Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OUA East Standings: 24 points (3rd place)
Goals For: 55 (Tied for 6th in OUA)
Goals Against: 44 (8th in OUA)
Carleton Ravens Men’s Hockey closed out 2018 ranked 9th in the final U Sports poll of 2018. Strong play earning points in all, but three games have them sitting in third in the difficult OUA East division and primed for a strong second semester.
The team started slowly out of the gate with three losses falling at Concordia in the season opener followed by a pair of shootout losses to uOttawa and RMC.
Carleton then hit a hot streak with wins over Laurier, Guelph, Brock, and Queen’s.
Ending the streak was a 5-4 to RMC in overtime on home ice and followed by a 3-2 to Laurentian on the road before the start of a five-game win streak.
The five-win run started with a 2-1 win at Nipissing followed by a thrilling comeback win over uOttawa in the Colonel By Classic in a shootout. The streak continued with a 5-4 comeback win over McGill in overtime, a shutout performance over uOttawa over and ended with a last-minute goal sealing a 2-1 victory over UQTR.
The Ravens then dropped a 5-2 decision in Kingston against Queen’s and then grabbed a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to UOIT to close out the first semester.
Coach’s Outlook: Head Coach Shaun Van Allen
First Half Positives
“I think our depth. We don’t rely on one or two guys for us to win and I think it makes it easier for us as a team when you do that.”
Second Half Thoughts
“The break is going to be good for our team. We have had a few guys sick, a few guys banged up. Right now, the main thing is conditioning because they’re going to have such a long break that we want to try and get their conditioning up to a higher level and when they come off it won’t be as hard a stretch for us. We had 14 out of 17 games where we got points which is pretty good, but I think we just want to try and improve and keep getting better.”
The Ravens offence has been streaky scoring 4 goals or more on seven different occasions. The Ravens offence is paced by veteran center Alexandre Boivin (Ottawa, ON) who has 19 points in 17 games and is quickly last seasons OUA career highs of 11 goals and 18 assists. He currently sits in a tie for 8th in the OUA in points. Rookies Jake Smith (Oshawa, ON) and Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, BC) are also playing major offensive roles placing fifth and sixth in OUA rookie scoring respectively.
On defence, third-year Josh Burnside (Brampton, ON) is Van Allen’s minute cruncher playing in all situations and producing on offence with 12 points in 17 games tied for sixth in scoring by a defenceman in the league. Matthew Sozanski (Calgary, AB) has also chipped in offence from the back end with 7 points in 17 games adding his first goal in the final game of 2018 at UOIT.
Second-year defender C.J Garcia (Pickering, ON) and third-year Evan de Hann (Ottawa, ON) are counted on for their strong play in their own end.
In goal, third-year Francois Brassard leads the way with 9 wins and a pair of shutouts with a 2.19 goals against average and a 0.924 save percentage. Back up goaltender, Justin Nichols has one win in four games.
On special teams, The Ravens penalty kill is second in the OUA with an 88.9% success rate, allowing 9 goals shorthanded and scoring 4 times while down a man. Meanwhile, Carleton’s power play is sitting in 9th in the OUA clicking at 20% while averaging one goal on the man advantage a game.
The Ravens open 2019 on Thursday, Jan 3 at 7 p.m. with a game against the Concordia Stingers.
Midseason Most Valuable Players:
#33 Francois Brassard – Goalie- 3rd year- Gatineau, QC
#21 Josh Burnside- Defenceman – 3rd year- Brampton, ON