By: Jackson Starr
OTTAWA - After a tough loss last week in Montreal, the Carleton Ravens came home Thursday night and won a close game against the uOttawa Gee-Gees by the score of 2-1. The rivalry matchup lived up to the hype with both teams battling hard, but opportunistic offence and strong defence propelled Carleton to victory.
“We made a lot of mistakes, but they recovered from the mistakes and continued to work for a whole 60 minutes as a unit,” head coach Stacey Colarossi said postgame. “There wasn’t a lot of individual effort, they were keeping each other in check and not leaving any other teammates on an island which is nice to see.”
The Ravens instilled a good forecheck in the first period trying to force turnovers and get the game's first goal. uOttawa responded well though, creating chances of their own. Marie-Eve Cote (Quebec City, Que.) stopped all 10 shots she faced in the opening frame including a few big saves on the penalty kill. She spoke postgame about the support from her teammates. “I think my team played awesome in front of me,” Cote said. “I could see almost every shot; they made a good effort on the second rebound, so they helped me a lot.”
A late push gave the Ravens some momentum heading into the dressing room, but the score remained 0-0 after a hard-fought opening 20 minutes for both teams.
The Ravens came out of the gate strong in the second and were able to break the ice in the first minute of the period. Claudia Hennigan (Georgetown, Ont.) scored her first U Sports goal to break the ice and give Carleton a 1-0 lead. The Gee-Gees were able to press after allowing the goal, but Cote once again stood strong. What followed was some relentless pressure from the Gee-Gees after the Ravens took a penalty.
Carleton instilled a bend but don’t break mentality on defence and it worked, as the Ravens killed off some consistent offensive zone time from uOttawa. The Ravens followed that up with an opportunistic goal as Nicole MacNeil (Sydney, NS.) scored her second of the season on a heavy shot from the line which gave Carleton a 2-0 lead. The Ravens could hold that until the end of the period but took a late penalty and headed into the third shorthanded.
Early in the third Carleton lacked a bit of discipline, taking three penalties in short order. However, the Ravens also did a good job protecting the slot area on the penalty kill, making it difficult for the Gee-Gees to generate many true high-danger chances. With the help of Cote saw the Ravens kill a good amount of time on the clock. The Ravens also did a great job on the forecheck late in the game forcing uOttawa to take a couple of penalties. Sandrine Hachez (Sallabery-de-Valleyfield, Que.) in particular did a great job on a couple of instances in the third.
With the goalie pulled late in the game, the Gee-Gees finally broke through. A deflection on a shot from the line taken by Ariane Minville beat Cote to get the Gee-Gees within one. “It happens,” Cote said on the late goal. “You have to focus on the next puck, it's done, it's over, you focus on the next one and just block everything after that.” The Ravens were able to fight the adversity of conceding and hold off a strong uOttawa team to take the two points in a 2-1 win.
The win is Carleton’s third on the season, and pushes its record up to 3-5-1, building momentum as the season goes on. The Ravens will welcome in the McGill Martlets to the Ice House Sunday afternoon looking for the weekend sweep. “I think we can battle with every team,” Cote said. “We have a good team and we can do it.”