For the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s hockey team, the playoffs are set to begin the same way the regular season did months ago — with a trip to the Ice House to take on the Carleton Ravens. The Gee-Gees are hot heading into playoffs, posting an 8-1-1 record in their final 10 games of the season.
“I feel pretty good with the end of the year that we had, but it still boils down to us preparing to play against a really good team,” head coach Patrick Grandmaître stressed. “Carleton is kind of the benchmark for us here.”
“It’s what we’re striving to become, so to become a great program with a reputation like they have, we have to go through them. Guys are excited, we’re focused and looking forward to seeing how we come out.”
In four regular season meetings with the Ravens, Ottawa posted a 1-2-1 record with the sole win coming at the Colonel By Classic. A front-loaded schedule means the teams haven’t met since a 7-2 loss on December 2.
“I think our attention to detail is a bit better since the second half of the year,” Grandmaître said. “If you look at the four game series, it shows how much of a good team they are. They took the season series, they’re a great team. We need to prepare to face a great team and to be ready to match-up with what they bring.”
Ottawa and Carleton feature some of the best pure scorers in the league. Kevin Domingue is fresh off a 19-goal campaign, while Carleton’s Brett Welychka and Ryan Van Stralen are always dangerous with the puck on their stick.
In goal, François Brassard earned the lion’s share of Carleton starts, earning 12 wins along the way, including three against Ottawa. Anthony Brodeur and Graham Hunt split starts in-goal all season long, and posted near identical stats along the way. Hunt earned 9 wins while posting a 0.902 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average. Brodeur meanwhile earned 7 wins with a 0.911 save percentage and a 2.91 goals against average. Wednesday’s starting goaltender for the Garnet and Grey is a game-time decision.
Assistant Captain Brendan Jacome says the team is feeling good heading into playoffs. “We’re ready and we’ve been playing good hockey so we’re excited to get this series going,” he said. “It’s going to be physical hockey, very intense but I think the crowds are going to be into it too. We’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The series will open on Wednesday, February 14 at the Ice House with puck drop slated at 7:00 p.m. Ottawa will host game two at 7:30 p.m. at the Minto Sports Complex on Friday, February 16. Game three, if necessary, will be at Carleton on Sunday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m.