Ravens Sports Information (Photo by Marc Lafleur)
Trois-Rivieres, Que. - Special teams were the difference on Wednesday night as the Carleton Ravens fell 3-1 in game one of their OUA East semi-final.
In a penalty-filled match between two bitter OUA East rivals, the Patriotes were able to capitalize on 2 of 9 power-play opportunities scoring 7:06 into the first and 5:33 into the second. The Patriotes' first goal came in transition, as Simon Lafrance beat Mark Grametbauer above the pad, giving the hosts the lead.
Lafrance's goal snapped Mark Grametbauers three game shutout streak at 188 minutes and 33 seconds. However, the Ravens' backstop didn't stumble making 14 saves in the first to keep the game within one.
In the second period, the Ravens had several opportunities on the power play including a 5-on-3 but couldn't solve Alexis Gravel. Gravel's 22 save second period played a key role in the Patriotes' control of the game after they added their second power-play goal of the game.
In the third, UQTR would finally find an answer to Grametbauer at even strength, striking quickly off the opening face-off and breaking the Carleton goalie's even-strength shutout streak at 245 minutes and 15 seconds. The Ravens didn't back down, despite being stifled again by Gravel on the 5-on-3 Carleton would continue to force chances both five-on-five and while shorthanded.
With Simon Kerr in the box, the Ravens finally beat Gravel when Alex Johnston stripped the Patriotes' defender at the blue line and tucked the puck around the sprawling goaltender to cut the lead to two.
Despite a strong pushback from the Ravens late in the game, penalties would sputter their offensive opportunities. Despite outshooting UQTR 42-32 the Ravens now find themselves behind 1-0 in the best-of-three series.