Defence leads men’s hockey team in 6-3 win against rival Carleton
The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team was back in action on Friday, Jan. 11.
The red horses took on the Carleton Ravens at Minto Sports Complex for their fourth and last meeting of the year.
Losers of the last two meetings, the Gee-Gees looked to change their fortune against a likely playoff foe and lock down two big points.
Things didn’t start off the way the Gees may have wanted early in the first period. In spite of being on a two-man advantage, five minutes into the game, Ravens forward Alexandre Boivin converted a bad defensive pass into a breakaway, and served Gee-Gees goalie Anthony Brodeur a nice backhander to open up the scoring.
Carleton’s lead would be short-lived, as the Gees tied it up seconds later, when Mike Poirier found the back of the net on a nice pass from Marc Beckstead to tie it up at one.
The Gee-Gees would then head on the power-play, thanks to a Darian Skeoch cross-checking penalty. Medric Mercier would then score with a bomb from the point to give the U of O a 2-1 lead with about eight minutes left in the first.
The boys in Grey and Garnet weren’t done—they added to their lead on a shot from Yvan Mongo that beat Ravens goalie Francois Brassard through the five-hole.
Carleton replied a minute later with a weird goal from behind the redline, cutting the Gees’ lead to 3-2, which they would take into the locker room.
The second period would prove to be a bit more of a grind. Along with less scoring chances and tighter hockey, the Gees also lost Kyle Ward to an upper body injury. They still managed to take back their two-goal lead on a short-side shot from Poirier near the end of the frame, taking a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
It wouldn’t take long for the Gees to affirm their dominance over the Ravens in the third. Defenceman Cody Van Lierop beat Brassard with a rocket from the point to give the Gees a 5-2 lead less than a minute into the period.
In spite of the early goal, the Ravens got one back a couple minutes later, beating Brodeur with a nice pass from Evan de Haan to Jared Steege sitting on the backdoor to make it 5-3.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, that’s all they’d get back, as Kevin Domingue added to the Gees’ lead late in the third to make it 6-3 on the power-play, hammering in the final nail.
“It felt good to score coming back from injury. Getting on the power-play I got a good pass from (Eric Locke) and was able to bear down, get that shot through and score,” Mercier said. “As for our team, it was a good game. We know they’re a physical team so we played hard and we got rewarded.”
In his post-game scrum, head coach Patrick Grandmaitre stressed how happy he and assistant coach Brent Sullivan were of their defensive core’s offensive efforts, scoring four of their team’s six goals on the night, and their importance to the success of their power-play.
“My assistant coach really likes his defencemen. I tease him a lot, but tonight a big contribution to the attack, four goals—our power-play worked very well tonight and it’s important to have everyone contributing to the attack. It’s huge—so important to get our power-play going,” Grandmaitre said. “We’re first in the league in goals for and against but the power-play was something we struggled with, and it’s good to see it working, especially against a team like them.”
The men’s hockey team will be in Montreal for a 7:30 p.m. affair with the Concordia Stingers on Jan. 12. The Gees will be back home Jan. 18 for a double-header with the University de Trois-Rivières Patriotes. Puck-drop for the first game is scheduled for 7:30 pm. Grab tickets here.