Men’s hockey hangs on

Gaels split weekend games, still have a shot at playoffs

The men’s hockey team split their weekend away in Toronto with a convincing 7-2 victory over Ryerson on Friday before falling 3-0 at the University of Toronto the following night. The two points earned on Friday puts Queen’s one point ahead of archrival Royal Military College. There are four
teams who remain in contention for the final three playoff spots in the East Division.

On Friday, the Gaels erased an early 2-0 deficit with seven unanswered goals, including four in the second period. Pat Doyle led the way offensively with two goals, and Billy Burke posted one goal and two assists. The Rams outshot Queen’s 37-29, but Ryan Gibb was solid in earning the victory.

The game featured plenty of physical play, with the teams combining for 91 penalty minutes including several misconducts. Head coach Brett Gibson said the penalties played a large role in the outcome of the game. “They took some bad penalties and we were able to capitalize on the power play.”

Recognizing that one of the keys to the Gaels’ success is Gibb’s play, the Rams appeared to crash the Queen’s goal with reckless abandon.

“They started running Ryan and tried to get in [his] head. I told the guys not to be aggressors but
to stick up for themselves. Games like that bring teams together,” Gibson said. Gibb said he was unfazed by the extra attention.

“We were winning the game, so it stayed in the back of my mind for awhile,” he said. As the first team to defeat U of T in Toronto this year, Queen’s looked to continue success against the Varsity Blues. But U of T did not underestimate the Gaels again, posting a strong 3-0 victory despite running into penalty trouble in the second period.

Gibson said his team’s power play left much to be desired.

“The power play let us down. We didn’t have a sense of urgency.” Gibson hinted at mixing up the line for the team’s upcoming games. “It’s not a right to play on the power play and some of the guys seem to think it is. I’ll be paying close attention to who wants to be out there this weekend,” he said. The Varsity Blues had played an overtime game with RMC the previous evening, and Gibb said that likely didn’t help the Gaels’ cause.

“They were definitely more prepared for us Saturday evening,” Gibb said. “Our penalty kill [during
the last meeting] was remarkable, and Saturday night it wasn’t as good.” The men will play at home this weekend against McGill and the University of Ottawa. A win over the Gee Gees can vault the Gaels ahead of them in the standings, potentially earning them home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Gibb said the upcoming game against McGill will be a highlight of the regular season. At their last meeting, the Redmen beat the Gaels 6-3 in Montreal. “We have a score to settle with McGill, so everyone will be up for that one,” he said.

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