Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Marc Lafleur
OTTAWA, Ontario – Ravens goaltender Justin Nichols (St Catharines, ON) turned away 33 shots to carry the Ravens to a 4-0 win over the UQTR Patriotes to open up 2020.
“The guys in front of me did a great job,” Nichols said. “A lot of their scoring chances, even their best chances, we boxed out well.”
“In the first period when we were a little sluggish, he was there to back us up. Made a couple nice saves on their power play too,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen. “He definitely put his time in over the break and it showed.”
The Ravens got the first goal of the game while on the penalty kill when Alex Boivin (Ottawa, ON) was left alone at the top of the faceoff circle and fired a perfect wrist shot past the goaltender.
The Ravens extended the lead on the power play when Cole Carter (Ottawa, ON) took his time and placed a wrist shot up over UQTR Patriotes goaler Sebastien Auger who came into the game in the second period.
The Ravens extended the lead when Parker AuCoin (Surgeon County, AB) powered his way down the wing and beat Auger with a wrist shot.
The Ravens added an empty net goal with just over a minute left in the third on a passing play capped off with Matt Forchuk (Okotoks, AB) shooting the puck into the empty cage.
Special teams played an important role in the Ravens securing the two points.
“Our special teams were really good today,” Boivin said. “We killed a lot of big penalties and we picked up the goal on the power play.”
“We changed up both units and our puck retrieval weren’t great on the first one,” Van Allen said about the power play. “We talked about it and I think it led to the goal.”
The Ravens go up two games to zero in the season series against their bitter OUA East foes and jump 5 points ahead of UQTR in the standings.
“Nine games left and to win that one against the second placed team is really big,” Van Allen said.
The Ravens play McGill at the Ice House tomorrow night in another important OUA East matchup to open 2020.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#39 Justin Nichols–Goalie–4th year – St Catharines, ON
UP NEXT: Carleton vs. McGill
Saturday, January 4-7 p.m.