Gees beat UQTR 4-2 in Game 3, will face Concordia next round
For the first time since its re-establishment in 2016, the University of Ottawa men’s hockey program will take part in the OUA East final after defeating the UQTR Patriotes 4-2 in Trois-Rivières Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Gee-Gees took the series 2-1 after losing Game 1 on the road last Wednesday and staving off elimination on home ice Friday night.
The Gee-Gees move on to the OUA Eastern Conference finals where they will face the Concordia Stingers. The Gees have a 1-2 record against the Stingers, winning 5-3 early in the season before falling 8-7 and more recently 5-4 to the team from Montreal.
In Game 3, the Gee-Gees outshot the Patriotes 49-25 while Sebastien Auger made 45 save in the losing effort. Domenic Graham made 23 saves on 25 shots, and he was beaten twice in the first period before shutting down the Trois-Rivières offence.
Felix Boivin opened the score for the home team less than three minutes into the game. Teammate Jordan Matel followed, suit scoring with only 19 seconds left in the first period. After a rough last minute of the period, the Gees were glad to get a fifteen-minute break to recuperate and start fresh in the second period.
Ottawa dominated the second frame, scoring three times on 18 shots. Cody Drover scored first for the Gees on a powerplay and assisted linemate Kevin Domingue’s game-tying goal two minutes later. Marco Azzano scored his first goal of the playoffs to give Ottawa its first lead of the game with eight minutes left.
The Patriotes knocked on the door in the latter half of the second and in the third period, but could not beat Graham who stood tall on every Trois-Rivières chance. Jacob Sweeney scored an empty netter to give Ottawa an insurance goal late.
The Gee-Gees took the game 4-2 and the series 2-1.
Seemingly determined to go out with a bang, the original core of the new program has stepped its game up in the playoffs this year. Apart from Game 1 against the Patriotes, Domingue, Drover, Jacome, Sweeney, Azzano, and captain Quinn O’Brien have all been lights out.
Matt Dunlop and Jacob Hanlon have also been very impactful on both sides of the ice. The fourth-year players have provided solid defence and have been very helpful to the Gee-Gees in penalty kill situations in the playoffs and across the last four seasons.
Game times for the Concordia series have yet to be announced, but Ottawa will be home to Game 1 as well as Game 3, if it’s necessary.