Unhappy homecoming for men’s hockey

Gaels score a combined eight goals in mini-series against Lancers, but drop both in first games at Memorial Centre since Oct. 24

Gaels forward Brock Ouellet avoids the challenge of Windsor defenceman Jeff Broderick during Friday’s 7-5 loss at the Memorial Centre.
Gaels forward Brock Ouellet avoids the challenge of Windsor defenceman Jeff Broderick during Friday’s 7-5 loss at the Memorial Centre.

After a six-game road trip, the Gaels’ efforts at home went unrewarded last weekend during a two-game set against the Windsor Lancers.

With momentum from two wins last weekend at Trois-Rivières and Royal Military College, the men’s hockey team came home to Kingston looking to improve upon their .500 record. However, the Windsor Lancers had other plans during last weekend’s doubleheader at the Memorial Centre. After a 7-5 Friday night loss, the Gaels fell again to the Lancers 6-3 during their Saturday game.

Head coach Brett Gibson, who made his displeasure over Friday’s final score obvious, said five goals should be enough to knock off their opponents.

“When you score five goals, you should win a game,” he said. “It’s a frustrating night when you score and don’t take away points.”

The Lancers came out flying on Friday, outshooting Queen’s 21-10 in the first period while scoring three goals. Forwards Joey Derochie and Brock Ouellet scored one each to end the period 3-2. Queen’s tied the game with a goal from forward Thomas Franzon, only to have Windsor score two quick goals within 14 seconds of each other. The Lancers added a power-play goal to end the period leading 6-3.

Although the game seemed to slip away from the Gaels, the team had little interest in lying down. Forwards Jeff Johnstone and Jonathon Lawrance scored in the third to cut the Windsor lead to one. However, the Lancers finished the game 7-5 with an empty-net goal.

Saturday’s game played out the same way with Queen’s falling to the Lancers’ offensive bursts.

Gibson said he was frustrated with Saturday’s outcome because the score did not reflect his team’s efforts.

“We deserved a better fate,” he said. “We played really well tonight. Their goalie made the difference. We outshot them, we outplayed them.”

Queen’s controlled the play from the outset with 31 shots on net in the first two periods alone. The Gaels put three behind Lancers’ goaltender Jim Watt, who finished Saturday’s game with 40 saves.

With a 3-2 lead going into the third, the team’s defensive play began to unravel with Windsor scoring two goals within 1:15 of each other. Four unanswered goals in the final period led to goaltender Mackenzie Ball being replaced by rookie Chris Feniak, who didn’t face a shot Windsor finished the game with an empty-net goal.

Johnstone scored two for the Gaels and Derochie scored Queen’s other goal, a power-play marker. Johnstone said the team’s working on holding the lead.

“We’re still a young team that’s learning,” he said. “We need to be able to finish the games we’re playing. We need to put teams away. We can’t let them crawl back.”

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