Hockey Insider Blog

The Ravens and their Winning Ways

Written by Clayton Johns

The Carleton Ravens continued their winning ways this weekend with a pair of wins on the road against the Guelph Gryphons and Western Mustangs. The Ravens improved to 15-4 this season with the victories.

Week in Review

Carleton rallies to trump Guelph

Friday night, the Ravens were in Guelph, Ont. to battle the Gryphons in the first of two inter-conference matchups this weekend. Carleton looked a bit sluggish in the opening half of the first period and Gryphons leading scorer Nicklas Huard took advantage. He beat Ravens’ goalies Francis Dupuis with 9:15 left in the first and Guelph took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

The Ravens looked re-energized in the second and playing at a much quicker pace on the Olympic-sized ice. Ryan Van Stralen put the Ravens on the board with a PP goal in the middle of the frame, his fourth of the season, after deflecting in a point shot from Justin Stevens. The Ravens’ Joe Pleckaitis got his team leading 14th goal less than five minutes later to put the black birds up 2-1 after two periods.

A penalty late in the second period put the Ravens on the penalty kill to start the third. The Gryphons wasted little time tying the game, as Seth Swenson beat Dupuis 1:27 in to the period. With the game knotted at two, the Ravens found another gear. Hayden Hulton got his first-career CIS goal, banging a rebound in at the side of the Gryphons net to give the Ravens a 3-2 lead. Less than two minutes later, Matt Stanisz jumped in the rush and made a nice move in the high slot before firing a shot past the Gryphons’ Andrew D’Agostini. Mitch Zion then added his eighth of the season with a pretty goal over the glove of D’Agostini to cement a 5-2 Ravens win.

Dupuis made 22 saves on 24 shots in the Ravens’ 14th victory of the season.

Ravens tame Mustangs

A short turnaround has the Ravens battle the western conference leading Western Mustangs in a Saturday afternoon matinee in London. Western’s Thompson Arena was packed with fans for a special event, but the Ravens weren’t going to make life easy for their hosts.

Western opened the scoring four minutes in to the game when a strange bounce off the end boards surprised Ravens’ goalie Patrick Killeen and left an open net for Matt Marantz who made no mistake. The Ravens spent a good portion of the period on the penalty kill on a handful of questionable calls.

Nonetheless, Van Stralen picked up the puck in the neutral zone before driving down the left side of the ice, outmuscling a Mustangs’ defender before firing a shot high over the blocker of goalie Greg Dodds to tie the game at one. Less than two minutes later, Sean Bamford found Joey West for a quick shot from the slot that beat Dodds for a 2-1 lead. The Ravens held that lead after 20 minutes, despite being on the penalty kill for 7:58 in the period.

Just 42 seconds in to the second period, Nick Duhn sprung Pleckaitis on a breakaway and he fired a shot off the crossbar and in to give the Ravens a 3-1 lead. Stephen Gaskin drew the Mustangs within a goal midway through the second before Van Stralen got his third goal in two games at 12:15 to restore the two-goal lead. The Ravens led 4-2 after two periods.

In the third period, Killeen continued the spectacular play he established in the first two periods. The Ravens goaltender stopped another 10 Mustang shots in the third before Corey Durocher iced the game with an empty net goal, his third of the season. Killeen made 31 saves off 33 shots as the Ravens 5-2 victory handed Western their first home loss of the season.

Coaches Corner

After leading Carleton on a successful road trip, head coach Marty Johnston drops in with his thoughts.

“We were very happy with the results this week. Over the weekend we dealt with many challenges including a lengthy road trip and some key guys out of the lineup,” explained Johnston, referring to the absence of captain Damian Cross and Mike McNamee to injury.

“Dupuis and Killeen were very good in their appearances as was the strong play and leadership of Pleckaitis.  Ryan Van Stralen had his best week as a Raven, using his size and speed effectively.”

Week Ahead

Three road wins this week have the Ravens sitting at 15-4 with seven games remaining. The Ravens’ 30 points places them in a tie with UQTR for first in the eastern conference. UQTR currently holds one game in hand.

Carleton faces a pair of tough tests this weekend. Friday, the Ravens travel to Montreal, Que. for their second date of the season with the McGill Redmen. The Ravens sit four points ahead of McGill (13-5) in the east entering the game, although the Redmen hold a game in hand. McGill won the first matchup on November 29, 6-2.

“McGill proves to be a very tough opponent, their goaltending and team defense is excellent,” said Johnston. “It will be a great atmosphere Friday night in Montreal and we will have to have our special teams rolling to be successful.”

Saturday, the Ravens host the Laurentian Voyageurs in their first home game of 2015. The matchup is the first of two between the two teams this season. Laurentian currently sits fourth in the eastern conference at 10-6-3 for 23 points, impressive given they are in just their second season in the OUA. Carleton will finish the regular season portion of its schedule in Sudbury, Ont. at Laurentian on February 7.

“Laurentian is the most improved team in the league this year and will no doubt be ready for us as they will be waiting for us on Saturday at home.  A tough test again for the guys, we’ll need a lot of support at home to give us the lift we need,” added Johnston.

Getting to Know…No.19 Joey West

Hometown: Orleans, Ont.

Position: Forward

Eligibility Year: 3rd

Program: Commerce/Finance

Previous Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)

What are your game day superstitions or routines? No superstitions

Pre-Game Meal? Pasta

Favourite NHL Team: Ottawa Senators

Favourite NHL Player: Martin St. Louis

Favourite Movie: The Prestige

Which actor would you cast in a movie about your life? Leonardo DiCaprio

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would it be be? My grandparents

Who are your favourite music artists? Tim McGraw

What is your favourite arena to play in? Carleton Ice House

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