Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA, Ontario – The Carleton penalty kill came up in the clutch as Justin Nichols (St. Catharines, ON) shut the door as the Ravens beat the uOttawa Gee-Gees 2-0.
“They’ve got a lot of skill over there,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen said about the Gee-Gees. “It’s not an easy power play to shut down. A credit to the pk and the goaltending. We got in lanes, got some stick, blocked some shots and that was pretty much the difference.”
“We had a game plan, it starts with the coaching and us buying in.” Ravens veteran forward Alex Boivin (Ottawa, ON) said about the team success on the powerplay. “We blocked shots and played hard. When you work hard you have the opportunity to make some plays.”
“We’d like to stay out of the box as much as we can but it’s my job to weather the storm,” Nichols said. “The guys did a great job blocking shots and then I saw mostly everything which made it easy to control.”
The Ravens opened the scoring in the first period while on the power play when Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, BC) dropped a pass off for Matt Forchuk (Okotoks, AB) and he skated down the wing before taking a wrist shot that went over Gee-Gees goalie Dominic Graham’s blocker side shoulder.
The Ravens doubled the lead later in the period when Boivin made a pass to linemate Cody Caron (Sault Ste Marie, ON) at the top of the offensive zone and he fired a shot with Sam Meisenheimer (Viking, AB) going to the net that went in.
The Ravens fought off numerous Gee-Gees attacks to hold onto the lead in the next two periods but none was bigger than a 5-on-3 penalty kill and a second 5-on-4 kill back to back in the third.
“You have to take it minute by minute,” Nichols said. “Sticks in lanes were great and then when they did get opportunities, I made the first save and then we cleared the rebounds.”
Nichols earns his third shutout of the season making 27 shots.
“He was there when we needed him,” Boivin said about Nichols. “It’s tough for him to stay in the game when he’s on the pk all the time and I know how exhausting that is for him. If it wasn’t for him it would’ve been a different game.”
“Calm,” Van Allen said about what he noticed about his goaltender’s game. “He saw the puck, was really in control and very confident.”
The Ravens sweep the season series against the Gee-Gees having defeated them in the Colonel By Classic 4-2.
“This is what you play for,” Van Allen said. “It’s a good measuring stick game this late in the season and I think you should embrace these games because they’re so much fun.”
The Ravens will face-off against the Concordia Stingers on Saturday next weekend as they inch closer to clinching home ice advantage.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#39 Justin Nichols–Goalie–4th year – St. Catharines, ON
UP NEXT: Carleton vs. Concordia Stingers
Saturday, January 25 -7 p.m.
Ice House–Ottawa, ON