Men’s hockey earns pair of home victories

Gaels second in OUA East following back-to-back wins over UQTR Patriotes 

After scoring three goals this weekend, forward Mason Kohn now has seven on the season.
After scoring three goals this weekend, forward Mason Kohn now has seven on the season. 
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After two road trips, the men’s hockey team returned to the Memorial Centre for a pair of games against the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes this weekend, defeating them 5-2 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday.

Queen’s got on the board five minutes into the first frame on Friday, with forward Mason Kohn planting his fifth goal of the season in UQTR’s net during a powerplay setup. Ten minutes later, solid passing from the Gaels led Kohn to his sixth of the season and put the Gaels 2-0 up after the first period.

Forwards Luke Edwards, Duncan Campbell, and Slater Doggett cemented the Gaels’ lead in the third period, leaving the team with a 5-2 win. Queen’s starting goaltender Justin Fazio made 53 saves off 55 shots—the first 50-plus save performance of his U Sports career.

UQTR returned to the Memorial Centre the following evening, this time pushing the home team to work harder for their win.

Queen’s opened with defenceman Patrick Sanvido finding the net halfway through the first period. Three minutes later, Doggett made a backhand shot behind UQTR’s goaltender and put the Gaels up 2-0. UQTR responded in the final minutes of the period, reducing the Gaels’ lead to a single goal.

Both sides played aggressively as they began the second period. On two separate occasions, the Gaels’ defensemen checked two UQTR players onto—and almost over—the home and visitor benches.

The away team responded, barraging Queen’s goaltender Jack Flinn with shots in the frame’s last five minutes. A late save from Flinn ended in a handful of players roughhousing in front of the net. The second-year goalie was in the middle of chaos and proceeded to pull UQTR players out of the scrum alone.

“That just required a little bit of crowd control,” Flinn told The Journal following Saturday’s game. “We just don’t want to come out of something like that short-handed.”

Officials handed penalties to players from both sides as the Gaels headed into an intense third period of four-on-four action as a result of the scuffle.

UQTR caught the exhausted Gaels flat-footed at the ten-minute mark, tying the score at 2-2. Gaels defenceman Sam Hunter and Doggett took back-to-back hits and sent a pair of UQTR forwards to the locker room early.

Ultimately, Kohn secured the win for Queen’s with two minutes left in the game, scoring his third of the weekend against UQTR and seventh overall this season.

“Because we played back-to-back, it almost felt like a playoff series,” assistant coach Ben Munroe said after the 3-2 victory. “It was a great weekend, we had two solid games and every single guy played well and that’s what it takes to win in this league against really good teams like [UQTR].” 

Gaels head coach Brett Gibson was absent from the Gaels’ roster again this weekend, continuing his coaching placement for Team Canada in New Brunswick at the World under-17 Hockey Challenge.

“Obviously, [Gibson’s] a big piece of the puzzle, we miss him, but we’re getting along,” Munroe said. “I think it’s a full team effort, all 30 guys in the room. We can’t do it alone and we rely on the leadership of every single guy.”

The Gaels (8-3-0) will look to continue their home-ice win streak as they return to the Memorial Centre on Friday against the Laurentian Voyageurs (4-6-0), and then again on Saturday against the Nipissing Lakers (2-8-0). They are currently ranked second in the OUA East.

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