The Gaels’ bench sat in stunned silence as the RMC Paladins mobbed at centre ice.
Paladins forward Scott McDonald ripped the overtime winner past Gaels netminder David Aime to give his team a 2-1 victory Wednesday night. It was Queen’s first loss to RMC since 2009.
“It’s been no secret all year we’ve struggled to score goals,” assistant coach Tony Cimellaro said. “To score goals you’ve got to get to the net, put pucks on net and you’ve got to make the goalie make saves.
“You’ve got to get to those dirty areas and we don’t have enough players that get [there].”
For the second time in three games, the Gaels ran into a hot goaltender. RMC’s Paul Dorsey stopped 35 shots and made numerous highlight reel saves.
Forward Kelly Jackson scored the Gaels’ lone goal on a second-period power play. His line — with Braeden Corbeth and Tyler Moore — looked dangerous, but their shots were ineffective.
“I think since Christmas [Jackson’s] done a decent job [practicing hard] and has scored a couple goals for us,” Cimellaro said.
Queen’s created chances through odd-man rushes, cycle play and neutral-zone turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize.
The upset boosts intrigue for next Thursday’s Carr-Harris Cup at the K-Rock Centre. The Gaels will be out for redemption against their cross-town foes in the oldest rivalry in hockey history.
Crucial games against the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Nipissing Lakers this weekend will likely determine if Queen’s can capture a top-four playoff seed.
“I think the next four games will dictate [the season’s outcome],” Cimellaro said. “If we can win all four games that puts us right back in the pack.”
“If we don’t, then we are going to be a seventh or eighth seed.”
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