Written by Kassia Skorzewska
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA, Ontario – For the first time in seven playoff series against the Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) Patriotes, the Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team eliminated the Patriotes, by sweeping them in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Queen’s Cup playoffs.
“It feels pretty good, especially against these guys, I mean, I think the last five years we’ve lost to them, and it was three years for me, so, I think it was a long time coming and we finally got the upper hand, so it feels pretty good right now,” Ravens netminder Francois Brassard said.
One minute into the opening frame, UQTR opened the scoring as forward Patrice Demuy jumped on a turnover, and fired the puck past Brassard. Six minutes later, the Patriotes would make it a 2-0 game, as forwards Mathieu Boucher and Olivier Caouette went on a 2-on-1, short-handed, and put the puck past Brassard.
With five minutes remaining in the opening frame, Carleton would get on the board first, when defenceman Evan de Haan fired a shot from the point, in which forward Dalen Hedges caught the rebound to put past Patriotes netminder Sebastien Auger.
“I think we had to kind of just sit back and realize that we were still in the game, and we just had to keep going and working hard. We had a good second half of the first period, so to just build on that, and just keep going and keep working hard, things are going to come our way, so sticking to the system was our message in between,” Brassard said.
The Ravens would make it a tie game nine minutes into the second period, when defenceman Josh Burnside walked the blueline and sent a wrist shot past Auger. Four minutes later, Hedges would score his second of the game, when he was sent on a partial breakaway which resulted in him firing the puck past Auger and into the net.
“He stepped in in a big situation there. He starts the comeback by winning the draw, giving it to Burnside, then he scores the first goal, assists on the second, and scored the third goal, he’s had a tough season, so you can’t say enough good things about him,” Head Coach Shaun Van Allen said about Hedges performance.
One minute into the final frame, UQTR would make it a tie game, as forward Jason Lavallee slipped around the Ravens defence for a breakaway, and sent the puck flying past Brassard. With five minutes remaining in the third, the Ravens would take the lead, as forward Dakota Odgers received the puck at the blueline, and tipped the puck past Auger.
Seconds later, the Ravens would extend their lead to 5-3, when forward Jared Steege sent the puck flying past Auger and into the net before they added an empty net goal to make it 6-3.
“Going into it we got to stick to what makes us successful. I think what makes us successful is playing hard, being a team that’s in your face, you know, upbeat, fast, play to our strengths,” Odgers said about going into the second round.
“I think we had a lot of guys step up tonight, didn’t have the start we wanted, we found a lot of ways to battle back, and I think that’s a big building moment for us,” he added.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME
#13 Dalen Hedges – Forward – 3rd year
Queen’s Cup playoffs 2nd round
Game 1 – Wed. Feb. 20 vs TBD