Carleton University Ravens hand Gee-Gees a crushing defeat
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton University Ravens faced off at TD Place for the fourth installment of the Colonel By Classic on Friday night.
Less than a week ago, the Gee-Gees topped the Ravens on home ice, but the Colonel By Classic brought out another level of energy in both play and atmosphere.
As soon as the puck dropped, all 2,861 people in attendance filled the arena with cheers.
Just two minutes into the game, Carleton’s Andrew Jarvis took a visit to the penalty box, giving the Gee-Gees an early powerplay opportunity.
The Gee-Gees weren’t able to find the back of the net, and the Ravens were given their own chance on the powerplay when Gees captain Quinn O’Brien was sent to the penalty box.
An athletic play by goaltender Domenic Graham fired up the U of O side of the arena and gave Ottawa a burst of energy halfway through the first period.
Moving the puck quickly in Carleton’s end of the ice, the Gees had plenty of opportunities to score but couldn’t follow through.
Just like the Gee-Gees and Ravens’ first meeting of the season, the first period was scoreless.
To start out the second, the Gee-Gees powerplay unit was back on the ice.
Jarvis visited the box again to give the Gees another two-minute man advantage.
Still unable to score, the teams traded time in the penalty box.
A bad turnover by Carleton near the U of O blue line lead to a perfectly executed two-on-one opportunity by the Gee-Gees. A pass from Cody Drover and an easy finish by Kevin Domingue gave Ottawa the game first lead.
The next goal came quickly for the U of O thanks to another mistake by Carleton, this time right in front of the net. Daniel Hardie was in the perfect position to tap it in past Ravens goaltender Justin Nichols to score his first goal as a Gee-Gee.
Gee-Gees head coach Patrick Grandmaitre called a timeout after the goal.
“Even though we had the lead, I felt like we weren’t playing our game,” said Grandmaitre.
Looking to close the sudden gap in the score, the Ravens rushed in to attack.
Graham snatched the puck out of the air to stop the Ravens attack and kept the Gee-Gees up 2-0.
Ottawa opened up the third with a strong penalty kill, but they didn’t have the energy to maintain the lead.
Shortly after the fifth man was back on the ice, Alexandre Boivin chipped the puck over Graham’s shoulder to put a goal on the board for the Ravens.
With 17 minutes left of play, the Gee-Gees led 2-1.
Three minutes later, the Ravens were able to sneak the puck past the Gee-Gees goaltender again.
A clean shot by Jared Steege evened up the score at 2-2, shifting the momentum. both on the ice and in the stands.
“They ramped up their intensity and we were turning over pucks,” said Hardie after the game. “They capitalized on a few chances in the third.”
After back to back shots at Graham, he was caught on the ground leaving the net wide open for Kody McDonald. After scoring three in a row, the Ravens took the lead 3-2 over the Gee-Gees.
With seven minutes left in the game, the pressure was on the Grey and Garnet to reclaim the lead.
A cross-checking penalty called on the Ravens gave the Gee-Gees a power-play opportunity.
The U of O crowd was cheering louder than ever, hoping to help the team generate a goal.
Unfortunately for the U of O, the Ravens were able to kill the penalty and it was even five on five hockey for the remainder of the game.
With two minutes left, Graham was off the ice for the extra attacker.
Even with six skaters, the Gee-Gees struggled to control the puck in the Carleton zone.
With 37 seconds left, the Ravens scored an empty-net goal to put the game out of reach for the Gees.
After the final buzzer, the Ravens claimed the Colonel By Classic banner at centre ice while their fans celebrated the comeback victory.
The Gee-Gees stepped off the ice not feeling so great after giving up their lead.
“It’s a nice atmosphere, the fans were great, but obviously the objective is to win,” said Hardie. “It’s tough to let this one slip away.”
“We handed them the game,” said Grandmaitre. “It wasn’t tic tac toe plays, it was them taking the puck away from us, creating turnovers and then pouncing on their chances.”
The 4-2 loss was not what the Gee-Gees were hoping for, but they will be back in action on home ice on Sunday against Nipissing with the chance to turn things around.