Men’s hockey sweeps Carleton, advances to Queen’s Cup Final

OUA campaign to close on home ice against Guelph on Saturday night

Captain Spencer Abraham scored the game-winning goal on Friday night.
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The men’s hockey team will host the coveted Queen’s Cup Final on Saturday night, following a sweeping 4-1 defeat of the Carleton Ravens over the weekend.

After the Gaels’ 3-2 overtime victory at Carleton the night prior, the Ravens travelled to Kingston’s Memorial Centre on Friday down 1-0 in a best-of-three series

Defenceman Stephen Gibson scored Queen’s first goal well into the first period, taking a shot from the boards on a sharp angle. Off the rebound, Gaels forward Luke Edwards pushed it past the line to get the Gaels on the board. 

With just a minute left, the Gaels continued their attack, with captain Spencer Abraham receiving a pass to the blue line, working his way towards the net, and firing one on Raven goaltender Francois Brassard. Abraham’s shot snuck past the goaltender, propelling the Gaels to a 2-1 lead heading into the second.

The Ravens returned to the ice with newfound aggression and intensity, laying 21 shots on Gaels goaltender Justin Fazio within 20 minutes. He allowed only one goal following a pad-save rebound seven minutes into the frame.

Justin Fazio (above) made 50 saves on Friday night.

Fazio kept the door shut on the Ravens for the rest of the period, keeping the Gaels’ 2-1 advantage heading into the third.

An uncertain period left both teams scoreless for over 16 minutes in the third. But with three minutes left, forward Jared Bethune eased the Gaels’ bench with a perfectly-executed, one-on-one play against a Ravens defenceman.

Crossing the puck right past the goaltender, Bethune beat Brassard for a crowd-pleaser to set the score to 3-1 and sent the home ice crowd of 1,100 into a frenzy.

Shortly after, the Gaels closed the deal with an empty-netter from forward Duncan Campbell to take the OUA playoffs Eastern Conference title, along with their chance at the OUA Queen’s Cup.

For Gaels Head Coach Brett Gibson, the opportunity to host the championship game is a dream he’s been waiting to experience.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment for 14 years now,” Gibson said in a post-game interview with The Journal. “But the dream about this moment is hoisting it, not hosting it.”

Gibson added he looks forward to being given the opportunity to do both next Saturday, but recognizes the challenge the competitor will pose.

“[Western and Guelph] are unbelievably coached and we’ve got a long week to prepare for them, and I’m excited,” he said.

Forward Jaden Lindo expressed similar sentiments about hosting the Queen’s Cup.

“I’m lost for words right now,” he told The Journal. “The guys have pulled together and we’ve had a great run. We’re excited to host the Queen’s Cup and we’re going to put on a show for [the fans] next week.”

Lindo scored the overtime winner in the series opener against Carleton on Thursday that gave the Gaels their 1-0 series advantage heading into Friday.

“Honestly, you got to forget about [game one],” he said of the team’s mindset going into Friday’s game—and next weekend’s. “[You’ve] got to clear your mind and worry about the next game and what’s important next.”

Queen’s will host the OUA championship game for the Queen’s Cup for the first time since 1981. The trophy is named for the donation made by Queen’s in 1903 and is the second oldest active ice-hockey trophy following the Stanley Cup.

On Sunday night, Western conference champions Guelph Gryphonswere announced as the Gaels’ competitor for the championship game after defeating the Western Mustangs. It will be hosted at Kingston’s Memorial Arena, with puck-drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

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