After struggling early in the season, it seems the men’s hockey team has found their footing.
After returning home from a two-game winning streak on the road, Queen’s men’s hockey team added another win to their 4-1-1 record.
Squaring off against hometown rivals RMC on Wednesday, the Gaels relied on their goalie Kevin Bailie to overcome their opponents 1-0 in Bailie’s second shutout of the season. With a rough start to the season, head coach Brett Gibson doesn’t seem to be worried about Bailie’s less than impressive .200 goals-against-average.
“Kevin [Bailie] got off to a slow start for his standards but I knew it would happen, adjusting to a very hectic school life due to him being in 1st year Law. He is starting to find balance on and off the ice, hence is becoming the elite goalie we all know he is,” Gibson said.
The first period of action on Wednesday night was intense from the puck drop, with Bailie stopping high opportunity shots, accumulating 14 saves in those first 20 minutes.
Going into the second period, Queen’s relied on forward Slater Doggett who was able to extend his point streak to six games. Doggett used his speed to get ahead of the rush, gliding by a RMC Paladin defenseman to put a shorthanded goal in the back of the net to give the Gael’s a 1-0 lead going into the third period.
The final period of play saw lots of opportunities for the Gaels, however, nothing seemed to get past RMC’s goalie, Matthew Murphy. In the latter minutes, Murphy was pulled for an additional man, however Bailie was able to stop all 28 shots in the game, solidifying his second shutout of the season.
The high intensity and urgency displayed throughout the contest with Queen’s biggest rival, showed on the penalty sheet, as Queen’s received 22 minutes in the box, due to a coincidental penalty and a ten-minute misconduct. However, Queen’s penalty kill was up to the task, allowing no power play goals from the Paladins.
Coach Gibson and his staff addressed some depth issues in the offseason and they’re extremely excited with the results.
“We’re still finding our ways as a group, I’ve only coached for two months now this season and it takes time to learn what motivates them. I would say we are a work in progress but I like this group of players and we will only get better.”
It would seem that work-in-progress has panned out fairly well. The Gaels play again on Friday, October 28 at the Memorial Centre at 7:30 p.m., taking on the 1-2-2 Waterloo Warriors.
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