Photo: Eric Davidson.
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The Gees will look to come up big in final playoff game on Sunday

The Gees won a hometown rivalry to beat Carleton in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs, but the second round offers a whole new challenge.

The Gee-Gees are in with a chance for a huge upset, as they could take out the number one team in their division, the McGill Redmen, in their best of three series in the second round of the playoffs.

The Garnet and Grey came out strong in the first game of the series against the Redmen on Feb. 21. An early tip-in by Gee-Gee Jacob Hanlon put the University of Ottawa ahead in the first period. It was a nice birthday present for Hanlon, and a good start for the team. The Gees kept up the pressure.

It looked like the Gees had taken a 2-0 lead 40 seconds into the second period, but the goal was called off. A few minutes later, McGill would score, tying the game up at one apiece. The Redmen continued to apply pressure in the second, getting some good chances before burying the puck once again to take a 2-1 lead in the closing minutes of the second.

But the Gee-Gees came up clutch in the final frame. The Garnet and Grey got a power play halfway through the period and made no mistakes, as Marco Azzani deflected the puck into the net to knot the game at two.

McGill would repeat its mistake, giving the U of O another man advantage with just four minutes remaining, and the Gees would capitalize yet again. This time it was Médric Mercier who scored, potting the game winner.

The Gee-Gees would hold on to win game one in dramatic fashion.

In game two, set in Ottawa on Feb. 23, McGill came out even stronger, knowing that if they lost, they would be eliminated.

The Gee-Gees got off to a great start once again, seizing an early 1-0 lead as Michael Poirer scored on the team’s first shot of the game.

But this time, it was the Redmen’s turn to flip the script. McGill’s Keanu Yamamoto scored twice, the first goal coming early in the second, the second early in the third, to shift the momentum and give the Redmen a 2-1 lead.

With time winding down in the third, the Gees hoped to come up clutch yet again. After both goalies put on very strong performances, the U of O decided to pull their netminder. Despite the best offensive efforts on the part of the Garnet and Grey, they couldn’t convert, and McGill scored a pair of empty net goals to close out the match 4-1.

But the Gees weren’t able to convert in the third and final game. 

McGill scored just five minutes into the game and never looked back. Down 3-1 going into the third period, the Gee-Gees weren’t able to pull off any last-minute magic. After a scoring blitz topped off with an empty net goal, the Redmen took the game 6-3.

The Gee-Gees are now out of the playoffs, but they put up a strong performance in the second round against the top-ranked team.