Meltdown in Montreal

Ovens scores lone goal for men’s hockey in 10-1 loss Friday night at McGill University

McGill forward Leonard Verrilli breaks in on Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison Friday in Montreal. The Gaels lost 10-1.
McGill forward Leonard Verrilli breaks in on Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison Friday in Montreal. The Gaels lost 10-1.
Supplied by Steve Campbell/McGill Tribune

The men’s hockey team was left searching for answers Friday night in Montreal after their third straight loss, a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the McGill Redmen.

The injury-depleted Gaels are now tied for first in the OUA’s Mid-East Division with five games remaining in the regular season.

Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson said after the loss the team has nowhere to go but up.

“We’ve hit rock bottom,” he said. “We have to do a lot of soul-searching and find out where we want to go as a team.”

The Redmen received two goals and five points from centre Benoit Arsenault and Guillaume Doucet scored the game’s first two goals, nine seconds apart.

David Urquhart, Eric L’Italien, Sam Bloom and Simon Courcelles also tallied for the Redmen, who went 4-for-7 on the power play.

Goaltender Brady Morrison took the loss for the Gaels, moving his record to 2-8. Morrison was chased after three McGill goals, with Ryan Gibb allowing four before Morrison was re-inserted to finish the game. McGill outshot Queen’s 38-16.

Gibson said all facets of the Queen’s game need to improve, and goaltending is no exception.

“I wasn’t happy with a lot of the goals,” he said. “The power play goals you couldn’t blame them, but unfortunately a good game for them isn’t good enough. They need to be great.”

Captain Jeff Ovens scored the Gaels’ lone goal.

Injuries seem to be taking their toll on the Gaels. Defenceman Pat McDonough has missed five games, forward Clinton McCullough will miss the rest of the year with a separated shoulder, and Pat Doyle is day-to-day with an unspecified injury.

“We can’t use [injuries] as a crutch,” Gibson said. “Guys have to step up and play different roles that they haven’t played this year.”

The game was the Gaels’ second-straight penalty-filled affair, with the Gaels amassing 23 minutes in penalties, including a tripping major and game misconduct to defenceman Mike Bushby.

Ovens said the Gaels need to learn to channel their emotions.

“There’s a difference between playing with emotion and playing a smart game,” he said. “You can play smart and with emotion, it’s just knowing when to use that emotion. After the whistle is not a good time.”

Bushby received a two-game suspension along with his tripping penalty, which resulted in McGill’s Sam Bloom being carried off the ice on a stretcher with a concussion.

Although the OUA’s game report termed the play a “slew-foot,” Gibson said it was clearly accidental and he has filed a complaint with the league convenor.

“You feel awful for the kid getting hurt. I think it was just a hard hockey play. It was an unfortunate play where both went for the puck and they got tangled up in the boards,” he said.

The Gaels travel to the Royal Military College tomorrow in a rematch of their 3-2 shootout loss to the Paladins last week.

Ovens said he expects a different Gaels team to show up Wednesday than the one that played in Montreal.

“A game like that can either make a season or break a season depending on how we respond,” he said. “We can go out and play hard … or everyone can pout and feel sorry for themselves.”

Gibson said the team is still in a good position to resume their early-season success.

“We’ve done a good thing so far, and to let it slip away in the final quarter of our season would be devastating.”

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