Written by Stuart Miller-Davis
Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA, Ontario – Parker AuCoin (Sturgeon County, AB) opened up his OUA playoff career picking up a hattrick as the Carleton Ravens took game one 7-3 over the RMC Paladins.
“It feels great, I won’t lie,” AuCoin said after the game. “I’ve been fighting it quite a bit and it’s nice to see them go in when it counts.”
“He’s got an awesome shot,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen said about the first year forward. “He scored five goals during the regular season. He’s been waiting for this and it’s nice to see him get hot at the right time.
The Ravens flew out of the gate with what looked like a goal just 20 seconds into the game before it was waived off.
The non-goal didn’t discourage the Ravens as shortly after Kody McDonald (Lethbridge, AB) tipped a point shot by CJ Garcia (Pickering, ON) past Paladins goalie Brad Van Schubert to open the scoring.
The Ravens added to the lead on the power play with AuCoin deflecting a shot by defenceman Josh Burnside (Brampton, ON) into the net for his first of the night.
The Ravens weren’t done in the period as Cole Carter (Ottawa, ON) found himself alone in front, took a feed from Dalen Hedges (Ottawa, ON) and tucked the puck past Van Schubert.
At the end of the first period, Ravens forward Cody Caron (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) fell awkwardly into Van Schubert and the Paladins netminder didn’t return to the net for the rest of the game giving way to rookie keeper Joey May.
In the second the Paladins roared back scoring quickly on the power play to start the period.
They followed up with a goal after captain Matthew Michie took the puck in stride stepping out of the penalty box and firing a shot on Ravens goalie Justin Nichols. Nichols was unable to control the rebound and Seamus Maguire pushed the puck in.
Then the RMC top line got to work with Alex MacDonald making a crisp feed to Christopher Paquette who calmly tipped it up over Nichols’ glove side shoulder.
The Ravens managed to get their lead back before the end of the period when they forced a turnover and Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, BC) fed AuCoin in front for his second marker of the game.
The Ravens extended the lead early in the third with O’Brien again connecting with AuCoin for the hattrick goal.
Late in the period the Ravens added two quick goals by Burnside to put the game out of reach.
“Found a way to win a game and that’s all that matters in the playoffs,” Van Allen said. “We’re going to have to be better if we want to win this series.”
“We had a great crowd and for a Wednesday night that’s awesome,” AuCoin said. “It’s fun. This is the most fun hockey you can play is the playoffs.”
The Ravens will look to close out the series in Kingston tomorrow night with a win at Constantine Arena.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#32 Parker AuCoin–Forward–1st year – Sturgeon County, AB
UP NEXT: Carleton vs. RMC Paladins
Thursday, February 13 -7 p.m.
Constantine Arena– Kingston, ON