OTTAWA - In their first playoff game since 2013, the Carleton Ravens lost 2-1 at the hands of the Bishop's Gaiters. It was a tight checking, low scoring game at the Carleton Ice House which saw some great goaltending at both ends. “Too many times we lost battles and races,” Ravens head coach Pierre Alain said postgame. "That’s the difference.”
The Gaiters came out of the gate strong right off the hop, and quickly made it 1-0 off a goal from Majorie Bolduc. On a nice set up below the goal line, Bolduc found the puck in the slot, putting it five-hole on Marie-Eve Cote (Quebec City, Que.) to give the Gaiters the lead. Credit the Ravens for a strong response though, as they pressured Bishops with some high-quality chances. Veteran Jenna Morais (Burlington, Ont.) was incredibly active offensively, setting up multiple Ravens opportunities. “She brings a lot of energy and she's our best scorer,” Alain said. “She pushes the pace, she's been out, so she's getting back to her rhythm and I think she did bring some offence to the table." Bishops Goaltender Charley Wing stood strong though, keeping her team up 1-0 through the opening 20 minutes of play.
Early in the second, the Gaiters responded to the late first period adversity in a strong way registering an early period goal once again making it a 2-0. Angelique Page registered her first playoff goal on the play. “We lost the race, lost (Page), it was a two-on-two, we couldn’t take her, lost her for two strides,” Alain said on the second goal and the early period struggles. “There's so many battles that we lost, and we couldn’t get going.” Momentum seemed clearly in Bishop's favor until the Ravens finally broke through on a Justina Beard (Metcalfe, Ont.) goal. The goal was set up off of a solid breakout and three-on-two break for Carleton. Sydney Berta (Geneva, SWI.) let the shot go from the right circle and hit the post. Beard found the rebound and beat Wing low glove to get the Ravens on the board late. The score remained 2-1 after 40 minutes of play with the Ravens carrying momentum to the dressing room.
The Ravens came out looking for the equalizer in the final 20 minutes of play. It was, however, the Gaiters who dictated control throughout the majority of the period, resulting in Cote needing to come up large in order to keep her team within a goal. “She's our best player,” Alain said. As time winded down in the third, the Ravens took a timeout with nearly three minutes remaining and a faceoff in the offensive zone. Despite the offensive zone draw, the Ravens struggled at generating much late and in fact took a penalty, hindering their chances at coming back in the game. The inability to generate late cost Carleton as they fell 2-1.
The loss means the Ravens will head out on the road trailing the preliminary series 1-0. They will look to bounce back and tie up the series on Saturday afternoon at Bishop’s, looking to force a game three on Sunday back at the Carleton Icehouse.
Catch game 2 with the GaitersNation webcast.