Olsen a natural in win over RMC

Hockey forward scores three as Gaels’ losing streak ends

Queen’s goalie Ryan Gibb makes a save on RMC forward Josh Fudge on Wednesday. Gibb made 31 saves en route to a 3-2 win.
Queen’s goalie Ryan Gibb makes a save on RMC forward Josh Fudge on Wednesday. Gibb made 31 saves en route to a 3-2 win.

The men’s hockey team slipping into second place in their division clearly didn’t sit well with forward Brady Olsen.

Olsen scored a natural hat trick to lead the team to a 3-2 comeback victory at the Royal Military College Wednesday night, avenging a shootout loss to the Paladins a week earlier. The win was the Gaels’ first in five games.

The game last week featured RMC enforcer David Thebault throwing a punch at Olsen during post-game handshakes. Thebault was suspended for two games for the incident.

Olsen is now third in the CIS with 18 goals in 24 games, and said the incident had him thinking about last night’s game all week.

“It was in the back of my mind,” he said. “I actually have been really focused on this game the last couple of days. I was so irritated about losing to these guys last week. Mentally I was ready to go today.”

Jon Lawrance collected three assists for the Gaels.

The team played without captain Jeff Ovens, who’s sidelined with an upper-body injury and likely won’t play in tonight’s game in Toronto.

Ryan Gibb made 31 saves for Queen’s in maintaining his CIS-leading .935 save percentage.

Olsen’s second goal, a shorthanded effort that tied the game 2-2, is one he will undoubtedly be recounting to his grandchildren.

With less than two minutes to go in the second period, Olsen beat RMC’s Roman Srutek to the puck. Coming down the left wing, Olsen used an inside-out toe-drag to go in alone before roofing the puck on his backhand over the glove of RMC goaltender Matt Hartney.

“I’ll never forget that one because I’ve never scored a goal like that before,” Olsen said. “I’m not a big believer in that move … that time it worked.”

Head coach Brett Gibson said he was amazed at Olsen’s move.

“At any level you won’t find a nicer goal, and I’m not exaggerating one bit,” he said. “I stood on the bench and was in awe, I just couldn’t believe it. … There aren’t many kids that can do that.”

Gibson said Olsen’s leadership was the main reason the team came back.

“We started off a little slow, but [Olsen] stepped up. He was obviously the difference tonight,” he said.

Forward Pat Doyle, whom Gibson had personally suspended for two games, was placed on the top line with Olsen and Lawrance with the team down 2-0. Doyle contributed an assist along with a dominant physical presence that helped turn the tide in Queen’s favour.

Gibson said he was proud of Doyle’s play.

“He realized how important he is to us; he jumped in and he responded.”

Doyle was moved to the first line after taking a penalty behind the play, when other coaches might have shown him the bench. Doyle said Gibson’s confidence helped spur him on.

“He showed some faith in me and put me back on the ice, which is huge, especially for a young guy like me,” he said. “He gave me a second chance and I really appreciate that.”

The Gaels’ win sets up a battle for first place in the Mid-East Division with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues tonight. The Blues sit two points behind the Gaels with a game in hand.

Gibson said Wednesday’s win was a huge one.

“It just means Friday night is what we wanted it to be,” he said. “We wanted Friday night to be a first-place game.”

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