Redmen spoil Gaels’ home opener

Men’s hockey’s five-year winless streak against McGill continues at Memorial Centre

McGill captain Yan Turcotte winds up a slapshot while Gaels’ forwards Jeffrey Johnstone and T.J. Sutter set up to block it.
McGill captain Yan Turcotte winds up a slapshot while Gaels’ forwards Jeffrey Johnstone and T.J. Sutter set up to block it.

Two weeks ago, the men’s hockey team went to North Bay and spoiled the Lakers’ first-ever OUA home game. On Sunday afternoon, the McGill Redmen came to the Memorial Centre delivered a 5-1 beating in Queen’s home opener, which saw the Gaels sporting new red alternate jerseys, sending the team back to the drawing board.

Head coach Brett Gibson said a lack of effort left the Gaels dead on the ice.

“Our guys don’t want to compete, they want to watch [the Redmen] skate and when you give that team that much room they’re going to put it away and we did that tonight,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed with their effort. … I think we’re as good as McGill but obviously we didn’t show that today.”

The Gaels’ lone goal came from rookie forward Jordan Mirwaldt, with assists from second-year forward Scott Kenway and rookie forward Payton Liske.

Gibson said the work being put in by his young players has to be matched by the veterans in order for Queen’s to have a successful season.

“Our veterans need to step up,” he said. “Our first-year guys are doing all the work. Our recruits are really good this year and they’re going to push the vets around so I think it’s up to them to take a look in the mirror and not accept losing.”

While the Gaels will attempt to rebound this coming weekend with home games against the Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes and the Carleton Ravens, they’ll be in Montreal Oct. 30 for a rematch against the Redmen.

Gibson said he’s looking forward to the chance for his team to prove itself.

“Those are the teams you want to play,” he said. “You don’t want to play the bottom teams in the league, you want to match yourself up against the top teams in the league. I think we’ll see a total difference in the team when we go up there.”

Captain Jon Lawrance said the Gaels’ mistakes cost them the game.

“We had a few spurts where we played up to our standard and then it seemed like every time we’d get something going we’d make a mistake and they’d put it in the back of our net,” he said. “We’ve got lots of work to do but now’s the time of year to get that out of our system.”

After being largely outplayed by McGill, Lawrance said the Gaels’ winning games against top teams will come down to hard work.

“I thought we carried the play and we were able to skate and outwork them, but that’s got to be our MO this year,” he said. “We’ve got to be a hardworking team and tonight we were hit and miss with that. I think if we work hard we can play with any team in the league, and that’s good to know.”

The message from Gibson to his team is clear moving forward.

“You win some, you lose some. I can accept losing if the effort’s there. I can’t accept losing when we lose with that effort.”

The Gaels host the UQTR Patriotes on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and the Carleton Ravens on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the Memorial Centre.

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