Queen’s brings Carr-Harris Cup home in a classic

Gaels win dramatic 34th annual rivalry match

Captain Patrick Sanvido carries the Cup.

Fans streamed from The Tragically Hip Way into the Leon’s Centre in record-setting droves last night to witness the 34th annual Carr-Harris Cup between the Queen’s Gaels and the RMC Paladins.

Even in light of the classic games that have made 134 years of animosity between these schools worth it, this one was an all-timer.

Fittingly played on the late and legendary Tragically Hip frontman and Kingston native Gord Downie’s birthday, more than 4,000 spectators took in a charged, gritty game that went down to the wire.

From the drop of the puck, the energy in the arena was palpable. Chants of “R-M-C” competed with “Go Gaels Go” for airtime while the actual teams battled just as hard on the ice.

Finesse was forgotten about in lieu of dominance-asserting body checks. This was destined to be a physical hockey game. Neither team managed to score in the first, but they both got their licks in.

Board-shaking hits from both teams continued on throughout the second period, but Queen’s started to take over the offensive gameplay.

After killing a Graeme Brown penalty, the Gaels broke the ice: Jared Bethune fired a shot on net, and a trailing Luke Edwards jumped on the loose rebound and buried it for the first goal of the game.

Just three minutes later, Bethune and Edwards teamed up again. This time, it was Edwards sliding a pass to Bethune in the slot, who rifled a shot past the outstretched glove of RMC goalie Joey May.

Towards the end of the period, Queen’s Alex Row had a great chance to pad the Gaels’ lead on a 2-on-1 rush, but his shot rang off the post. The stanza came to a close with the Gaels holding firmly onto a 2-0 lead.

Queen’s picked up the third period how they left the second, using speed and shifty puck movement to their advantage to create one opportunity after another. Ryan Cranford hit the post again.

Midway through the third, the Gaels were awarded a power play on a hooking call against RMC’s Seamus Maguire.

The Paladins killed it, providing them with a much-needed spark. Shortly after, Marshall Skapski was able to shelve an in-tight backhand shot over the left shoulder of Queen’s goalie Luke Richardson.

As the game reached a fever pitch, RMC’s designated pest Seamus Maguire took a late slash at Richardson that caused a dust-up in front of the Gaels’ crease.

Queen’s skaters Graeme Brown and Duncan Campbell each received two minutes for roughing, as did the Paladins’ Maguire and Liam Stagg.

A minute later, the Gaels took an untimely tripping penalty, and RMC’s Rhett Wilcox was able to capitalize, beating Richardson low on his blocker side to even the game at two apiece.

With under four minutes remaining, the Gaels rose to the moment. They broke into the offensive zone, and RMC’s Noah Rowe, who had lost his stick earlier in the play, pushed Queen’s Josh Curtis from behind and got called for an interference penalty.

The Gaels took full advantage of the power play. Controlling the puck in RMC’s zone with three minutes on the clock, Mason Kohn gave rookie defenceman Brandon Schuldhaus the puck at the point. Schuldhaus danced across the blueline, and feathered a shot through heavy traffic that eluded Joey May for his first U SPORTS goal.

Bedlam engulfed the arena as the Gaels regained possession of the lead late. Josh Curtis added to the frenzy with an empty net goal, and the Queen’s Gaels earned a 4-2 victory to lift the 34th annual Carr-Harris Cup.

Despite Bethune’s three points, Schuldhaus was awarded the Mary Carr-Harris MVP trophy for his late game heroics.

For Schuldhaus, it definitely wasn’t his last goal, but to paraphrase Kingston’s greatest poet, it won the Gaels the Cup.

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