Scoring drought persists

Gaels’ offense sputters again in loss to first-place Carleton

A scrum ensues near the Gaels’ bench in the third period.
A scrum ensues near the Gaels’ bench in the third period.
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A couple key bounces cost a determined Gaels squad on Tuesday night.

The Carleton Ravens (14-5-2) moved into first place in the OUA East after topping Queen’s 3-1 at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels have dropped two straight games in regulation.

The Ravens capitalized on three defensive mistakes, coming away with a win despite allowing the Gaels to move the puck into the slot all game.

“If we score a couple goals in the first period on our scoring chances, this could be a different game,” head coach Brett Gibson said, “but we made three mistakes, they capitalized and that’s why they’re in first place now.”

Carleton owned a 3-0 lead before forward Jordan Soquila scored the Gaels’ lone goal on a third-period power play. The goal came one second after the first penalty expired in a Gaels 5-on-3.

“I thought Soquila tonight was going and I tried to get him on the ice as much as possible,” Gibson said.

Gaels goaltender Riley Whitlock made 39 saves and finished with a .929 save percentage in the loss. He had no hope on the second and third goals, both coming off deflections.

The Gaels could have taken the lead early had it not been for the stellar play of the opposing goaltender. Carleton’s Matthew Dopud made numerous quality saves, including stacking the pads on a breakaway against Gaels forward Steve Schmidt.

Dopud stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

“We get a lot of scoring chances in every game we’ve played, but we just haven’t been able to put the puck in the net as much as we’ve wanted,” Gaels forward Joey Derochie said.

Frustrations at the lack of offense boiled over in a third-period scrum in front of the Gaels’ bench. Gaels forward Kelly Jackson and Carleton’s Michael Folkes received offsetting double minors.

“A couple of ... cheap plays by them might have caused us to lose our cool a bit, but that’s not an excuse,” Gaels captain Corey Bureau said. “We’re still trying to win a game, but definitely a lack of goals is getting us a little frustrated.”

With only nine games remaining in the regular season, the Gaels face a key road trip this weekend. They’ll face the Nipissing Lakers and the Toronto Varsity Blues.

“The [only] way we’re going to score goals is if we stay positive and have confidence,” Bureau said. “We know we’re a great team — we’ve just got to show it.”

— With files from Peter Morrow

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