Golden Gaels power rankings: Where does each team sit prior to Jan. 28?

With OUA play paused, ‘The Journal’ evaluates where each Winter Sports team is at before their scheduled return later this month

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Robin Kasem

Men’s Hockey

Conf. record: 8-0-1, ranked no. 5 in U Sports Top 10

If there’s any team that doesn’t need to question their performance so far, it’s the Men’s Hockey team.

Prior to the OUA’s pause on competitive play, they were tearing through the OUA East and quietly posting the best record of any team in the province. Dropping only one of their eight contests—a shootout against Ontario Tech on Nov. 19—the Gaels have already established themselves as one of the key players in this year’s hockey calendar. Only one other team in the OUA, Windsor, has won more than five games throughout the same stretch.

Although the season is far from over—assuming it resumes later this month—the Gaels have a clear shot at repeating their historic Queen’s Cup victory in 2019 if they continue on this trajectory.

Women’s Hockey

Conf. record: 1-4-0-2, unranked in U Sports Top 10

The Women’s Hockey team had a rocky start to the season, beginning with a three-game losing streak coming from matchups against Nipissing and the University of Toronto (UofT).

The Gaels captured their first win of the season in their fourth game in a shootout against UofT, who is ranked first in the East Division and the country. The Gaels currently sit in fourth place in the OUA East Division and will have the opportunity to climb the rankings once play resumes on Jan. 28.

Queen’s will face the X University Rams and the York Lions for the first time this season— and it will be worth watching the February doubleheader rematch against the Varsity Blues to see how the Gaels fare against the powerhouse team.

Men’s Volleyball

Conf. record: 4-0, ranked fifth in U Sports Top 10

After going 1-3 in the pre-season, it appeared as though the Men’s Volleyball squad had some issues to resolve before regaining their form of old. Yet, four regular-season games later, those concerns seem to have all but disappeared.

Undefeated after facing X University, UofT, and the Royal Military College, the Gaels seem to be in a great position to make another crusade to the OUA playoffs, if not nationals—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The OUA is a competitive league. McMaster Marauders currently rule the OUA West with a 5-0 record—equally as impressive as the Gaels’ OUA East standing—plus, it was none other than McMaster who handed Queen’s two of their three losses in the pre-season.

All in all, the Gaels are certainly a force to be reckoned with—they’re youthful and have a proven offensive juggernaut in outside hitter Erik Siksna. Plus, with the recent addition of Paul Sanderson as the assistant coach, a very successful and experienced former U Sports player, there’s a lot of potential for growth. But like any team, they have to earn their stripes, and time will tell how far they can go if play resumes later this month.

Women’s Volleyball

Conf. record: 3-1, unranked in U Sports Top 10

Although they’ve only dropped one of their four regular-season games so far, the sheer competitiveness of this year’s OUA East has meant the Gaels have already been relegated to fourth place in the conference.

For reference, the team that did beat the Gaels—UofT— is currently undefeated, and they’re only ranked one spot higher in third place. As is, the Gaels might be somewhat of a dark horse, with Nipissing, Brock, Western, and York being the frontrunners in the OUA, but it’d be foolish to count out the Gaels due to a single loss.

Stacked up against the rest of the OUA, their hitting, serving, and assisting is quite solid, and when put in context, there’s still plenty of volleyball left to play before the Gaels make a run in the postseason. Again, time will tell just how much damage this team can do.

Women’s Basketball

Conf. record: 3-2, ranked 10th in U Sports Top 10

The Women’s basketball team headed into the holiday break with a 3-2 record and currently sits in sixth place in the OUA East Division.

The team conceded two tight losses to the X-University Rams—ranked sixth in the country and first in the East—but picked up three wins at home, two against Laurentian and one against Toronto.

Bright spots this season include fourth years Laura Donovan and Emma Weltz, who were both among the team’s lead scorers in each game so far this season. When play resumes on Jan. 28, the team will hope to improve their 0-2 road record since four of their remaining six matchups are away games.

Despite the current pause to sport, Queen’s is still set to host the U Sports Women’s Basketball Final 8 Championship in March—the Gaels will hopefully maintain their winning record in the leadup to the highly-anticipated tournament.

Men’s Basketball

Conf. record: 5-0, ranked seventh in U Sports Top 10

With a sweeping 5-0 record, Queen’s Men’s Basketball is cleaning up in the OUA East Division.

They currently sit in third place behind Ottawa and Carleton, both of whom are undefeated with 6-0 records. This season, the Gaels have been bringing the heat, beating their opponents in tight contests and scoreboard-stretching dominant efforts. Consistent lead scorers include third-year guards and brothers Cole and Luka Syllas and fifth-year guard Quinton Gray.

The Gaels will need to keep up the momentum when the season resumes, as they have double-headers against Carleton and Ottawa—both will be the Gaels’ toughest competition yet.

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