Complete performance

Young players thrive as Gaels top Toronto, then win via forfeit

Queen’s was originally slated to play Ryerson on Saturday night, but ended up claiming two points via forfeit.
Queen’s was originally slated to play Ryerson on Saturday night, but ended up claiming two points via forfeit.

Queen’s earned a hard-fought victory and the easiest two points of the season last weekend.

The Gaels defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues 3-1 last Friday in a home contest at the Memorial Centre. They were also gifted an additional victory through a forfeit by the Ryerson Rams.

Queen’s was originally scheduled to play Ryerson at home on Saturday night, but the Rams were suspended two games by their school for alcohol violations on a recent road trip. The decision handed the Gaels an automatic victory.

“It has nothing to do with us,” said Queen’s assistant coach Tony Cimellaro about the cancelled game. “Ryerson suspended their program for the week and we just happened to be one of their opponents, so it’s two points that we’ll take.”

With the regular victory and the default on the weekend, the Gaels improved their record to 5-0-4. Their 14 points puts them in second place in the OUA East, one behind the first-place McGill Redmen.

Cimellaro said the Gaels played their most complete game of the season against Toronto.

“In the second and third [periods], we were really good structurally and the guys did a really good job of buying in,” he said. “I think we beat Toronto at their game, as they’re a good structured team.”

Kevin Bailie, who was in net for the Gaels and stopped 21 of 22 shots en route to the victory, gave credit to his defencemen.

“They were awesome,” Bailie said. “I owe everything to them. We’ve been working hard with our structure all week with our coaches. The boys played big tonight.”

Paul Van De Velde opened the scoring for Toronto with a goal at 11:43 of the first period, before Gaels second-year defenceman Chris Van Laren tied it up early in the second frame.

Rookie forward Patrick McGillis then scored a pair of goals: a go-ahead tally in the second period and an empty netter late in the game to seal the deal for Queen’s.

The third period was full of action, as each team had a number of scoring chances. In the end, it was the Gaels’ strong defensive play that put them on top.

All four of the Gaels losses have come after regulation, and they’re currently winless in the extra frame.

“We definitely didn’t want it to go to overtime or a shootout again,” Bailie said. “Everyone stepped up. I don’t think we’ve had any games this year that weren’t close.”

The Gaels hit the road this weekend, with games against the Guelph Gryphons (5-5-0) and Western Mustangs (5-3-0) tonight and tomorrow. The puck drop for both games is set for 7:30 p.m.

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