“We’re a dangerous team to come across”: Inside the 2018-19 Queen’s Men’s Hockey season, part six

An eight-part series on the Gaels’ Queen’s Cup victory

Duncan Cambell discusses the beginning of the Gaels' postseason.

“I do think there is a change in the mentality of guys when it comes to playoffs […] there is just this sense, this feeling […] that just comes over you; you’ll do anything to win the game.”

That’s how forward Duncan Campbell described playoff hockey in a conversation with The Journal about the 2018-19 postseason.

Before Queen’s could reach that point, however, the Gaels had one game left after the dust settled from the Carr-Harris Cup.

Another classic rival: McGill University.

This time, the Gaels put on a masterclass in dismantling an opponent, beating McGill 6-3 to end the season on a brilliant win.

“It’s like we just kind of flipped a switch; all of a sudden, we played our hearts out […] We played one of the best hockey games of the season and it showed,” Campbell recalled.

“Just that one game put a lot of confidence into the group of guys, and everyone knew, ‘okay, that’s how we have to play heading into playoffs.’”

From there, the Gaels drew Concordia for the first round of the OUA playoffs—a fitting matchup, as it was the Stingers who had bounced Queen’s out of the postseason the year before.

“I think that we liked our matchup against Concordia from the start […] We felt very comfortable that we would be able to come out on top,” Campbell said about the series.

“Concordia was a very small, high-skilled, high-offensive team, but they also gave up a lot on the rush,” he continued. “We fed off that; we locked it down defensively; we had great goaltending […] We just got the job done.”

The first game at home ended with a 3-2 Queen’s victory in regulation as Slater Doggett received a feed from Jaden Lindo to beat the Stingers’ netminder in the third period and secure the win.

Then the Gaels headed on the road to Montreal, looking to achieve the same kind of sweep that eluded them the season before.

From Campbell’s perspective, the trip wasn’t daunting.

“Going into an opponent’s [rink], it’s always unfamiliar territory […] I think we were very comfortable at Concordia’s rink; a lot of guys on the team like playing there,” Campbell noted. 

The game started poorly for the Gaels, with Concordia scoring three unanswered goals in the first 25 minutes before Doggett once again sparked life into Queen’s in the second period.

After 60 minutes, the game remained knotted at four goals apiece, requiring not one but two overtimes to solve.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, that we just had to keep it simple and limit our mistakes just to not give them the opportunity to end the game,” Campbell said about the overtime experience.

“If you out-work them for long enough, then hopefully it’ll pay off.”

Entering the start of the second overtime period, Liam Dunda broke through and boosted the Gaels into a win and the second round against uOttawa.

After winning the first game on the road, the Gaels returned to the Memorial Centre looking to complete the sweep. Instead, the Gee-Gees rallied to save their season, handing Queen’s a 5-2 loss.

“That was a tough one because it would have been really nice to have beaten the top team in playoffs in your home rink,” Campbell said.

“They came out guns-a-blazing […] and it didn’t seem like we quite had a response to their effort.”

That wouldn’t be an issue for the third game of the series, a game Campbell still recalls with a sense of awe. Both teams combined for 11 goals in 60 minutes and took turns racking up leads before watching them disintegrate.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have played a lot of playoff hockey in my career […] that is probably the wildest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Campbell said about the contest.

“It was just the craziest rollercoaster of emotions in a hockey game.”

Final score: 6-5 Gaels.

And if history hadn’t already repeated itself enough, waiting for Queen’s in the third round was none other than the Carleton Ravens, their classic playoff adversary.

This time, the Gaels were ready.

“Honestly, after we beat Ottawa, there was no stopping us,” Campbell recalled about his feelings before the matchup.

“At this time, we’re playing the best hockey of the whole season, and when Queen’s is playing good hockey, we’re a dangerous team to come across.”

The first game of the series at Carleton went to overtime before Lindo scored his second goal of the night. Justin Fazio recorded a 42 save performance to bring Queen’s one step closer to their goal.

This wasn’t going to be a replay of the uOttawa series, Cambell implied.

“Having been there the round before against Ottawa […] we knew just how hard we had to come out to beat them this time. We weren’t going to let it happen again.”

And with a 4-1 win, the Gaels didn’t.

It was official. They were going to the Queen’s Cup.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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