Men’s hockey lose 5-1 in 133rd Carr-Harris Cup

Gaels suffer biggest annual rivalry loss since 1986

Goaltender Justin Fazio was pulled in the second period after letting in four goals on 18 shots.
Goaltender Justin Fazio was pulled in the second period after letting in four goals on 18 shots.

At a press conference before Thursday’s Carr-Harris Cup, men’s hockey Head Coach Brett Gibson said every year, the game showcases the talent on Queen’s and RMC’s roster—regardless of where they sit in the standings.

“The quality of hockey and the passion that comes out in this game is second-to-none,” he said. “RMC brings out the best in us. It’s a great program they have over there, and they play us hard every time.”

But on Thursday night, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 3,888 at the Leon’s Centre, Queen’s was on the wrong end of a one-sided affair. In a dismal showing, the Gaels (18-9-0) fell to the RMC Paladins (6-19-2) 5-1—their largest loss to their cross-town rivals since 1986 (8-3).

In a post-game interview with The Journal, Gibson said little, except that his team lacked any effort.

“This is a humbling sport,” he said. “If you don’t work and you play a team like RMC that works very hard, they earn every bit of that game.”

Going into the matchup, the Gaels were third in the OUA East and RMC was ranked 10th. In their previous two meetings this season, Queen’s trounced them 4-0 and 7-2.

“Listen, [RMC is] out of the playoffs. They really had this to play for—and we didn’t have any urgency whatsoever,” Gibson said.

His team’s urgency didn’t materialize until the third period, but it was too late for the Gaels to salvage the game. 

After ending the first period down 2-0, both teams had taken 15 shots on net. In the second, RMC came out of the gates steaming and continued to mount pressure on the Gaels, racking up two more goals in the opening two minutes of the period.

Following the Paladins’ fourth goal, goaltender Jack Flinn replaced first-year goaltender Justin Fazio after Fazio posted a 0.78 save percentage on 18 shots.

Fifth-year defenseman and captain Spencer Abraham scored the Gaels’ lone goal during the second period on a powerplay. The goal tied Abraham with Queen’s record for most points by a Queen’s defenceman in program history. His shot was the only one of the team’s 47 that managed to find the back of the net.

The third period saw no scoring as Queen’s defence found their footing, allowing only four shots on net.

Assistant Coach Kevin Bailie only had one word for the Gaels’ performance: “Embarrassed.”

In his opinion, RMC earned the win—they brought the passion Queen’s severely lacked.

“They came out and played a desperate hockey game, they played it like a premier showcase hockey game,” he said. “We might as well have been [at a] Kingston public skate.”

Before joining the Gaels on the bench, Bailie spent five years as the team’s starting goaltender, amassing 50 wins during his playing career.

“That’s not Queen’s hockey,” Bailie said. “That hasn’t been Queens’ hockey for the last six years I’ve been here.”

“I’ve never been so disappointed in players and teammates—it was awful.”

When asked what he could credit to the Gaels’ loss, Bailie—much like Gibson—pointed to a lack of effort.

“I think it was honestly just a case of the guys wanting the glory and wanting [an] easy win, and that never happens against RMC,” he said. “RMC makes you earn everything. They’re a team that’s honest. They respect the game.”

“Tonight, we didn’t respect the game.”

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