Men’s hockey trounces McGill in final regular season game

Gaels win tiebreaker for third in conference, defeat Redmen 6-3

Forward Jaden Lindo had an assist in Saturday’s game against McGill.
Forward Jaden Lindo had an assist in Saturday’s game against McGill.
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After losing to RMC 5-1 at Thursday night’s Carr-Harris Cup, men’s hockey Assistant Coach Kevin Bailie laid out the stakes going into Saturday night’s game against the McGill Redmen.

“We’ve set ourselves up for war,” he told The Journal.

Unlike in Thursday’s loss, the Gaels (19-9-0) looked ready for battle on Saturday night against the Redmen (16-8-4). Ahead of the game, the two teams—both playing their final games of the season—were tied for third in the OUA East. In a battle between two OUA powerhouses, the Gaels came out on top 6-3.

“We got a good jump from the start. [The players] worked hard and were rewarded for it,” Bailie said after the game. He added that the Gaels took Thursday night’s loss to heart, and it showed on the ice Saturday.

“I think [Thursday] was a reality check,” Bailie said. “It was a good taste of humble pie.”

Queen’s got off to a fast start against McGill, with forwards Henry Thompson and Francesco Vilardi each scoring power play goals within the first five minutes of the game. After giving up a goal late in the first period, Queen’s scored four straight—the final two came in the early minutes of the third frame.

Up 6-1 with 17 minutes to play, the Gaels held tight despite giving up two goals, securing a comfortable 6-3 win.

With their 19th victory of the season, Queen’s tied their program record for regular season wins, which they set last season. It was the fourth consecutive year they’ve matched or eclipsed the record.

“With 19 wins, it’s special. The team has been around for 133 years, to be considered up there among the greatest teams is something I’ll always cherish,” said Bailie, who started as the Gaels’ goaltender from 2013-2018 before becoming the team’s assistant coach.

In addition to the program record, fifth-year defenseman Spencer Abraham entered Queen’s history on Saturday night. With an assist on the Gaels’ opening goal, he cemented his place as the highest-scoring defenseman in Queen’s history. His 117 points shot him past Aaron Fransen, who set the record in 2004-2005.

“I think the guys were a little more excited than I was. He’s a mentor of mine and been encouraging along the way,” Abraham said, adding that Fransen was his boss at a law firm over the summer. “It’s special to have bragging rights on the boss. It’s something special that we’ll always share together.”

With the regular season officially wrapped up, the Gaels are set to play the sixth-seeded Concordia Stingers (15-11-2) in the first round of the OUA playoffs, which begin on Feb. 13. The first game will be played in Kingston, as the Gaels have home-ice advantage for the first round.

Earlier this year, Queen’s split their season series with Concordia, losing 4-3 in the first game and winning 4-3 in a shootout two weeks ago.

Abraham said Saturday’s win gave them the energy to go into the playoffs feeling strong.

“I think we’re pretty confident,” he said. “Any time you can knock off McGill, they’re always the measuring stick of a season […] To have that confidence, especially in a two-out-of-three series is important. Things happen quick.”

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