Ravens men’s hockey ends losing streak

The Carleton Ravens hit the midpoint of the season on a high note, finishing off the weekend with big wins on the road over the University of Ottawa (U of O) Gee-Gees and the surging Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins.

The Ravens had come into the weekend on a four game losing streak, in which they were thoroughly outplayed by their opponents. 

The weekend opened up on Dec. 1 across the city at the University of Ottawa with the Ravens looking for revenge following a 4-3 loss in the Colonel By Classic.

The Ravens took full advantage, racing out to a early six goal lead in the first period. First-year forward Jared Steege scored twice and added an assist in the first three minutes, taking his goal total up to 13. Steege is now leading Ontario University Athletics (OUA) in goals for rookies.

Within the first three minutes, top line centre Brett Welychka also put one past the U of O’s second string goaltender Graham Hunt, which signaled the end of his night as regular starter Anthony Brodeur was put in the game in his place.

But, their goaltenders proved to not be the main concern for the Gee-Gees, as poor defensive clearances and gap control led to more Ravens goals. Immediately after replacing Hunt in net, Brodeur would be scored on by Adam Chapman, who extended the Ravens lead to 4-0. Ryan Van Stralen and Dalen Hedges would add to the lead later in the period, closing out the first with a 6-0 lead.

The Ravens completely dominated the first period, racing out to the early lead and using their fast and physical forecheck to force Ottawa into making many uncharacteristic mistakes. The Ravens’ top line once again showed why it is one of the more dominant lines in the OUA, combining for four goals.

The second period began with a much chippier game, especially from the Gee-Gees. Having realized they were being blown out, frustration set in on the bench and led to penalties and rough play after the whistles.

Van Stralen would add another goal in the second on the power play to bring the Ravens up to their final total of seven goals. Three of Carleton’s goals on the night would come while on the power play. 

In total, 38 minutes of penalties were given out, something the Ravens took full advantage of, going 3-8 on the power play after having not scored a goal in the past four games. The Gee-Gees would find the back of the net twice in the final six minutes, bringing the score up to 7-2.

On the road against RMC

Bus troubles and a slow start awaited the Ravens on the way to Kingston, having the game delayed due to the fact that they showed up late to the arena to face the suddenly surging RMC Paladins.

The Paladins, who have won games against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivères Patriotes and Queen’s Gaels this season, have been in stark contrast to their usual position of OUA East bottom feeders. After a lazy first period ended with Carleton being outshot and outworked, the mood shifted going into the second period, with new directives coming out of the intermission.

The Ravens took the lead on a powerplay goal from Fabian Walsh, on a wrist shot from the point that bounced around and ended up in the back of the net. Despite a stronger period by Carleton, they entered the intermission down a man, as the final buzzer brought a five minute boarding call and a game misconduct for Brett Gustavsen.

In the third period, while still on the penalty kill, Welychka stole the puck at the point and drove down the ice on the breakaway, outwaiting Paladins goaltender Daniel Vautour and tucking it in for the second goal of the game.

The Paladins continued to push, but the Ravens doubled down and used solid defensive zone play to keep the puck of the net, not taking risks and not giving a chance for RMC to get back into the game.

The Paladins called a timeout with 39 seconds left in the third and their net empty, but on the ensuing draw Van Stralen picked up the loose puck and tucked it in, securing the win for Carleton.

The Ravens finish the first half of their season with a record of 10-4-2, good enough for fourth place in the OUA East. The team will restart their season on Jan. 5, against RMC at the Ice House.