OTTAWA - The Carleton Ravens lost 2-0 at home on Sunday afternoon against the Montreal Carabins despite putting up an incredibly strong effort. Both goaltenders were terrific, as neither team could get one on the board until the third when Montreal capitalized on an opportunity to take game and the series 2-0.
The Ravens did come out of the gate flying, generating high danger chances early. Sydney Berta (Geneva, SWI) had some terrific opportunities to score including a breakaway chance in which Montreal goaltender Aube Racine made the save. Ravens goaltender Marie-Eve Cote (Quebec City, Que.) was outstanding in period one, stopping all eight shots she faced and keeping the game scoreless with some high-quality saves. Despite great chances for both teams, the goalies stood strong in the first heading to the dressing room scoreless. “Stop playing with the fear of losing, play to win,” Alain said on the message going into the game. “Stop playing on your heels, play on your toes. This was addressed Thursday and it was addressed today. They battled hard, but they didn’t put the puck in the net.”
The Carabins came out with some more energy in the second and pressured the Ravens who struggled with the long second period change. Carleton did generate a few opportunities of their own with Rhys Cole-Ashbury (Mississauga, Ont.) activating from her role on defense to help the forwards generate. A late penalty kill aided the Ravens who were able to survive yet another strong Carabins power play. Both Cote and Racine stood strong with the shots 17-16 in favor of Carleton and the score still deadlocked at zero through 40 minutes of play.
The intense back and forth affair continued in the third, but Montreal began to progressively push. The Ravens had trouble getting the puck out of the zone and Montreal did a good job cycling in the Carleton end. The Ravens countered with some chances of their own, but Racine stood strong. One shift however was detrimental for the Ravens as they couldn’t get the puck out of their zone, and a scramble in front of the net allowed Kaleigh Quennec to find a loose puck at the side of the net. She put it past an outstretched Cote to give Montreal the 1-0 lead. The Ravens had a couple late chances to tie with Annika Scurfield (Canmore, Alb.) coming close to finding the equalizer. The Carabins stood strong though, and after another goal from Quennec on the empty net, Montreal escaped with the 2-0 victory to advance to the bronze finals.
The loss ends the Ravens season despite what was a gutsy display in both games of the series. This young group of Ravens will head into the offseason with their heads held high after what was a very strong effort against a good Montreal Carabins team. “This is something that we're going to carry with us starting next season for sure,” Alain said. “The culture is changing, the culture is getting better, we have a lot of student athletes striving to get better, working to get better and they're serious about it.”