WITH SO FEW games left in the season, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams suffered excruciating losses in their respective conferences over the weekend. The teams each saw defeats by McGill University, but the men’s team was given an opportunity to redeem themselves with a 4-1 win against crosstown rivals, the Carleton University Ravens.
Fighting a losing battle
Gee-Gees struggle against top ranked Martlets
On Jan. 28, the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team (6-10) faced the McGill University Martlets (14-1-1), currently ranked first in the country.
Only minutes into the game, a crack resonated throughout the arena. A quick pass up the right side by Gee-Gees third-year forward Fannie Desforges met third-year forward Dominique Lefebvre’s stick for an early lead.
After many opportunities in front of the net, the Martlets retaliated with a wrap-around goal, tying up the score and setting the pace for the rest of the game.
Though the Gees kept the Martlets close in the first period 1-2, the second period onslaught by McGill was too much for the U of O to handle. The Martlets added another four goals to their tally.
“Every time we made mistakes. they made us pay,” explained Gees’ head coach Yanick Evola. “In the second period, they were able to capitalize on every chance they had.”
The game ended with McGill up by six points, winning 7-1.
Despite the loss, Evola said he was pleased with the overall effort displayed on the ice.
“We were playing the best team in the country,” explained Evola. “We wanted to give the best effort possible, [but] we got a couple of crossbars.”
Despite the looming loss, spirits remained high in the stands as the Hockey feminine de l’Outaouais’ (HFO) novice team—ages nine to 10—continued to cheer on the Gees. Sophie Shaver, who was celebrating her birthday, was impressed with the speed of the game and the puck handling. Being the only novice team in the Outaouais region, most girls transferred over from boys’ teams where they were captains, explained Sophie’s mother, U of O alumnus Tara Shaver.
“What we’re trying to show them is that the girls’ [teams] can skate just as fast as the boys,” explained Shaver.
The Gees travelled to Concordia University to face the Stingers (3-12) on Jan. 29, where they won by a single point on some successful power-play action.
The Gees will travel to McGill for a rematch on Feb. 10, and return to face the University of Montreal Carabins (10-4-1) at home on Feb. 12 at 2 p.m.
Best offence is a good defence
Men’s hockey team extends losing streak
As the season comes closer to its end every game is crucial for the Gees to see a playoff spot. The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team (13-11-1) faced off against the McGill University Redmen (18-3-2) on Jan. 27 in Montreal only to see their losing streak increase to four games after a disappointing 7-2 loss.
“Our confidence is low … It seems like any time we make a mistake [the puck is] in the back of the net,” explained head coach Réal Paiement after the game. “We’re running out of time [in the season] and we have to find a way back onto the winning track”.
The Gees did just that when they tightened up their defensive play to earn a 4-1 victory over the Carleton University Ravens (13-9-3) on Jan. 29.
The Gees opened the scoring early in the game with a goal from fourth-year forward Matthieu Methot, and brought the score to 2-0 before the period ended, first-year forward Stephen Blunden scoring on a power play.
After adding two more goals in the second and third periods by forwards Alexandre Touchette and Maxime Chamberland, the team focused on playing smart defensively to secure the victory.
“We didn’t want to give good opportunities to our opponents” said Paiement. “We wanted to create scoring chances without taking chances.”
The Gee-Gees play the first of their last three games of the season on Feb. 4, taking on the Concordia University Stingers (12-10-2) in Montreal.