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RECAP: Gee-Gees earn hard-fought victory over the Paladins

Saturday November 18, 2017
Patrick White prepares for face-off
Photo: 
Greg Mason
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s hockey team wrapped up the weekend with a 2-1 overtime win over the RMC Paladins on November 18 at the Minto Sports Complex.
“It wasn’t an exquisite win tonight, but I thought we carried the play most of the game. A lot of these guys played well, but they played well as well,” head coach Patrick Grandmaître said following the game. “You can’t expect an easy game against them cause they work hard, they’re structured, and they’ve got good goaltending. Happy for our guys, big four point weekend, and stuff to build on."
 
The game opened to a torrid pace with teams quickly exchanging rushes up ice in hopes of generating shots on goal. RMC was first to crack the scoreboard, as Bennett Huber buried a centering effort with 21 seconds to go in the first period. The Gee-Gees were quick to reply with a tally of their own when Jacob Sweeney’s quick wrist shot snuck under the arm of Paladins goaltender Daniel Vautour and into the back of the net just over two minutes into the second period.
 
While there were several infractions generated over the course of the contest, there were fewer power play opportunities than usually. Extra-curricular activities following the whistle often resulted in coincidental penalties. Over the course of the weekend, Ottawa improved their penalty kill percentage with a flawless effort over the course of two games.
 
“It’s all about coaching,” Grandmaître said of the penalty kill. “[Assistant Coach] Brent Sullivan is running the PK, he’s doing the right system and pushing the right buttons. Guys are following his directives and it’s paying off, we’re climbing in the PK rankings in the league, so we need to keep it going.” 
 
Despite the Gee-Gees heavily outshooting the Paladins 44-29 through regulation, it wasn’t enough time to declare a victor. In overtime, Eric Locke maintained puck possession down low before getting the puck over to Médric Mercier, who promptly tapped the puck into the back of the net.
 
Ottawa will now prepare for next week’s contests, when they host the Ryerson Rams on November 24, and the York Lions the following night. Both contests will offer a stiff challenge for the Gee-Gees. York is currently the defending Queen’s Cup champion and tops in the OUA West, while Ryerson is a pair of points behind in second place.
—Cameron Penney