Veteran spark

Captain propels Gaels to overtime win

The men’s hockey team has gone to overtime in six of their 11 games this season.
The men’s hockey team has gone to overtime in six of their 11 games this season.

Men’s hockey played a pair of overtime games this weekend, leading to mixed results.

The Gaels beat the Guelph Gryphons 4-3 on Friday before falling to the Western Mustangs 2-1 on Saturday. Queen’s has earned points in all 11 of its games this season, giving the team a 6-0-5 record, good enough for 17 points and a tie with McGill for first place in the East Division. Head coach Brett Gibson was pleased with his team’s efforts in the two games.

“We were able to hold our own,” he said. “I think we actually played a better game than Western, but weren’t able to pull it out.”

Captain Corey Bureau scored the overtime winner on Friday, much to the delight of Gibson. Bureau led the Gaels in goals last year with nine, but the goal against Guelph was just his second of the season.

“Corey played really well this weekend. I’m happy for him to score the OT winner after getting off to a bit of a rough start offensively this year,” Gibson said. Defenceman Patrick McEachen and forwards Harrison Hendrix and Tyler Moore also added goals for the Gaels against Guelph. Meanwhile, Kelly Jackson was the Gaels’ lone goal-scorer against the Mustangs, tallying a shorthanded marker late in the second period.

Gibson wasn’t surprised by Jackson’s team-leading fifth goal of the season.

“[He’s] been our most consistent performer all year,” Gibson said.

Matt Clarke scored the winner for Western, putting the puck past Gaels netminder Kevin Bailie with only 18 seconds left in the extra frame.

Bailie played well in net for the Gaels in both games over the weekend, stopping 25 shots on both nights.

In front of Bailie, a trio of Queen’s defenders were key to shutting down the opposition in Gibson’s mind.

“[Chris] Van Laren, [Patrick] Downe, and [Stephane] Chabot all played well on defence for us over the weekend,” he said. “To only give up four goals in regulation over two games says a lot about their play.”

The Gaels are aiming to continuously build on their success. Still, they remain wary of the dangers that can come around playoff time, having been swept in the first round of the playoffs the past three years.

Gibson believes that it’s an asset that most of the Gaels’ games have gone into overtime. “Every game we’re looking at getting better,” he said. “We don’t want to make the playoffs and get bounced out in two or three games. We’re used to playing longer games and that’ll be useful once the games start to really count.”

The Gaels have two home games scheduled against the OUA West-leading Windsor Lancers this weekend.

Gibson emphasized the importance of proper preparation for the set of games.

“Playing them twice in one weekend, we’re preparing like it’s a football game,” he said.“We’ll be watching a lot of film so there’s no surprises about what they’ll be doing.”

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