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The Gees now hold a 1-0 series lead against the Ridgebacks. Photo: Desmond Staples/The Fulcrum

Gees could take the series Saturday on home ice  

The Gee-Gees men’s hockey team defeated the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks 2-1 in overtime to take Game 1 of their best of three series in Oshawa on Wednesday night. 

Sophomore Kyle Ward was the hero on the night for the Gee-Gees, scoring only 5:26 into overtime. The Sackville, N.B. native took a hard shot at Tech goalie Leif Hertz, who bobbled it and let it bounce into his net. 

“Big win tonight, glad to get the O.T .winner tonight but we got another big game coming Saturday,” said Ward in a video posted to the men’s hockey team’s Twitter.

Kevin Domingue had the Gees lone goal in regulation, beating Hertzon on a powerplay while dragging a Ridgeback defender on his back, faking to go backhand then going forehand late in the first period. 

Goaltender Domenic Graham picked up his first OUA playoff win in his last year of eligibility after playing four seasons for the ever-struggling Nipissing Lakers. The former Drummondville Voltigeur made 30 saves on the night. 

Cody Grant scored for the Ridgebacks in the second period, while Sean Ross picked up the helper. 

The Gee-Gees will have two opportunities to eliminate the Ridgebacks on home ice this weekend at Minto Sports Complex. Game 2 starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and with a win Ottawa moves on to the next round. With a loss, both teams will meet for Game 3 at the same time and place on Sunday. 

Elsewhere in the OUA playoffs…

OUA EAST: (8) RMC vs. (1) Carleton, Ravens lead the series 1-0.

Despite blowing a 3-0 lead in front of their home crowd at the ice house, Carleton beat RMC 7-3 on Wednesday night. 

Leading the way for Carleton was freshman Parker AuCoin, who had a hat trick. Former Mississauga Steelheads captain Josh Burnside scored two goals and added an assist for the Ravens. For RMC, Seamus McGuire, Christopher Paquette, and Sam Cameron scored back-to-back-to-back in the second period. Goalie Brad Van Schubert lasted all of 12 minutes for the Paladins, who were down by three early. Joey May couldn’t hold the fort in relief, giving up four goals on 29 shots.

OUA EAST: (2) UQTR vs (7) Queen’s, Patriotes lead the series 1-0

The UQTR Patriotes defeated the Queen’s Golden Gaels in Kingston on Wednesday night. Sebastian Auger had a relatively easy night for the Patriotes, stopping 20 of 21 shots. Simon Lafrance, Zacharie Lavigne, and Christophe Boivin found the back of the net for UQTR to give the team its first playoff win since 2017. 

OUA WEST: (8) Western vs. (1) Toronto, Varsity Blues lead the series 1-0 

In Toronto, No. 1 seed Varsity Blues toyed with the eighth seed Western Mustangs. Toronto beat Western 6-2. Junior forward Scott Kirton recorded a hat trick for the blues, while teammates Joey Manchurek, Chase Olsen and Ross Krieger rounded out the boxscore. Western was 0/11 on the powerplay, and Toronto goaltender Alex Bishop made 37 saves in the win. 

OUA WEST: (2) Ryerson Rams vs (7) Lakehead Thunderwolves, Rams lead the series 1-0

Lakehead will have to beat Ryerson twice at the old Maple Leaf Gardens if they hope to move on to the second round. The Rams beat the Thunderwolves 4-1 on Wednesday night in Thunder Bay thanks to an offensive committee made up of Adam Craeivich, Patrick Fellows, Matt Mistele and Jacob Kamps, who all lit up the lamp in game one. 

OUA WEST: (4) Windsor Lancers vs (5) Brock Badgers, Badgers lead series 1-0

The only lower seed to upset a higher-seeded opponent on Wednesday was the Brock Badgers, who beat the Windsor Lancers 6-3. Big performances from Adam Berg, Jared Marino, and Jordan Malleta were key for the Badgers in their big road win.

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