Entering the weekend series on the road against the Windsor Lancers, Queen’s looked to step it up and begin performing to their potential. However they knew they were up against a tough opponent and needed to fire on all cylinders if they hoped to collect some wins over the weekend.
On Friday night the Gaels stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Brian Moore fired in the team’s first goal at 10:05, followed by Brady Olsen’s marker at 14:02. It was evident from the first period that Queen’s was on a mission to make a statement.
In the second period Queen’s displayed solid defence, which has been their forte throughout the season. The Gaels were also helped by the undisciplined play of the Lancers, who racked up five penalties compared to two for Queen’s by the end of the second.
In the third, the Gaels were cruising into the final minutes, hoping to give goaltender Matt Kenney a shutout. It looked that way, as Brad Walford scored an empty netter at 17:48 to give Queen’s a 3-0 lead.
In the game’s dying minutes, the Lancers poured on the offence—they tallied 14 shots in the third. The Lancers scored a powerplay goal and quickly followed it with another. However, it was too little too late, as the horn blew and Queen’s was rewarded with a 3-2 victory.
Coach Kirk Muller said he was very happy with the effort of his team, as their hard work finally paid off.
“For the first time this season, we battled through the ups and downs, and stayed mentally tough,” Muller said. “Windsor challenged us with a physical game, and we not only responded but also came through. They had their chances against us, but [Kenney] stepped it up and proved he is a team leader.”
Players also said they were happy with the team’s performance.
“Defence was solid and without them, this game would have got out of hand,” Kenney said.
“[It was the] first time we came out in first period and played great, unlike in previous games where we weren’t at our best in the opening period,” Jeff Ovens said.
Looking ahead to the weekend’s second game, the Gaels knew they could improve upon Friday’s effort.
“We have to make sure to play and stay focused for the full 60 minutes, and not have a lapse like we did in the last couple minutes of the third,” Ovens said. “We’ve just got to keep working on going hard to the net, to create more offensive chances.”
Hoping to ride the winning momentum in Saturday’s matinee, Queen’s jumped out to an early lead thanks to a goal by forward Jamie Brock at 8:03. Windsor evened it up a few minutes later, and both teams headed to the dressing room at the end of the period with 10 shots each and a 1-1 tie.
In the second, Windsor burst out with two unanswered goals, giving the Lancers a quick 3-1 lead. However, Gaels’ offence began to come alive, marked by goals by forwards Brad Walford at 6:02 and Sam Colizza at 15:15 to tie the game at 3-3 going into the third.
Less than a minute into the third, Windsor netted a goal giving the Lancers the lead again. However, some undisciplined hockey by Windsor gave Queen’s a powerplay, and Olsen scored at 16:25 to once again make it a tie game. The offensive push continued, as Moore scored 24 seconds later to give Queen’s a 5-4 lead in the see-saw game. At 18:42, Queen’s hoped to seal it with an empty netter by Moore and a 6-4 lead with less than two minutes left. The Lancers scored with three seconds left to make it interesting, but for the second day in a row, it was a little bit too late.
Queen’s was ecstatic after the game, with the come-from-behind win serving as a confidence booster for the team.
“We battled back and the offence came alive, which was a nice change to see,” Kenney said.
“Windsor came out fighting, but what made this game good was that we kept right up with them, and didn’t let down,” Ovens added.
Again Muller was said he was impressed with the team’s play.
“It was a physical game, and our offence picked up in a time when we most need it. Our offence shouldn’t overshadow the great goaltending of Michael Studli.” The Gaels are now riding a two-game win streak, and they want to keep the strong play going into next weekend’s game.
“We have two choices: be happy with the weekend or build on it,” Muller said. “Now we know where we’re at, let’s pick up.”
The Gaels are on the road to face Waterloo next Saturday, as they hope to keep their win streak alive.
Rohit Aiyer was is thrilled to be finished his midterms and back writing for Sports.
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to email@example.com.