Skid stopped against Stingers

Dominant first period gets Gaels past Concordia

They suffered a tight defeat on Friday, but men’s hockey rallied the next day to claim a shutout victory.

Queen’s suffered a tough 2-1 road loss on Friday to their nemesis, the McGill Redmen, pushing their losing streak to a season-long three games. The Gaels were able to salvage redemption Saturday afternoon with a dominant 4-0 victory over the Concordia Stingers.

Head coach Brett Gibson didn’t think the three-game slide was cause for concern.

“There were three losses in a row but they were nationally-ranked teams,” he said. “Unfortunately, we came out on the losing end.”

After a Redmen goal early in the first period on Friday, there was a long scoreless stretch before forward Tyler Moore tied up the game for the Gaels with just under six minutes to play in the third. The Gaels’ euphoria was short-lived as McGill’s Mathieu Pompei responded just 27 seconds later with the game-winner.

“We were right there,” Gibson said. “We had a bit of a rough first period but [Gaels goaltender] Kevin Bailie was the difference, he made some key saves. We came on strong in the second and third period.

“Ultimately a mistake cost us, but overall we looked good.”

The loss was the second in as many games to McGill for the Gaels, following a 4-3 home loss the previous Saturday where a comeback attempt fell just short.

Queen’s then stormed into Concordia’s barn with purpose on Saturday, putting four goals past the Stingers on just 10 shots in the first period.

“I told the guys [after the first] we already had enough goals,” Gibson said. “We just had to play disciplined hockey to set up a long, drawn-out game where we sustained pressure throughout.”

Queen’s did just this, riding its early wave of momentum to victory and held Concordia scoreless the rest of the game.

Patrick McGillis continued his hot streak, putting in two goals in Saturday’s victory, giving the second-year forward five points in six games to start off 2014. Captain Corey Bureau and forward Joey Derochie added the Gaels’ other goals.

Gibson believes his team played well enough to come out of the weekend with two wins.

“There’s not many weekends where you score five goals and give up two and end up with a split,” he said, “but that’s how it happened.”

Queen’s season is officially in the final quarter now, with just seven of 28 regular season games left to play. Gibson kept it simple with his goals for the final set of games, telling them to “just get better.”

The Gaels play their cross-town rivals RMC tonight, before heading to Ottawa on Friday in an attempt to avenge a 4-1 loss against the Carleton Ravens earlier in the season.

Despite RMC’s 1-17-3 record heading into tonight’s matchup, Gibson knows it will do his team no good to write off the game.

“We can’t overlook them,” he said. “It’s a must-win game and a huge two points for us. They’re our biggest rival. I think if we play our systems and stick to the game plan, we’ll come out on top.”

OUA East Standings

1. McGill [16-5-1] – 33 pts
2. UQTR [16-4-0] – 32 pts
3. Queen’s [13-3-5] – 31 pts
4. Carleton [14-5-1] – 29 pts
5. Ottawa [13-8-1] – 27 pts
6. Concordia [6-10-3] – 15 pts
7. UOIT [6-12-3] – 15 pts
8. Nipissing [5-14-1] – 11 pts
9. Laurentian [5-16-0] – 10 pts
10. RMC [1-17-3] – 5 pts

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.