Gaels boast clean record following first set of games

Men’s hockey upsets McGill in overtime on the road, sweeps RMC at home

Duncan Campbell scored the game-winner against McGill.
Duncan Campbell scored the game-winner against McGill.
Photo: 

The Gaels kicked off their regular season with two wins on Saturday and Wednesday, defeating the defending OUA champion, the McGill Redmen, 2-1 in overtime on the road and the RMC Paladins 4-0 at home. 

Against McGill, Queen’s went into the game with hopes of keeping it a close contest.

“Anytime you go into Montreal you know it’s going to be a tough game,” Gaels captain Spencer Abraham told The Journal in an interview.

It was a difficult start for the Gaels. McGill got on the board right away, scoring an early goal two minutes into play past Queen’s rookie goaltender Justin Fazio. 

However, Fazio would shut out the Redmen for the rest of the night, making 32 saves in his OUA debut. 

The Gaels knew what they had to do after the first goal. Abraham said the moments after were more important in bringing them back into the game. “We know it’s a game of momentum,” he said. “Whether you score the first goal or give up the first goal, that next shift after is really important.”

Going scoreless into the second period, the Gaels found their stride with four power play opportunities against the Redmen—one of which allowed Queen’s defenceman Nevin Guy to sling a wrist shot into the back of the net to put his team on the scoreboard.  

A scoreless third period pushed the two teams into three-on-three overtime. 

Following a big save from Fazio with only two minutes left in the overtime period, Queen’s defenceman Graeme Brown carried the puck to the Redmen’s zone and took a shot that was pushed aside by the McGill goaltender. Forward Duncan Campbell scooped up the rebound and put it into the net to complete the Gaels’ upset.

“[This win’s] just confidence going forward that we can hold our own against anyone in this league, and I think with a short season that’s really important because every game matters,” Abraham said. 

Head Coach Brett Gibson said it was a crucial win for his young team, which has 17 first and second years making up their 29-man squad.

“[This game] sets the tone for the season,” Gibson said. “Our new kids need to know what it’s like to play against the best and McGill is the best until you knock them off the playoffs. They’re the best in the league right now.” 

With a win under their belts, the Gaels returned to the Memorial Centre to take on the RMC Paladins for the second time this season. In an exhibition matchup just weeks before, Queen’s defeated the Paladins 6-0.

The Gaels began the game with first-year goaltender Jack Flinn in net for his debut.

In the thick of a foggy Memorial Centre, both teams picked up their momentum with aggressive hockey in the second period.  

The Gaels buried two goals in the period, with an early goal by forward Caleb Warren and another less than five minutes later by defenceman Patrick Sanvido. 

Aside from goals, high sticks on the Gaels’ end sidelined two Paladins with injuries and resulted in a brawl. 

Queen’s finished the game with a 4-0 win, but not without another brawl in the closing minutes, drawing five cumulative penalties for roughing—three penalties going to the Gaels, two to the Paladins. 


                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Matt Scace

Despite the Gaels’ big win over RMC, Abraham was pleased with the way they stifled the Paladins on both ends of the ice.

“You can’t take anyone for granted in this league regardless of their record and history,” Abraham said. “They’re a tough team.”

The Gaels move into the weekend with a 2-0-0 record and are scheduled to take on the UOIT Ridgebacks in Oshawa on Friday night.

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.