Gaels split Kingston games

Win against RMC, tight loss to McGill as Gaels tread water

The Gaels have gone 1-1-1 over their last three games.
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This past weekend, the Gaels men’s hockey team pulled out a win as they continue to try to lift themselves out from the bottom of the OUA East standings.

Coming into the weekend with a record of 5-8-0, the Gaels ranked third last in the OUA’s Eastern division.

The Gaels have been struggling offensively over the course of the 2019-2020 season, but not for lack of effort. The Gaels rank eighteenth in the OUA in goals per game (2.53), despite averaging the second most shots per game (36.8).

When on the power play, the Gaels haven’t fared much better, scoring only nine power play goals on 51 opportunities.

In their first matchup of the weekend, the Gaels travelled across the Causeway to take on the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins. The Paladins (4-11-0) held the second-worst record in the OUA.

Against the Paladins, the Gaels were finally able to break the restraints on their sticks.

In the first period of action, the Gaels season long struggles looked to be continuing as the Paladins took an early two goal lead.

With just under five minutes remaining in the first period of play, Paladins first-year forward Christopher Paquette, a Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, wired a shot passed Queen’s goaltender Luke Richardson.

Just over a minute after the Paquette goal, the Paladins struck again, as forward Rhett Willcox found the back of the net.

Almost six minutes into the second period, Gaels third-year forward Alex Row opened the scoring for the Gaels. However, the Paladins bounced right back with an unassisted goal by Alex MacDonald to restore their two-goal lead.

Midway through the second, RMC’s Nicolas Bissonnette was sent to the box on a tripping call. The Gaels made the most of their power play as Nevin Guy buried his first goal of the season, cutting the Paladin lead in half. 

The third period began with the Gaels playing fast and physical. Although the Gaels were still trailing, everyone in the building could sense that the Gaels were going to score, and it was going to happen soon. 

At the 11-minute mark of the third, RMC’s Nicholas Boddy was called for a hooking penalty. On the power play, the Gaels netted the tying goal off the stick of Jared Bethune, assisted by his line mates Mason Kohn and Brandon Schuldhaus. 

Just three minutes later, the Gaels would find themselves on the power play once again, as Nicholas Bissonnette was penalized once again, this time for holding.

Gaels first-year forward Matthew Hotchkiss buried his fifth goal this season to give the Gaels a 4-3 lead over their rivals late in the third.

The Gaels endured two Paladin power play opportunities in the closing minutes, but when the final buzzer sounded the Gaels skated away with a 4-3 victory.

The next night, at home in the Memorial Centre, the Gaels were taking on the McGill University Redmen in their annual Teddy Bear Toss Game. The Redman were 8-6-0, sitting in a tie for third place in the OUA East with 17 points. 

In a bad matchup for the Gaels, the Redmen’s goaltending boasted the second best save percentage in the league with a mark of .927.

The first period between the two teams remained scoreless. The Gaels were given a power play within the first period after a charging penalty was called on Redmen forward Quinn Syrydiuk, but the Gaels remained snakebitten.

Despite firing a multitude of well-placed shots, the Gaels were held scoreless. The second period remained deadlocked.

The Redmen broke the stalemate early in the third period. With less than five minutes expired in the final period of play, Redmen centre Jasmin Boutet was able to slide one past the Gaels netminder.

With nine minutes to go in the game, the teddy bears started flying. More than 300 bears were collected to be donated to Kingston hospitals.

After the cuddly cleanup, the Redmen were able to hold off the Gaels offensive attack and escape with a narrow 1-0 win. The Gaels outshot the Redmen 38-30 but were once again unable to find the back of the net as their scoring woes continued.

While the Gaels didn’t get the two wins they wanted, they did exit the weekend with two points, and they outshot one of the better teams in the OUA. Another positive takeaway for the Gaels this weekend is that it appears they’ve figured out a solution for their power play.

Following a shootout loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees this past Wednesday, the Gaels will be back at home on Nov. 30 to take on the Laurentian University Voyageurs. The game against Laurentian will be the Gaels’ final game before resuming action in the new year against the Guelph Gryphons on Jan. 8.

 

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