Men’s hockey snaps losing streak

Gaels take down Paladins in shootout to get hard-earned win at Constantine Arena at RMC

Gaels’ forward Brock Ouellet (27) tries to stay on his feet Friday while shooting the puck in past RMC’s Logan Oversby as teammate Brandon Perry (17) looks on. Queen’s beat the Paladins 4-3 in a shootout.
Gaels’ forward Brock Ouellet (27) tries to stay on his feet Friday while shooting the puck in past RMC’s Logan Oversby as teammate Brandon Perry (17) looks on. Queen’s beat the Paladins 4-3 in a shootout.

The world’s oldest hockey rivalry was renewed on Friday night at Royal Military College’s Constantine Arena as the Gaels took on the Paladins in their first of three games this season. Despite their poor record and recent five-game losing skid, the Gaels pulled off a 4-3 shootout victory.

Gaels’ assistant coach Alyn McCauley said although the game didn’t go as expected, he was happy to get the win.

“We can’t be too disappointed,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly the way we drew it up going into the game but we found an avenue to get us two points at the end of the night and get us a little bit closer to a playoff spot.”

The first period got off to a difficult start for the Gaels when they took a series of penalties which left them killing a five-on-three power play for nearly two minutes. They killed the penalties, and David Chubb picked up the first goal of the game on a goalmouth scramble to give Queen’s the lead.

The period ended in a flurry as RMC tied it up with four minutes remaining in the frame. A minute and a half later Queen’s retook the lead when captain Jon Lawrance’s shot was deflected off Jarrod Thompson’s head and over the RMC goaltender, into the net. But RMC tied the game up again off another scramble in front of the net just over a minute later.

McCauley said the back and forth in the first period came from the Gaels relaxing too much after scoring.

“It’s probably fair to say that we haven’t scored enough goals to know what it feels like; one to score and two to have the lead,” he said. “It just seemed like when we got the goals the guys let out a breath and we let down and bingo, they score.

“To [RMC’s] credit they worked hard and got the equalizer right after we got the puck in the net.”

The second and third periods were largely uneventful, dominated mostly by physical play and the brilliant work of Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison and RMC goaltender Adam Briggs, who stopped 42 and 35 shots respectively. Pat Doyle notched the third Tricolour goal of the game, but it was matched by RMC’s third goal midway through the third period on a poorly defended one-timer by captain Paul Bradley to take the game to overtime.

In the shootout, Doyle and Lawrance found the net, and Morrison blanked both of RMC’s shooters to give Queen’s the win.

The 7-13-2 Gaels have six remaining regular-season games and will need a strong showing to have a chance at qualifying for the playoffs. McCauley said it’s a simple matter of getting more shots through traffic and driving for the rebounds.

“We’ve got to get the puck to the net,” he said. “I know we think about scoring goals and generating more goals, but it’s a matter of getting the puck to the crease area.”

McCauley said the Gaels don’t take enough shots.

“All the great scorers of the game take a ton of shots,” he said. “[Washington Capitals forward Alexander] Ovechkin has 30 goals and it’s no surprise he has over 300 shots. You’ve got to take a lot of shots. Some of them are great, some of them aren’t. We’ve got to get the puck to the net, get our bodies to the net, and good things will happen. It’s not a designed play but at the end of the shift the puck’s in the net.”

The Gaels travel to Ottawa tomorrow to take on the Carleton Ravens before

coming home to host the Ryerson Rams on Friday night and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday afternoon.

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