OTTAWA - The Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team opened the 2022-23 season with a dominating win against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks. The team captured an early lead and upped the Ridgebacks 6-1.
The Ravens return to the ice after the 2021-22 season was cut short due to COVID-19 and they finished with a 4-4-3 record. After losing five of their players to other Europe and North American leagues, the team entered the 2022-23 season youthful but showed no signs of inexperience in tonight’s game.
“They’ve [vets] been great. They’ve been setting the tone in practice and helping us adjust to the league's speed and physicality. It is a lot different from where we have been coming from,” said Raven’s rookie Alex Johnston (Ottawa, ON).
The Ravens found the back of the net early in the first as Parker Aucoin (Sturgeon County, AB) scored top corner from a slot pass by Nick McCarry (Calgary, AB). The team looked prepared as their defensive game limited the Ridgeback chances.
Rookie forward, Blake Allan (Davidson, SK) made himself at home at the top of the crease to tap in his first Ravens goal to bump the lead to 2-0 just over ten minutes into the game. Aucoin would continue to be a threat in the slot scoring the Ravens' third goal and closing off the first period up 3-0.
With the Ravens in the penalty box, Ridgeback forward Andrew Suriyuth (Kingston, ONT) took advantage and scored five-hole on Mark Grametbauer (Halifax, NS) to open the second period scoring. Despite both teams battling penalty kills throughout the period, the Ravens displayed their skill and speed on transition. After a turnover late in the second, Will Collins (Ottawa, ON) made a cross ice pass to Alex Johnston for the one-timer finish on Ridgeback goalie William Desmarais (Sherbrooke, QUE) to spread the lead to 4-1 and close off the period.
The team continued to cause turnovers throughout the third and capitalize on their speed transitioning into the offensive end. Ravens forward Kieran Craig (Alexandria, ONT) scored a one-timer in the slot and seconds later, rookie defence James Mayotte (Brockville, ON) drove into the middle finding the back of the net to close off the scoring.
“We wanted to be strong on the forecheck. We wanted to get pucks behind their D… we had an advantage tonight by them playing last night so we were fresher I think than they were, and I think that helped at the start jumping in on them”
The Ravens face the Nipissing Lakers tomorrow night back at the Ice House at 7pm.