Gaels raise banner, sweep Lakers

Triumphant weekend for reigning OUA Champs

Captain Patrick Sanvido looks for an outlet.

The men’s hockey team put the brakes on the upstart Nipissing Lakers’ hot start to the season, beating them 1-0 and 8-1 on consecutive nights.

On Friday, Oct. 25, the 4-0-1 Lakers made the drive down from North Bay to take on the Gaels at Memorial Arena. Nipissing came flying out of the gates, putting heavy pressure on the puck at all times. 

The teams traded chances throughout the first period, but at the end of the frame, Stephen Gibson made a sensational seeing-eye slap pass to Jared Bethune, who summarily smacked the puck into the back of the net for a 1-0 Queen’s lead.

The Lakers were pesky, relying on their speed and hustle to keep up with the larger, more talented Queen’s team, often sending three men deep on the forecheck to prevent the Gaels from getting a comfortable breakout.

Queen’s started pouring it on in the second period. However, the Gaels weren’t doing much to obscure Nipissing netminder Brent Moran’s vision all night, and with clear sightlines he looked sharp in making his 37 saves.

The third period was more of the same, with Queen’s netminder Luke Richardson looking great in his limited calls to action. Especially at the end of the game with the Nipissing net empty and captain Patrick Sanvido in the box, Richardson shut the door on a Lakers comeback, preserving his shutout and the 1-0 win.

The next night, in the same arena, at the same time, it looked like two different teams playing.

Before the game, the Gaels raised their banner from last season’s Queen’s Cup victory. During the game, they ran roughshod all over Nipissing. 

The Lakers, ostensibly tired from a long bus ride and a tough game of forechecking the night prior, looked flat and disarrayed.

The first period saw Queen’s Jared Bethune score the opening goal, and so the Lakers luckily came into the first intermission in the same manageable place they were the night before. Things quickly went south for the northern visitors.

Alex Row took a pass as the Gaels rushed the zone and fired it into the top corner. 2-0. Some great skating from Will Sirman set up an easy goal off an odd-man rush for Ryan Cranford. 3-0. The Lakers called a timeout to stem the bleeding. 30 seconds later, Row laid a crushing hit on the Nipissing captain, and then Jaren Burke fired another one in. 4-0.

It was a nightmare sequence for the Lakers, and it all happened in less than a minute and a half. If they were flat before, they were crushed now. 

After goals from Matthew Hotchkiss, Row again, and Jaden Lindo, the period ended 7-0 in favour of Queen’s.

Nipissing’s Deverick Ottereyes managed to find the back of the net in the third, but it was too little, too late—if every shot the Lakers had taken in the third period (six) had gone in, they still would have lost.

Sanvido added one more after Ottereyes' goal, and the Gaels skated away with a four-point weekend. 

The men now head off on a roadtrip to play Carleton on Friday, and McGill on Saturday with the aim of continuing their climb up the standings.

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