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Playoff Preview: Gee-Gees aim to upset Queen’s in first-round series

Tuesday February 14, 2017
Hockey player skating.
Photo: 
Ellen Bond

The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team will look to manufacture an upset against the higher-seeded Queen’s Gaels in round one of the OUA playoffs. The Gee-Gees (15-8-5) split the season series with the Gaels (18-7-3), and will have to find ways to generate offence against their defence-first opponents.

“We’ve proven that we can challenge any team in this league,” said uOttawa head coach Patrick Grandmaitre. “They’re a highly-ranked team, they’ve been in the Top-10 almost all season, and we know that we have to play our best to compete in this series.”

While Queen’s naturally boasts more playoff experience than the first-year Gee-Gees, Grandmaitre is confident in his team’s ability to create an upset.

“It’s going to be a tough task, but we’re confident that if we’re on our game we can cause a surprise,” said the Gee-Gees bench boss. “We need to be at our best to make it happen.”

uOttawa rolls into the series as the six-seed with a 7-1-2 record in its last 10 games, while the Gaels — who were without their top players and head coach during the Universiade — went 5-3-2 in their final 10 games.

Anthony Brodeur (Morin-Heights, Que.) and Kevin Bailie are the projected starting goaltenders for Wednesday’s Game 1 in Kingston.

Schedule

#6 Ottawa Gee-Gees vs. #3 Queen’s Gaels

Game 1 — Wed., Feb. 15 (7:30, Kingston Memorial Centre)
Stream: OUA.tv / Radio: http://mixlr.com/carlos-verde-1/
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Game 2 — Fri., Feb. 17 (7:30, Minto Sports Complex)
Stream: OUA.tv (uOttawa Broadcast)
Buy tickets

Game 3 — Sat., Feb. 18 (7:30, Kingston Memorial Centre)
Stream: OUA.tv / Radio: http://mixlr.com/carlos-verde-1/

Players to Watch

Kevin Domingue, F, uOttawa: The Laval native led the Gee-Gees in scoring (16-15—31) and led the entire OUA in game-winning goals (5). While somewhat snake-bit in the closing weeks of the regular season, his two-goal effort in the season finale at Nipissing to snap a four-game goalless drought could be a sign of things to come.

Spencer Abraham, D, Queen’s: Now in his third year on the university circuit, Abraham is fresh off a point-per-game performance with Team Canada at the Universiade and runs the Queen’s powerplay. The Gee-Gees will have to be weary of his ability to move the puck.

Gab Vermette, D, uOttawa: The lone uOttawa veteran is also the team’s most physical player, and in a matchup against a crash-and-bang team like Queen’s, Vermette’s d-zone play will be critical for the Gee-Gees to limit their opponents’ chances.

 

Kevin Bailie, G, Queen’s: The Gaels have relied heavily on goaltending in recent years, and it’s easy to understand why when you look at Bailie’s numbers. The former Oshawa General has consistently been one of the best goalies in the nation, and this season is no different.

By the numbers

20 — Assists recorded by Queen’s forward Slater Doggett — the most of any player in the series.

26 — Combined number of one-goal games played by the Gee-Gees (10) and Gaels (16) during their 28-game regular season.

75 — Penalty minutes recorded by uOttawa forward Connor Sills — second in the OUA only to Brock’s Mack Lemmon.

587 — Combined penalty minutes between Queen’s (219) and uOttawa (368), the two least-penalized teams in the OUA East.