Hockey players on the ice
The calm before the storm. Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum.
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The game resulted in a 5-3 win for the Gee-Gees, breaking Carleton’s winning streak

Families, friends, and eager students gathered to watch the first University of Ottawa vs. Carleton University men’s hockey game of the season this past Saturday. The game was highly anticipated due to their historic rivalry, heightened only by the fact that the Ravens had been on a four-game winning streak, and the Gee-Gees had suffered a loss to Queen’s the day before.

The well-awaited first game between these hometown rivals lived up to its expectations with an evenly matched game, broken only in the third period. 

From the initial puck drop, it was clear that the game would be aggressive. The first penalty was awarded to Gee-Gees’ forward Aaron Brown within the first two minutes for slashing, and thus began the exceeding number of penalties that were served in the first period.

At the beginning of the first, the Ravens were battling hard, forcing the puck into the Gee-Gees’ end and utilizing their strong passing skills. However, nearing the halfway point of the first period, the Gees turned the tide. Earning a power play from Carleton’s slip-up with too many players on the ice, the Gees scored their first goal thanks to Nicolas Ouellet, who was assisted by Peter Stratis and Mathieu Desgagnés. 

The next three minutes proved troublesome for the Carleton Ravens, with two more goals scored on goalie Mark Grametbauer. The second goal, scored by Anthony Poulin, came not even two minutes after the first. The third, less than a minute later, was scored on another power play, with a firm one-timer slapshot from defensive player, Jean-Robin Mantha, which was assisted by fellow defenceman Liam Markhauser and prior goal-scorer Poulin. 

Tensions began to rise with three separate fights breaking out at one time, two of them ending with both players knocked to the ice. This earned Ouellet from the Gees and Majid Kaddoura from the Ravens each a penalty for roughing. 

The Ravens’ preference for passing and feinting their opponents paid off when they scored their first goal nearing the end of the first period, breaking Christian Sbaraglia’s strong barrier. 

The second period was a hard battle for both teams and resulted in no goals. The Gees’ tendency to surround the net in defence was effective, and the Ravens’ forwards made good attempts to fight back. The number of penalties decreased, but the hostility between the two was still palpable, with Sbaraglia receiving a penalty for roughing while protecting the net.

Ouellet, the forward responsible for the first goal of the game, was escorted off the ice with a limp, which didn’t bode well for the Gees, as they have seen multiple players this season taken out of the line-up due to injury. 

Starting the third period with a score of 3-1, the pressure was on Carleton’s shoulders. They managed to match the Gee-Gees in number of goals within the first ten minutes. The second goal from Carleton was scored on a power play, while Adam Sandstrom was confined to the penalty box and their third goal was achieved through their ability to read each other’s movements extremely well. 

More shots were sent towards Sbaraglia, but were miraculously saved by his quick glove hand and a spectacular slide across the net. The crowd held their breath as the last two minutes arrived with a tie at 3-3. With only 1:44 left in the game, Tommy Bouchard buried the puck in the Ravens’ net, sealing the Gee-Gees’ victory. 

The Ravens pulled their goalie to tie the score once more, but were unsuccessful. Desgagnés sent the puck across the ice and scored the fifth goal on an empty net. 

The Minto Complex erupted into applause as the clock wound down to zero, simultaneously ending Carleton’s winning streak and maintaining Sbaraglia’s perfect record this season

On whether he saw the potential for a goal tonight, Tommy Bouchard said, “You want to score every game. It doesn’t happen every game. To help the team win, it’s a great feeling.” 

Head coach Patrick Grandmaître said, “Overall, we are happy with the game, but we feel like we played 85 per cent. Close to 100, but it was more of an 85 per cent game for us.”

With two more games left between these rivals, we are sure to see more tension-filled battles.