Weekend split in home stand

OT win, two-goal loss hands Queen’s split weekendd

Eric Ming’s double overtime goal pushed the Gaels past the Guelph Gryphons in the “Puck Cancer for Carley” game Friday night.
Eric Ming’s double overtime goal pushed the Gaels past the Guelph Gryphons in the “Puck Cancer for Carley” game Friday night.
The Gaels 2.4 goals against per game is the lowest among the OUA East’s nine teams.
The Gaels 2.4 goals against per game is the lowest among the OUA East’s nine teams.

An inspired overtime performance gained men’s hockey one win this weekend, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum in their second game.

Men’s hockey (3-2-0) split a pair of home games against OUA West opponents, gutting out a 3-2 overtime victory over the Guelph Gryphons on Friday night and falling 3-1 on Saturday to the Western Mustangs.

The game against Guelph (3-3-2) was a back and forth battle that saw the lead change hands three times.

The game also tied into the “Puck Cancer for Carley” fundraiser run by members of the men’s hockey team. While exact attendance figures weren’t immediately available, the event appeared to bring out one of the largest Queen’s hockey crowds in recent seasons.

“That many people coming to this game, they’re going to think university hockey is a great value,” said Gaels head coach Brett Gibson. “It was a great hockey game.”

First-year forward Eric Ming netted the game winner in double overtime against Guelph, marking his second game-winning goal of the season.

Friday was the Gaels’ first experience with the OUA’s new overtime rules. If a game remains scoreless after one extra five-minute session, teams drop from four players aside to three for another five-minute period, rather than going straight to a shootout.

Ming’s goal came off a rush just 58 seconds into the three-on-three period, taking some stress off of Gibson.

“It’s hard, man,” Gibson said. “It’s stressful. I like the four-on-four but when you get to three-on-three, it’s tough. We ran a set play there [on the winning goal] … You’ve got to go for the two points.”

First-year players and former Kingston Frontenacs teammates Warren Steele and Darcy Greenaway both scored their first OUA goals against Guelph on the way to the win.

Gibson was pleased with his team’s compete level after Friday night’s game, and said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing a tough Western team on Saturday.

“They’re starting to buy in,” Gibson said about the Gaels. “It’s going to be a really good hockey game between two really good hockey teams.”

However, his tone changed after the 3-1 loss to the Mustangs (4-2-0).

“[Western] wanted it more. I’m disappointed in our effort tonight,” Gibson said. “We had a lot of shots but they were all from the exterior. No one was willing to pay the price like they were last night. It’s like we were satisfied with the two points last night, and didn’t want to show up tonight.”

After falling behind 2-1, the Gaels’ best chance to equalize came on a five-on-three power play that lasted for over 90 seconds. Queen’s couldn’t capitalize, much to Gibson’s chagrin. “We played that five-on-three like we were up 5-1,” he said. “[It] absolutely killed our momentum.”

Western scored an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the deal. Spencer Abraham scored the lone goal for the Gaels.

Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie started in net both games, stopping 69 of the 73 shots he faced over the weekend.

Queen’s now has a two-game road trip to Quebec over the Halloween weekend, where they’ll face two divisional opponents in the Concordia Stingers (3-5-0) and UQTR Patriotes (5-1-0).

“We just have to come and work,” Gibson said. “Skill’s not going to win. When we want to play, we’re a very hard team to beat, but when we don’t, it’s going to be really easy to lose.”

OUA East Men’s Hockey Standings

1. UQTR (5-1-0) – 10 pts

T-2. Carleton (4-2-0) – 8 pts

T-2. McGill (4-2-0) – 8 pts

4. Laurentian (4-3-0) – 8 pts

T-5. Nipissing (3-3-1) – 7 pts

T-5. UOIT (3-3-1) – 7 pts

7. Queen’s (3-2-0) – 6 pts

8. Concordia (3-5-0) – 6 pts

9. RMC (0-6-0) – 0 pts

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