Men’s hockey perform the splits again

Queen’s falls to Carleton on Friday night, but recovers to beat the University of Toronto on Saturday

Queen’s defenceman Mike Bushby drives University of Toronto Varsity Blues’ forward Robert Kay into the boards Saturday night at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels won 4-1.
Queen’s defenceman Mike Bushby drives University of Toronto Varsity Blues’ forward Robert Kay into the boards Saturday night at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels won 4-1.
Credit: 
Photo by Rob Campbell

The men’s hockey team split yet another two decisions this past weekend, losing 5-2 to the Carleton Ravens on Friday night but beating the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 4-1 on Saturday night.

Friday’s game against the Ravens started strongly for the Gaels. They forechecked with intensity and gave Carleton very little time on the puck, taking the body hard and forcing bad turnovers and panicky defence from the visitors. But midway through the first period a goaltender mistake allowed Carleton’s Tony Manitta to walk out in front of the goal and bury the puck to make it 1-0 for the away side. Another Ravens goal in the second, this time on the powerplay, gave the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead going into the third period. While the Gaels managed to pull ever closer with goals from Clinton McCullough and Billy Burke, they couldn’t grasp that elusive tying goal. Carleton ended the proceedings with three powerplay goals and a three-goal margin of victory.

Captain Jon Lawrance said that, while the team put forth the effort necessary to win, they just couldn’t get rolling and spent too long with only four men on the ice, a part of their game he feels they must improve.

“The effort was there; we played out best game of the year effortwise but we gave up way too many powerplay goals,” he said. “We got the short end of the stick penalty-wise, but we were doing ourselves no favours on the penalty kill.”

Lawrance said that to exert so much effort for no reward was demoralizing for the team as they kept pushing for goals against the staunch Carleton defence.

“When we’re going as hard as we were and they’re getting nothing going, then they score, it takes the wind out of your sails,” he said. “The way it went, every time we got going, they scored. A lot of them weren’t mistakes; we just got a lot of bad breaks.”

Against Toronto the next night, it was a different game. At first the game was less physical than the Carleton game as both teams chose to be more cautious, but soon it took on the air of a playoff game as the players started to go after one another. The Gaels efforts to paid off against the Varsity Blues, with goals coming from Billy Burke, David Chubb, Jon Lawrance and Scott Kenway. In addition to the offensive flair, Queen’s penalty kill was much stronge, as seen by a minute long 5-on-3 kill.

Head coach Brett Gibson said he hoped strong play against the Varsity Blues would breed more intense competition with them given their past.

“Great win,” he said. “That’s the team that had won the division title seven years in a row. We took it last year and want to keep it for a while. … That’s a playoff game, there. They wanted it as much as we did. That’s a rivalry I want to start. I don’t want rivalries with teams that aren’t good. I want rivalries with great teams.”

Gibson said the Gaels’ dislike of the Varsity Blues was one of the major reasons for the difference in the styles of play between Friday and Saturday night.

“It was a completely different game,” he said. “[Friday] night, it was more open because it wasn’t as intense a game. [Saturday], if you made a mistake it might lose you the game. Both teams were cautious.”

As for improvements, Gibson said he wanted the splits to end.

“We need to be more consistent,” he said. “We’re splitting every weekend. I’d like to get on a streak and improve on those lulls that are costing us points.”

You’ve got to pump it up

The AMS’s Gael Force group will be holding a free pep rally Thursday night at Bartlett Gym to raise support for the football team in advance of Saturday’s OUA semifinal against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. The rally willl feature Queen’s players and coaches, as well as the Queen’s Bands, the competitive cheerleaders and the Dance Pak. It starts at 8 p.m.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.