THE GEE-GEES (14-13-1) wrapped up their regular season at home last weekend with a pair of games against division rivals the McGill University Redmen (22-4-2) on Feb. 10 and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes (19-7-2) on Feb. 11. Although the Gees lost both games at the Minto Sports Complex, their overall record was still good enough to merit them a spot in this year’s playoffs.
The first period was scoreless, but at 4:14 in the second period a Redmen defenseman ripped a slapshot past the Gees’ goalie to put the visitors up 1-0. McGill scored again seven minutes later to widen the gap.
The Gees got one back at 17:48, when first-year Maxime Chamberland tapped a pass by the net for the goal, but the second period ended with the Gee-Gees down 2-1.
“I thought we had a good effort,” said Gee-Gees head coach Réal Paiement. “[We had] a slow start, then we picked it up. I just feel that our speed of execution is not where it has to be.”
The teams both added another goal in the third period, but the Gees were unable to get an equalizer. What looked to be a tying goal was called off for interference late in the match, and the Redmen ended on top, 3-2.
“I’ll have a look at the video,” said Paiement. “Everybody on our team believes the puck was in before our player touched the goalie. That could end up being a very, very important call.”
The Gee-Gees didn’t fare any better when they hosted the Patriotes, even though the game had a promising start for the U of O. At the 10:03 mark in the first period, first-year forward Jonathan Carnevale beat the
Patriotes goaltender with a slapshot. The Patriotes quickly bounced back to score a goal of their own, and the teams traded scores once more in the last two minutes to end the period tied 2-2.
The second period saw an incredibly slow pace of play, as both teams were called for multiple penalties. The aggression resulted in Gees captain, fourth-year forward Matthieu Methot, leaving the game from a high-sticking injury. Each team got a goal off of power-play efforts and the period ended with the squads locked at 3-3.
“It was a little disappointing,” said Carnevale of his team’s play. “We didn’t score on our power plays and we didn’t forecheck the way we wanted to.”
The Garnet and Grey floundered without their captain in the last period, and their regular season ended on a sour note when the Patriotes scored two goals in the third to win the game 5-3.
“Right now we’ve got to improve everything,” said Paiement after the game. “Our major thing is our speed of execution. We’re doing everything too slow right now: We’re not moving our feet, we’re not moving our puck fast enough, and our decisions are [taking] way too long. We’ve got to pick it up.”