Former junior players star in pair of wins

Late-game goals lead male pucksters to victory

Nine different Gaels made their way onto the scoresheet in a pair of one-goal victories last week.
Nine different Gaels made their way onto the scoresheet in a pair of one-goal victories last week.

Men’s hockey managed their first two victories over this past week in a pair of close matchups.

A 2-1 road win over UOIT on Thursday night and a 3-2 home triumph over Concordia on Saturday saw the Gaels improve their record to 2-1 after dropping their home opener to McGill on Oct. 10.

“It’s a different year, and a different team,” head coach Brett Gibson said. “The season’s had its frustrations, but two wins is a great way to end the week, for sure.”

A trio of former OHL talents led the offensive charge over the two games. Defenceman Spencer Abraham netted the winning goal against Concordia, while forward Eric Ming potted the winner against UOIT. Abraham also picked up two assists, as did Warren Steele, who recently joined the Gaels after a four-year stint with the Kingston Frontenacs.

Both Ming’s goal against UOIT and Abraham’s goal against Concordia came in the games’ final periods.

“He’s one of the more talented players we have,” Gibson said of Abraham. “He picked the right time to jump in the rush there. When he gets the puck in the slot like that, I know it’s going in.”

Abraham also contributed defensively for the Gaels, helping his team to maintain the puck in the final moments to secure a Queen’s win. He attributed his complete game to four years in the OHL.

“The offensive side’s always been there for me, but I think it’s been my defensive side that’s really developed the past couple of years,” Abraham said.

One of the more impressive shifts on the weekend came Saturday from another first-year forward, Darcy Greenaway. After laying a big hit behind the Concordia net, Greenaway won a key offensive zone faceoff.

He then crashed the net and repeatedly dug at the puck before it popped loose to Patrick McGillis, who slid the puck into a gaping net to tie the game at 2-2.

Third-year forward Taylor Clements notched a pair of assists against Concordia, while Andrew Wiebe contributed a goal against Concordia and an assist against UOIT.

Kevin Bailie was in net both nights for the Gaels, making 31 saves against UOIT and 22 saves against Concordia.

“He’s the heart of our team,” Abraham said about Bailie. “Every team needs a good goalie, and he’s one of the most consistent players in the league.”

Queen’s drew 11 penalties over the weekend, but were able to convert just once on the power play.

“We’ve been able to generate a lot of chances, but you’re not always going to get the bounces,” Abraham said. “With more practice, we’re going to start clicking on a regular basis.”

While Abraham said he knows there’s room for growth, he’s confident Queen’s season will be a successful one.

“We just need to focus on getting better every day, and we’ll be fine,” he said.

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