By Mason Bugaresti (Photo: Marc Lafleur)
Trois-Rivières, Que. - The Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team came up just short in a tightly contested 3-2 regulation loss to the defending U SPORTS champions the UQTR Patriotes.
Carleton goaltender Cole McLaren (Lequille, N.S.) got his first start between the pipes since the early days of December but showed no signs of rust in the opening 20 minutes stopping all 20 shots that came his way. The best of the bunch was a glove save which required McLaren to do the splits robbing the UQTR shooter in the slot.
The Ravens had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the first period after UQTR was assessed two minor penalties at once giving Carleton a four-minute 5-on-3 powerplay. The Ravens could not find the back of the net as UQTR’s Alexis Gravel (Asbestos, Que.) stopped all 15 shots he faced in the opening frame.
The goalie show did not last long into the second period, as Oliver Castleman (Ottawa, Ont.) made a slick move to the backhand cutting across the net finishing off a nice feed from Alex Johnston (Ottawa, Ont.) to put the Ravens up 1-0. Shortly after, the Patriotes would even the score with a powerplay goal before Conor Frenette (Gatineau, Que.) gave UQTR the 2-1 lead potting home a rebound.
Less than four minutes into the third period, Jeremy Martin (Saint-Catherine, Que.) scored to give UQTR a 3-1 advantage. The Ravens would not quit yet, as Parker Aucoin (Sturgeon County, Alta.) brought Carleton back within one with a powerplay goal minutes after Martin’s marker for UQTR. Aucoin and his 21 goals lead all of U SPORTS as he continues a tremendous offensive campaign.
The Ravens made a late push with the net empty but could not solve Gravel and the Patriotes who picked up their 18th win in just 22 games this season. The Ravens managed to get some help from the out-of-town scores, as the Queen’s Gaels fell 2-1 to the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks on Wednesday night keeping the distance between Carleton and Queen’s at 3 points.
Next up, the Ravens will face UQTR for the second-straight time Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Ice House. Carleton will battle for an important two points in the standings as their push for the playoffs continues. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now!