Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Marc Lafleur
TROIS RIVIERES, Quebec – The outdoor ice conditions didn’t deter the Ravens as they beat the UQTR Patriotes 3-1 playing under the lights in an afternoon game at the Grandes Estrades du Festival de Sainte-Tite.
“The players really gutted out that one,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen said after the game. “You always want to get the lead but when you’re playing in these ice conditions where guys aren’t playing their normal game and fighting the puck a little bit and battling the cold, it’s even more important.”
“It was a gutsy win,” Ravens 3rd year defenceman said in a post-game interview. “We don’t play under those conditions all that often. We went down to five defenceman a little too early So all around a good team effort”
The Ravens opened the scoring just 42 seconds into the game when second-year forward Cody Caron (Sault Ste Marie, ON) scored his fourth goal of the season on the power play.
The Ravens extended the lead to two when fourth-year forward Brett Gustavsen (Scarborough, ON) found some open space behind the UQTR net and fed first-year forward Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, BC) in front for a one timer that beat UQTR goalie Sebastien Auger.
The Patriotes got back within one on the power play. With Carleton defenceman Evan de Hann (Ottawa, ON) off for holding, forward Olivier Caouette tipped a redirected a pass behind Ravens goaltender Francois Brassard (Gatineau, QC).
The Ravens regained the two-goal cushion when Caron made a pass across to fourth year forward Alex Boivin (Ottawa, ON) and he found space up above the glove of a sprawling Auger.
Late in the third period the Patriotes pushed hard to try tie the game, pulling the goalie but the Ravens held them off to seal the win.
“It was probably one of my top two, if not, my favourite hockey experience,” de Hann said. “Playing outdoors brings back the memories of playing on outdoor rinks growing up and it was nice to bring that kind of intensity into the game today.”
“The people here at UQTR deserve a lot of credit. They put on a good event,” Van Allen said. “It’s a difficult situation that’s not right in their backyard where they don’t control the conditions. It’s a great facility for an outdoor game.”
“Guys didn’t look as quick,” Van Allen said about playing in the conditions. “I don’t know if it’s combination of it being that quick a turnaround between games and the conditions, we were playing in. It was definitely different in that way but it’s still a hockey game and you have to go back to when you were a little kid playing outside.”
The Ravens take four points out a possible four on the trip to Quebec and will return to the Ice House on Friday, February 8 to play the UOIT Ridgebacks.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#33 Francois Brassard–Goalie– 3rd year – Gatineau, QC
UP NEXT: Carleton vs. UOIT Ridgebacks
Friday, February 8th -7 p.m.
Ice House–Ottawa ON