The men’s hockey team missed an opportunity to beat the McGill Redmen, the top-ranked team in the OUA East.
“We were right there with arguably the best team in the country,” head coach Brett Gibson said after last Friday’s game. “Disappointing is the only word.”
The loss extends the Gaels’ losing streak to three games. After starting the season with four wins in their first five games, the Gaels only have one win of their last five.
Two early penalties against the Gaels led to two power-play goals from Redmen forward Francis Verrault-Paul, the country’s leading scorer for the past two seasons.
“You just can’t give up two power-play goals and a shorthanded goal, and expect to win,” Gibson said. “We knew it was coming. When Verreault-Paul is on the ice, you can’t give him [scoring chances].”
The Gaels would have allowed more than two early goals if not for stellar goaltending from Riley Whitlock, who made 24 of his total 45 saves in the first period.
The Gaels fought back to tie the game with goals from forward Jordan Soquila and defenceman Brendan Bureau. With the score tied at 2-2 in the third period, captain Jon Lawrance hit the crossbar on a two-on-one rush.
Redmen captain Evan Vossen scored a shorthanded, game-winning goal minutes later.
Gibson said mental errors let his team down on Friday.
“I will never question my team’s work ethic,” he said. “But the work ethic has to match your mental attitude.”
The Gaels’ slump drops them to eighth in the OUA East. But captain Jon Lawrance said he’s not worried about his team’s current ranking.
“We were right there with a [McGill] team that was 8-1-2,” he said. “We just need to tighten up a little bit defensively and it’s a different game.”
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