After a pair of unsuccessful comeback attempts against the Carleton Ravens this season, the third time was the charm as the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s hockey team won by a score of 4-3 at the Colonel By Classic on November 17.
“We’ve been struggling in the past few weeks to finish games, or start games, or put up complete games. Even though we were down 2-1 going into the third I thought we were playing well enough to be in the game,” head coach Patrick Grandmaître said following the game. “I’m happy for the guys … they’ve been working hard, we’re in every game, we’re aggressive. It’s fun for the kids to get rewarded and that’s my biggest takeaway from this.”
The game opened at a cautious pace, with both teams sticking to their systems in hopes of their opponent making the first mistake. As the period progressed, the Gee-Gees began to push the pace, as they pressured the Ravens with 11 shots on goal. The Ravens meanwhile, managed only 5 shots through most of the opening frame, before a late power play opportunity sent a flurry of shots at Gee-Gees goaltender Graham Hunt.
Carleton opened the scoring following a scramble in the crease. Hunt made the initial save before Ravens defender Josh Burnside tucked in the rebreed midway through the second period.
It didn’t take long for the Gee-Gees to respond, as Patrick White tucked in the puck from a bad angle to knot the game at one. The goal marked White’s first career goal as a Gee-Gee in his first career regular season game.
With just 34 seconds to go on the clock in the second period, Ravens forward Adam Chapman sent a quick wrister on goal, and put it over the shoulder of Hunt to give Carleton the lead.
“Usually the third period is our period. Unfortunately we’ve not had the lead much the past couple games, we’ve been behind trying to get back in the game,” Grandmaître said. “Our conditioning is really good so we usually come out hard in the third. That’s what we were banking on in the third—our legs would keep going and going, and this is what happened tonight.”
Ottawa would waste no time scoring a quick goal of their own, as Mitchell Gibson tapped in a loose puck 33 seconds into the third to tie the game. A wrist shot from Médric Mercier at the point just three minutes later would then give the Gee-Gees their first lead of the night.
The Gee-Gees would maintain strong defensive play over the course of the third to maintain the one goal lead. A lucky bounce enhanced their lead late, as Kevin Domingue’s shot sailed over the net, off the glass, then hit Brassard’s back and fell into the goal.
The Ravens pressured late, but came up short, as they managed a single goal with five seconds remaining to cut the Gee-Gees lead to one. Ottawa returns to action tomorrow when they host the RMC Paladins as part of Military Appreciation Night.
— Cameron Penney