Fourth loss in last six games

Gaels not fazed after falling to Carleton

Captain Corey Bureau scored a goal in the Gaels’ 3-2 loss to Carleton on Friday.
Captain Corey Bureau scored a goal in the Gaels’ 3-2 loss to Carleton on Friday.

Looking strictly at the box scores, it appears men’s hockey has gone through a January rough patch.

The Gaels have won just two of their past six outings, with their latest defeat coming at the hands of the Carleton Ravens in a 3-2 road loss on Friday night. To make matters worse, Queen’s has since fallen from first place to fourth in the OUA East division, as they’re now ranked behind McGill, UQTR and Carleton.

Team captain Corey Bureau, however, believes he and his teammates can still contend for home-ice advantage in the playoffs, after starting 12-0-5 this year.

“There isn’t any problems with our systems,” Bureau said. “It’s just a matter of executing and paying attention to detail, and getting that one goal can be the difference in these games.”

Bureau, who scored the game’s opening goal on Friday, emphasized the importance of looking at the quality of opponents they’ve lost to in the brief skid they’ve experienced.

All four losses came to teams ranked top 10 in the country, and three of four came by just one goal.

“Eventually though, we’re going to have to start winning and stop being satisfied with just being close,” Bureau said.

After Bureau’s goal on Friday, the Ravens scored a pair of power play goals to go up 2-1, before Gaels forward Joey Derochie tied things up with his third of the season.

Carleton’s Joey West then put his team up for good late in the second period, scoring the game winner.

Gaels head coach Brett Gibson said he’s content with the way his team has been playing of late and believes they’re still among the OUA’s elite.

“I don’t think we’re on any bit of a slide,” Gibson said. “We’ve given up just five goals in our past four games.”

Much of that has to do with first-year goaltender Kevin Bailie, who was solid as usual for the Gaels, making 22 saves on 25 shots.

The Gaels outshot Carleton 26-25, but were stymied by the impressive performance of Ravens netminder Francis Dupuis.

The Gaels get back in action this Friday night in Montreal against the Concordia Stingers and at home against the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday. The Gaels registered 4-0 and 6-4 wins against those teams earlier this season.

Playing familiar opponents will be key for restoring confidence, Gibson said.

“We’ve beat Concordia recently,” he said. “But it’s been a while since we’ve played Nipissing. Over the rest of the season, we’re looking to accumulate as many points as we can and go into the playoffs strong.”

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