U of O beats Voyageurs 5-1 on home ice to win series
Coming off an easy 8-1 win in Sudbury, the University of Ottawa men’s hockey team defeated their first-round opponent, the Laurentian Voyageurs, in front of a seemingly sold-out crowd at the Minto Sports Complex on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Laurentian held their only lead of the series in the first period when rookie Haydn Hopkins beat goaltender Anthony Brodeur. Sadly for the Voyageurs, that lead would be short-lived, as Cody Drover scored off a nice spin-o-rama move in front of the net to tie the game at one goal apiece.
In the second, the U of O offence would get back to form, scoring three goals in the period.
Kevin Domingue would strike twice, beating Voyageurs goalie Michael Giugovaz 30 seconds into the period, capitalizing on a Mike Poirier rebound. He would then score his second of the game and sixth of the playoffs, tapping in a nice backdoor pass from Eric Locke.
Later in the period, Anthony Brodeur seemingly took after his father—a legendary puck-handler—and passed the puck up to Locke, beating Giugovaz high blocker-side with a wrist-shot from the top of the circle. This gave the Gees a 4-1 lead heading into the dressing room.
In the third, U of O wrapped up the series up with a final goal, as Marc Beckstead scored his first of the playoffs to give the Gees a nice series-clinching 5-1 win on home ice.
The Gees will now face the Queen’s Gaels in the Ontario University Athletics east division semifinals. Queen’s finished the season fourth in of the division with 36 points and a record of 18-10-0.
Gees’ third-year forward Jacob Hanlon previewed the upcoming series a little.
“We’re looking forward to the second round (against Queen’s), with every round the games will get tighter and tougher,’’ Hanlon said.
These two teams last met in the playoffs in 2017—the year the U of O men’s hockey program was re-established. Queen’s had home-ice advantage and beat the Gees in three.
In that series, Queen’s goaltender Kevin Bailie played on his head, shutting out the Gees in game three. However, Queen’s lost Bailie last year when he signed with the AHL’s Laval Rocket.
The boys in garnet and grey will still need to look out for known Gee-Gees killer Slater Doggett. The former Kingston Frontenac had 34 points in his fourth season with the Gaels, and was instrumental in Queens’ first-round win against Concordia, recording two goals and two assists in two games.
For Domingue, this series will be all about keeping the game simple.
“(Our) team is playing pretty good. Everybody is playing great hockey—now we’re going to face a tougher team, so we’ll have to make sure we keep our game simple, fast, and hard, but we are confident in us,” Domingue said.
In two matches versus Queen’s this year, the Gee’s are 2-0-0, winning both early in the season by scores of 4-2 and 4-1 respectively.
The series-opener begins on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Minto Sports Complex at 7:30 p.m. Grab tickets here.