Top trio steps up

Gaels snag three of four points to open New Year

Last year’s top scoring trio re-emerged, helping the Gaels start 2013 with a weekend split.

Queen’s topped the RMC Paladins 3-1 before falling 3-2 in overtime to the Toronto Varsity Blues last weekend.

It marked a turn-around for forwards Tyler Moore, Kelly Jackson and team captain Corey Bureau. Moore scored three goals over the weekend, while Jackson added a goal and three assists. Bureau scored a goal and an assist against RMC.

“Practice the last week has been sharp and I felt like my game was on,” Bureau said

All three forwards struggled in the fall, each failing to break double digits in points in 15 games.

Head coach Brett Gibson said it was a promising sign to see production from his top skaters.

“The difference was their work effort was there this weekend,” he said. “You can’t just throw on a jersey and rely on past laurels to get you through things.”

Although the Gaels sit seventh in the OUA East Division with 18 points, they remain only eight points behind the first-place Carleton Ravens (12-4-2).

The division’s parity has kept the Gaels in the hunt despite a 7-7-1 record entering the holiday break. They’ve collected six out of eight points in their last four games.

“Our record really indicates where we are because we’ve been inconsistent,” Gibson said. “But over the last four games — the two before Christmas and the two after — I’ve really liked what I’ve seen.”

The Gaels will have a chance to prove their recent success hasn’t been a fluke when they host the division-leading Ravens on Tuesday night.

“The funny part about it now in the season is it’s kind of out of my hands — it’s up to the 20 guys that put on the jersey each weekend,” Gibson said. “They know my systems, they know what we need to do to win — it’s just consistency right now.”

Among their 11 games remaining is the annual Carr-Harris Challenge Cup against RMC on Jan. 31 at the K-Rock Centre. Queen’s will look to win its sixth consecutive Cup.

“[The game’s] a nice way to showcase CIS hockey,” Gibson said. “It’s unfortunate that people only come to one game a year because when they leave that game the feedback I always get is “I can’t get over how good the hockey is.”

The Gaels return to action tomorrow when they face the Ryerson Rams (6-12-0).

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