Gees beat Queen’s and RMC
THE UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa men’s hockey team (5-4-1) took a step in the right direction this weekend. The team succeeded in going 2-0 during a two-game home faceoff against the Queen’s Golden Gaels (5-3-1) on Nov. 4 and the RMC Paladins (2-7) on Nov. 5.
The team was unable to muster any offence during the first two periods of their Nov. 4 game, but the Gees turned it around during the third when first-year forwards Stephen Blunden and Alexandre Touchette each scored a goal.
The score was 2-2 at the end of regulation time, and after an uneventful overtime period, the teams went into a shootout. The Garnet and Grey were able to slide two past the goaltender from Queen’s and steal a 3-2 victory.
“It’s a good win for us because they are a top team in the standings right now,” explained head coach Réal Paiement in an interview with Sports Services after the game. “We’ve played a lot of tough games early on in the season where we’ve been shut down. Now we need to build from [this win] and get on a roll.”
The Gees-Gees were able to do exactly that on Nov. 5, when the team took to the ice for their second home game of the weekend against the Royal Military College Paladins. Dominant physical play and strong offensive pressure saw the squad blow out the Paladins by a score of 5-1.
“Those are the most dangerous games,” said Paiement of playing games you know you can win. “You look at the stats and you should win … but you have to do the work to win.”
The Gees started the first period strong, getting the puck deep into their opponent’s defensive zone and following through with a hard forecheck. The Gees worked the cycle in the Paladins zone and used their physical strength to dominate the play throughout most of the first period. Despite being out-played, the Paladins scored the first goal of the game.
The Gees didn’t let the goal affect their game as they continued to pressure the RMC team. Ottawa eventually got a goal of their own when first-year forward Guillaume Donovon redirected a shot by third-year defence Thomas Baubriau, tying up the score at 1-1.
“[It was a] second-effort goal and that’s what we’re going to have to do a lot of, because the fancy plays are not working out for us. We have to be more selfish and shoot the puck and go to the net like we did there,” explained Paiement.
During the second period, the pace of the game slowed with both teams battling for possession in the neutral zone. The Gees were able to get one goal before the period ended on a pass by second-year forward Luc-Olivier Blain to fourth-year forward Tim Drager, who capitalized on the opportunity in the slot to finish the period with a 2-1 lead.
The Gee-Gees took the momentum they gained during the end of the second period and took advantage of the worn out RMC team. Blain got his second point of the game when he banged home a rebound off a shot from fourth-year forward Matthieu Methot. First-year forward Craig Moore sealed the victory scoring two more goals toward the end of the period, making it a 5-1 game for the Gee-Gees.
“It was very important to start getting on a roll here. We keep saying we’re playing tough teams, but you [have to] win those games,” said Paiement after the game. “We hadn’t won at home until yesterday [and] we have a tough finish to the season so it was important to get two wins this weekend.”
The Gee Gees head out on the road for two games next weekend against Ryerson University on Nov. 11 and RMC on Nov. 12.