29th edition of the Carr-Harris Cup looked like a mismatch heading in, and the result didn’t disappoint.
Thursday night’s rivalry game at the K-Rock Centre proved to be a blowout, with men’s hockey earning an important 5-1 victory over the rival RMC Paladins (0-21-3).
Heading into the final weekend of the season, the importance of victory shouldn’t be understated. Queen’s (12-12-1) can finish anywhere from fourth to sixth in the OUA East standings.
Though the fanfare of the annual contest between the two Kingston universities may cause some nerves, it didn’t disrupt Queen’s performance.
“We were confident we could win this game — we just wanted to execute,” said winger Brett Foy. “It’s good to get the Carr-Harris under our belt.”
Foy started the scoring 6:21 into the first period, before defencemen Spencer Abraham made it 2-0 just over five minutes later.
Before the period ended, RMC forward Jake Bullen made it 2-1. While the score was close after the frame, the Gaels held a 17-9 advantage in shots.
Having earned just three points through overtime losses, RMC sits in the OUA East’s basement, and showed it with many ill-advised plays leading to a bevy of scoring chances in Queen’s favour.
Gaels winger Eric Ming scored the lone goal of the second period, as Queen’s pushed the shot total to 28-15 in a game resembled the end result.
Foy expanded the lead in the third by tipping in his second tally of the night. Forward Darcy Greenaway then added his team-leading 16th goal of the season with just over five minutes left to wrap up the contest.
Though Foy was slotted in the pregame lineup card as a fourth-line player, he had a strong night, contributing offensively as well as making several solid defensive plays.
“When the coach puts you out there you want to do your best,” Foy said. “The players on this team don’t worry about line combinations.”
Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson and his team know all too well that strange things can happen in OUA hockey, and they weren’t preparing to take this game lightly. Last year’s version of the game resulted in a 2-1 victory for RMC — one of just three victories for the program last year — despite the Paladins being outshot 53-24.
Thankfully for the Gaels, this wasn’t a repeat of last year’s disappointment. RMC goaltender Evan Deviller, who played the hero role in last year’s Carr-Harris, made 40 saves in a losing effort.
“If their goalie doesn’t make a lot of those saves, it could have been a lot worse than it was,” Gibson said. “Credit to our guys — they got the ugly goals and they got the win.” Amid many direct chants from the RMC fans in an attempt to get him off his game, Gaels netminder Kevin Bailie made 20 saves in the win. RMC’s student body made up the majority of the 3,295 fans in attendance, a record for Carr-Harris cup games.
Queen’s finishes their regular season this Saturday while hosting the UQTR Patriotes (18-4-2), who they lost to 5-3 on Oct. 31.
“We’ve got a big game on Saturday night — we want to avoid that sixth slot,” Gibson said about the contest against the CIS’ eighth-ranked team. “They’re one of the top teams in the country, but we’re going in to win that hockey game.”
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