Gaels get win to hold onto sixth place

Third period comeback pushes Gaels past Ontario Tech

Jaden Lindo assisted Ryan Cranford's game-winner against the Ridgebacks.

On Friday night, the Gaels were at home to take on the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.

The Ridgebacks are inter-division rivals and currently sit in seventh place, one seed below the Gaels in the OUA East standings, making Friday night’s action a must-win game for Queen’s.

The Gaels, who have been struggling to score this season, were faced with a solid defensive Ridgebacks team.

On the season, the Ridgebacks have allowed the seventh-fewest goals in the OUA, allowing only 61 for an average of 2.75 goals per game. When short-handed, the Ridgebacks have allowed the third-fewest power play goals in the league.

Additionally, the Ridgebacks boast some well-rounded goaltending. The Ridgebacks’ netminders have combined for a save percentage of .907, seventh-best in the OUA.

The Gaels had their work cut out for them.

The first period of action brought equal opportunities for both teams to strike first, with four or five very good scoring opportunities for either squad.

Six minutes into the game, the Gaels took a hooking penalty. The first power play of the game provided the Ridgebacks with a flurry of chances to score.

Unfortunately for the Ridgebacks, their power play is one of the worst in the OUA. This trend continued, as the Gaels successfully killed off their first penalty of the game. 

Less than two minutes into the second period, the Gaels found themselves on the power play following an uncharacteristically undisciplined too-many-men penalty called on the Ridgebacks.

The short-handed savvy of the Ridgebacks was on display here—with strong defensive play, Ontario Tech were able to control the pace of play and clear the puck on almost every Gaels’ possession in the offensive zone.

Halfway through the second period, the Gaels surrendered another penalty—Jaren Burke went to the box for a cross-checking infraction.

Burke’s cross-check proved to be costly for the Gaels. 24 seconds into the power play, Ridgebacks forward Josh Maguire snuck a wrist shot past Gaels goaltender Luke Richardson. 

The period ended with the Ridgebacks holding onto a one goal lead.

Trailing by one heading into the third, the Gaels needed to make something happen offensively to stay competitive.

Just over five minutes into the period, Queen’s Alex Row answered the call. Patrick Sanvido slid a pass to Row, who wasted no time finding the back of the net to tie the game at one.

With under five minutes remaining, and the game still tied at one, Queen’s scored late to give themselves the lead.

Ryan Cranford was able to score off of a cross-ice assist from Jaden Lindo that pulled Ridgebacks’ netminder Michael Bullion well out of position.

Defensemen Graeme Brown added an empty net goal to ice the game and propel the Gaels to a crucial 3-1 victory.

The Gaels will play their postponed game against the Concordia Stingers in Montreal on Monday night. In the coming weekend, Queen’s will host the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and play a “road” game against cross-town rivals RMC.

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