Goaltender Graham proving to be a solid addition to the Gee-Gees
The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team welcomed the Carleton Ravens to the Minto Sports Complex on Sunday. This was the first time the rival teams have met this season. With the Colonel By Classic less than a week away, this was the perfect opportunity for the teams to see where they stand.
Even with the rivalry game coming up, the Gee-Gees and head coach Patrick Grandmaitre were not distracted.
“It’s a cliche, but in sports, you’re always trying to take things one game at a time,” said Grandmaitre.
Just a day earlier, the Gee-Gees earned a shutout win over McGill to boost their confidence before facing the 10-1 Ravens team.
Only four minutes after puck drop, the first of many penalties was called.
The Gee-Gees were on the powerplay and could not generate much but a few shots on Carleton’s goalie Mark Grametbauer. With four seconds left on the Carleton penalty, the Gees got a penalty of their own.
The away team was unable to get past Gee-Gees goaltender Domenic Graham.
Both teams would play with even numbers for just a few minutes before trading penalties once again right to the end of the first period.
With no points on the board, the Gee-Gees opened up the second period with a minute of powerplay time remaining but were still unable to score.
Only five minutes into the period, the U of O scrambled at their bench. The referee put his arm up and blew his whistle indicating too many men on the ice for Ottawa, giving the Ravens a one men advantage.
This time, the Gee-Gees penalty kill unit could not hold back the Ravens attack.
With 7:07 left in the period, Carleton’s Brogan O’Brien tipped the puck in behind Graham to make the score 1-0.
The goal, however, did not go unanswered.
At the tail end of the second, Gee-Gees forward Mathieu Newcomb intercepted a lone Raven’s pass near the opposing blue line, giving himself the opportunity to skate into the Carleton zone and easily find the back of the net.
The second period came to an end just 17 seconds later with the scoreboard showing 1-1 for both teams.
Some pushing and shoving after the horn led to a Carleton penalty to be served at the beginning of the third period.
The Gee-Gees did not take advantage
In the final 10 minutes of play, the intensity picked up.
Fighting to keep possession in Carleton’s end, a few quick passes by Kevin Domingue and Cody Drover in front of the net ended with a nice chip into the goal by Nicolas Mattinen.
With the Grey and Garnet up by one, the last three minutes of play was incredibly exciting.
A high sticking call forced the Gee-Gees penalty kill unit back on the ice with 2:34 left in the game.
The pressure was on Graham to prevent a Carleton goal all eyes on him, he remained solid between the pipes, stopping every shot.
“It’s fun to play in the last few minutes like that,” Graham said after the game.
At the final horn, the U of O won the game 2-1.
Overcoming a slow first period, numerous penalties, and keeping it together in the final minutes were important factors in the Gee-Gees win.
“I thought they were the better team in the first half of the game, but the second half was all us,” Grandmaitre said.
The Gee-Gees and the Ravens will face off again in the Colonel By Classic at TD Place on Friday. The Gees will look to repeat their win over Carleton.
“We have to take it one day at a time, it’s nice to get a win like this but we have to refocus and be ready for the next one,” Graham said. “They’re a good team over there, they work hard so we have to prepare mentally and physically for Friday when we play them again.”