Hockey keeps winning streaks rolling

Men beat Gee-Gees and Ravens on road, women pick up 3-1 win over Ridgebacks

The men’s hockey team faces McGill last year. Queen’s hosts the Redmen Saturday night at 8:30 at the Memorial Center.
The men’s hockey team faces McGill last year. Queen’s hosts the Redmen Saturday night at 8:30 at the Memorial Center.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

The men’s hockey team extended their winning streak to four games with two big wins in Canada’s capital last weekend.

Led by the hot goaltending tandem of Ryan Gibb and Brady Morrison, the men blanked the Ottawa Gee-Gees 2-0 on Friday night before soundly defeating the Carleton Ravens 5-1 the following night.

Friday night the Gaels were outshot 44-16—including 22-2 in the third period—but Gibb’s perfect performance stole the show. The win allowed Queen’s to exact revenge for last year’s playoff loss to the Gee-Gees.

Rookie Jon Lawrance and multi-sport athlete Billy Burke, who also plays football for Queen’s, scored the Gaels’ goals.

Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson said Gibb, last year’s OUA East Rookie of the Year, is improving.

“Ryan is on the top of his game in the two years that I’ve coached,” Gibson said.

Saturday night Morrison was solid as Blake Pronk and Clinton McCullough scored a pair of goals each, with Brady Olsen adding an early second period goal that chased Ravens starter Doug Jewer from the net.

Gibson said having two excellent goalies is a nice problem to have, but Gibb is still the team’s starter.

“It’s called good recruiting,” he said. “I have no problem putting either one of them in the net.”

Gibson said the team’s turnaround can be attributed to the performance of first-year players and veterans. He singled out Pronk, one of whose goals was shorthanded, as someone who has drastically improved from last year.

“He struggled adjusting to the league and didn’t know how good it was last year, but now he does and he’s adjusting well.”

Olsen said the team’s success can be attributed to a more loose attitude on the ice.

“I think we were underachieving. Everyone had a little too much pressure on themselves to perform especially with the athletics review,” he said. “Guys started lightening up a little bit and having more fun on the ice.”

Team captain Jeff Ovens, whose net-crashing led to Lawrance’s winning goal on Friday, said the players aren’t told which goalie will play.

“We don’t even know who’s going to be starting,” he said. “I assume they do, but we don’t even worry about it. … As a team we have confidence no matter who’s in net.”

The Gaels will face Ottawa again today in a rare Friday matinee—a 1:30 p.m. start. They will then play long-time rival McGill University,Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Both games are at the Memorial Centre and will be broadcast on CFRC 101.9 FM.

Gibson said it’s important not to look past Ottawa.

“It’s a great opportunity to move away from Ottawa in the standings,” he said. “If we win we move five points up on them. As for Saturday, it’s one of those games where the guys will have to control their emotions.”

Olsen said he’s excited to play both games at the Memorial Centre, instead of making a trip to Napanee.

“The Memorial Centre is slowly becoming home,” he said.

Meanwhile, the women’s team won their second straight game as they visited the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks and posted a 3-1 win.

The Gaels outshot the Ridgebacks 33-15.

Goaltender Melissa John, who has split time with counterpart Katie Boyd for most of the season, allowed the game’s first goal, to Ridgeback Rikki Palmateer, but was solid in the victory.

The Gaels received one goal in each period. Chantelle Johnson, Kelsey Thomson and Mary McNeill tallied for Queen’s.

The Gaels will continue their road schedule this weekend, with a game tomorrow afternoon against the Waterloo Warriors, whom they beat 4-1 two weekends ago, and a Sunday game against the Laurier Golden Hawks, to whom the Gaels lost 7-2 that same weekend.

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