Gaels swept from playoffs by Patriotes

UQTR comeback in game two cinches Gaels ouster

The Gaels are going golfing, but next season already looks promising.

Following a sweep at the hands of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) Patriotes, the 2019-20 Queen’s Gaels Men’s Hockey season has drawn to a close.

Game one of the three game series was played at Kingston’s Memorial Centre.

The first period of play started quick—the eagerness of playoff hockey was in the building. Both teams came out of the starting gates ready to go, but the Patriotes were faster on the draw—mid-way through the first frame, UQTR’s Zachary Lavigne beat Queen’s Luke Richardson on a quick shot for the first goal of the game.

Not even three minutes later, UQTR found the back of the net again. This time it was a Christophe Boivin wrist shot, giving the Patriotes to a two-goal lead.

The Gaels started the second period with a sense of urgency. Just 4:30 into the second, Gaels’ forward Jared Bethune fired a snapshot through UQTR’s Sebastien Auger.

Toward the end of the period, in the nature of playoff hockey, the game began to get chippy. The Gaels were awarded a five-minute power play opportunity following a major penalty for kneeing given to the Patriotes’ Mathieu Boucher.

Though plenty of scoring chances were afforded during the power play, Auger’s elite goaltending was able to keep the Gaels off the board to close out the second period, 2-1 for UQTR.

Queen’s hopes of stealing a victory in game one was dashed just three minutes into the third period—UQTR’s Simon Lafrance buried another one to extend their lead to 3-1.

Despite a few more pushes from the Queen’s offence, Auger only had to turn away seven shot attempts in the third period to seal the victory for the Patriotes.

Game two of the series was in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, andthe Gaels had their backs up against the wall, facing elimination.

The first period was dominated by the Gaels. Nine minutes in, Jaren Burke beat Auger on a wrist shot for the first goal of the game.

Following the Burke tally, the Patriotes were assessed a two-minute minor for boarding, sending the Gaels to the power play.

It didn’t take long for the Gaels to make the Patriotes pay for their mistake—just 25 seconds into the power play opportunity, Jaden Lindo took advantage of a crisp feed from Mason Kohn and slotted it in blocker side.

Not even two minutes after that, Queen’s found the back of the net again when Luke Edwards snuck a low shot past the Patriote goaltender.

The Gaels ended the first period of action holding firmly onto a 3-0 lead.

Or so it appeared. Just over a minute into the second period, Jaren Burke was called for a hooking penalty, which earned him a two-minute rest in the penalty box.

Queen’s looked to have the Burke penalty killed off, but with four seconds left in the power play, Mathieu Boucher beat Richardson’s glove to get the Patriotes on the scoreboard.

Nearing the halfway point of the second period, the Queen’s troubles went from bad to worse. On one shift, the Gaels were assessed two separate penalties—Alex Row was given a two-minute penalty for boarding, and Luke Edwards was handed a minor penalty for tripping.

A UQTR 5-on-3 power play ensued, and inevitably the offensive pressure proved to be too much.

With the two-man advantage, the Patriotes were able to move the puck enough to pull Richardson out of position, which afforded UQTR’s Julien Tessier an essentially empty net to shoot at.

Just like that, the Patriotes were right back in the game, and still on the power play. They netted their third goal of the game on the power play off the stick of Simon Lafrance, tying the contest.

The third period felt like overtime. There was a sense that this was going to be a next-goal-wins type of game, and that’s exactly how it played out.

Just short of 2:30 into the third period, UQTR’s Jordan Martel scored an unassisted short-side goal to give the Patriotes a 4-3 lead. The momentum had completely shifted in favour of the Patriotes. 

The Gaels put together a 12-shot third period in a valiant effort to keep their season alive. It wasn’t enough—the Patriotes fought off the Gaels’ efforts and advanced to the next round of the OUA Queen’s Cup playoffs.

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