Men's hockey one win away from OUA Final

Queen’s wins game one of conference final in overtime

Forward Jaden Lindo scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday night.
Forward Jaden Lindo scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday night.
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Following a 3-2 overtime win against the Carleton Ravens on Thursday, the men’s hockey team will head into game two of the OUA Eastern Conference final on Friday with a 1-0 series advantage. 
 
Queen’s took the first period, with a goal from forward Jaden Lindo propelling the team to a 1-0 advantage heading into the second. Despite several key chances from the Ravens, Queen’s held on to their one-goal lead until the 
final frame.
 
Carleton eventually took advantage of their home ice and tied up the game early into the third period. With 13 minutes left on the clock, Gaels forward Duncan Campbell put one past the Ravens goaltender—but the visiting team struggled to close out the game, with Carleton tying the score at 2-2 with 40 
seconds remaining. 
 
The game turned to overtime, which saw Lindo seal the win following a feed pass from captain Spencer Abraham a minute into the frame. 
 
With a 1-0 series lead, the Gaels have can move onto the Queen’s Cup final Friday night if they beat the Ravens a second time.  
 
Playoff progression
 
Queen’s opened the playoffs on Feb. 13 against Concordia at home. A narrow 3-2 win in game one left the Gaels with the advantage heading into game two of the series. Looking to sweep the series, they travelled to Concordia’s rink with a game plan and the intensity to see it through successfully. 
 
“Concordia was an unbelievable opponent, they’re probably one of the most skilled teams in our league,” Head Coach Brett Gibson told The Journal. “We had to play a specific style in order to beat them and I think the guys executed that perfectly.” 
 
Skill on both ends showed in  the game. After finishing the third period tied 4-4, the Gaels pushed hard for an overtime winner, but couldn’t find it until double overtime. Scoring within minutes of the period’s opening whistle, forward Liam Dunda finished off Concordia with the game-deciding goal, winning in a 5-4 and sweeping the series.  
 
Over Reading Week, Queen’s travelled to Ottawa on Feb. 20 to kick off the second round of their playoffs against the UOttawa Gee-Gee’s. 
 
“Coming into the second round against Ottawa, we knew we were up against a really good opponent,” Gibson said. 
 
On Ottawa ice, the Gaels earned a 3-2 win that propelled them back home for game two, where they suffered a 5-2 loss.
 
Game three of the series saw aggressive play on both ends as the two teams fought to secure a place in the Eastern Conference final. The game, which occurred on Feb. 24, included over 10 goals scored, six of which came in the third period. 
 
Despite going up 3-0 early, UOttawa erased the Gaels’ lead by the first minute of the third period. Trading goals to bring it to 4-4, Queen’s forward Jared Bethune scored two goals in 51 seconds. While Queen’s gave up a goal 17 seconds after going up 6-4, they held on for the game’s final nine minutes.
 
Gibson watched chaos ensue from the bench after the win, but saw value in the experience. 
 
“That’s the best thing about coaching: nothing goes according to plan and you have to be ready for anything,” he said. “I think I did a good job of calming our bench down and refocusing after a crazy two and a half minutes.” 
 
The Gaels’ defense held strong against the Gee-Gee’s attack, and would go on to win 6-5 to advance into the third round of the playoffs—and a chance to compete for the Eastern Conference final. 
 
Moving forward, Gibson hopes to see his team maintain their intensity and desperation in tough situations. He believes the Gaels’ commitment to winning has played an integral role in their progress thus far. 
 
“You play 28 games in the season for the opportunity to play for the Queen’s Cup, that’s what I tell my guys,” he said. “There’s not one guy that’s not willing to block a shot, there’s not one guy who isn’t willing to take a hit.”

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