Gaels return empty-handed

Queen’s loses road games to Carleton, McGill

The Gaels regroup in their own end.

Following two solid home wins over Nipissing, the men’s hockey team suffered a winless road trip, losing matches to Carleton and McGill, 3-2 and 7-4 respectively.

Through the start of the 2019-20 season the Gaels haven’t quite lived up to the status of defending champions. Queen’s has lost five of their first nine games and are tied for fourth-worst in the Eastern conference.

Despite early scoring struggles, the Gaels have been getting phenomenal goaltending. In the OUA, the Gaels have allowed the third fewest goals against (22), boast a goals against average of 2.47, and a save percentage of .907 per cent.

In the first game of the weekend the Gaels travelled to Ottawa, Ontario to take on the Carleton Ravens, who were ranked third in Canada.

Early in the first period, Ravens forward Alexandre Boivin opened the scoring off of a feed from the Ravens’ Parker Aucoina.

The Ravens again capitalized in the first period of action on a power play. Queen’s Ryan Cranford was penalized for head contact, and Carleton’s Cole Carter took advantage, firing one past Gaels goaltender Luke Richardson to put the Ravens up 2-0 in the first period.

In the second, the Gaels successfully killed a Carleton power play, and almost immediately afterwards Queen’s Josh Curtis found the back of the net to cut the Carleton lead to one.

Shortly after another strong penalty kill, the Gaels were able to even the score. Jared Bethune netted his third of the season as he fired a rocket past Ravens goaltender Mark Grametbauer.

The Ravens answered almost immediately. Aaron Boyd found Brogan O’Brien who sent home his sixth goal of the season, which eventually stood as the game winner.

The match ended as a 3-2 Carleton win, and the Gaels continued their travels eastwards towards McGill University.

Coming off their hard-fought loss to the Ravens, the Gaels were looking to redeem themselves and split the weekend with a win over the McGill Redmen. Unfortunately, the Gaels would be playing catch-up against the Redmen all afternoon.

In the first period of play, the Redmen scored three consecutive goals in the first eleven minutes, forcing the Gaels to climb out of a tough 3-0 hole.

Gaels defenceman Graeme Brown broke McGill’s shutout at the 13-minute mark, but McGill’s Harlan Orr retaliated with a fourth McGill goal to extend the lead to 4-1.

Luckily, in the final minutes of the period, Queen’s Mason Kohn snuck one past Louis-Philip Guindon to cut the McGill advantage to 4-2 after a hectic first.

Midway through the second, McGill forward Michael Cramarossa wired a shot past Richardson to put McGill up 5-2.

Then, following a roughing penalty called against McGill, Gaels forward Luke Edwards was able to score to cut the McGIll lead to 5-3, but the Redmen added another tally before the end of the period to regain their three-goal cushion.

The game ended with each team scoring one more goal and the Gaels fell 7-4 to McGill.
Outside of the McGill game, the Gaels have been getting the goaltending they need and their defence looks stout. However, in order for the Gaels to start winning games, simply stopping the puck isn’t going to be enough.

The Gaels have one of the worst scoring percentages in the OUA and are going to need to focus more on offence if they want to remain a competitive hockey club.

This weekend, the Gaels will be looking for two home wins against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday and the Ryerson Rams on Sunday.

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