Off comes the rust

Whitlock backstops Gaels to win over Ryerson

Six different players scored in the Gaels’ 6-3 win over Ryerson on Friday.
Six different players scored in the Gaels’ 6-3 win over Ryerson on Friday.

The Queen’s Gaels shook off some rust by beating the Ryerson Rams 6-3 in their season opener on Friday night.

It took a full period before either team looked fully awake. The Rams pressed 15 shots in the first frame to the Gaels’ six, but goaltender Riley Whitlock kept the game scoreless.

Ryerson opened the scoring less than a minute into the second period with a power play goal. The Gaels answered back with two goals in three minutes and never surrendered the lead again.

Gaels head coach Brett Gibson was happy to secure the two points despite a sloppy start.

“It was an ugly win,” he said. “Our first period wasn’t good and our second period wasn’t better, but the guys dug deep.”

Six different skaters scored for the Gaels against Ryerson. Forwards Jordan Mirwaldt and Joey Derochie led the team with a goal and two assists each.

“I thought [they] were great tonight,” Gibson said. “They haven’t played together this year, but I had them together tonight and I thought they were the two best players on the ice.”

On the defensive end, Whitlock’s .936 save percentage was key on a night where the Gaels were outshot 47-33.

“We had three first-year guys playing defence tonight that were thrown to the fire and did an excellent job,” Gibson said. “[Whitlock] held us in it too, thank God.”

Queen’s new players were led by first-time captain Corey Bureau. The second-year forward echoed his coach’s feelings about the win.

“We were a little rusty out of the gate, but that’s what we expected,” Bureau said. “There were a couple problems we had to sort out — figuring out who’s [covering] who and being a little harder on pucks — but I think overall, we stuck to our game plan.”

The forwards managed without Tyler Moore, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday. Moore tallied 21 points alongside Bureau and Kelly Jackson last season — the second highest on the team.

The Gaels enter the 2012-13 season with 11 first-year players on the roster, but Derochie said he doesn’t believe this will hinder the team.

“We’ve got a young core, but they’re all solid hockey players.”

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