Men's hockey disappointed with loss to Lakers

Ming and Doggett lead Gaels' offense in double OT 4-3 loss

Eric Ming (12) tallied three of his six points this season against Carleton.
Eric Ming (12) tallied three of his six points this season against Carleton.

Brett Gibson is frustrated. 

It was the best word the men’s hockey coach could come up with after his squad fell 4-3 in double overtime to the visiting Nipissing Lakers on Friday night. Frustrated with the loss, but also with the Gaels’ play in the contest.

Gibson — now in his 11th season behind the bench at Queen’s — said the team lacked an identity at this point of the year, and while they might have had better puck possession, the Gaels were outworked by the Lakers in the loss.

With the exception of forwards Eric Ming and Slater Doggett, he criticized his team for not stepping up early in the year, calling it concerning from a coaching standpoint. Ming and Doggett have been the bright spots on the team, having racked up six points apiece during their first three games of regular season play.

It was Ming’s power play goal with 22 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime, allowing the Gaels to salvage a single point in standings. The team dug themselves out of a two-goal deficit to start the third period, but Gibson was dissatisfied with the team playing from behind.

“We’ve chased the game all year long,” he said. “We’ve got to make that adjustment real soon. When you’re chasing a hockey game, it makes your sticks tight, it makes everything feel stressful.”

Friday’s game saw Nipissing take an early advantage when defenceman Adam Clements’ point shot beat Gaels’ goaltender Kevin Bailie less than two minutes into the opening frame. It was part of an opening five minutes in which the action was firmly in the Gaels’ defensive end.

Before the period was through, fifth-year transfer Dylan Anderson evened the score with his first tally in a Queen’s uniform, tapping in a cross-ice pass from Francesco Vilardi. Once the second period began, the scoring belonged to the Lakers’ Jimmy McDowell, who potted a pair of goals in the frame.

Doggett scored four minutes into the third, bringing the game within one goal. After Nipissing took the game’s only penalty with just over a minute remaining, Ming capitalized on the power play, notching his fifth goal of the campaign and sending the game to overtime.

McDowell completed his hat trick, however with a breakaway goal past Bailie, giving Queen’s the overtime loss. Despite the loss, the Gaels gained one point in the OUA standings.

“That’s one positive,” Gibson said. “We salvaged the loser point, but every point’s important in the OUA.”

The teams won’t have to wait long for the rematch as the Gaels head up north this weekend, taking on the Laurentian Voyageurs Friday, before heading to North Bay the next day to take on the Lakers again. 

For the head coach, there’s a simple focus on what needs to be done to ensure a different outcome on the road.

“We’ve got to be harder to play against,” Gibson said.

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