On a snowy night in Ottawa, the Ravens men’s hockey team dropped the puck in the third annual Colonel By Classic matchup against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees at TD Place Arena.
The Ravens defeated the Gee-Gees 4-3 in a shootout in a game that was full of many back and forth scoring chances and a lot of big saves from both goaltenders Francois Brassard of Carleton and Anthony Brodeur of U of O.
“I’m not sure one guy stood out for us—it was pretty much a team effort that everyone bought in,” head coach Shaun Van Allen said. “You don’t make a comeback against a real good team without having everyone going.”
Prior to the game, two members of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s soccer team came to centre ice to take part in the ceremonial puck — in wake of their gold medal victory at this year’s U Sports women’s soccer nationals.
Throughout the opening period, both teams traded chances early on, but it would be the goaltenders that would be the difference as they kept on making big saves to keep the game scoreless heading into the second period of play.
Tensions started to rise halfway through the opening period. A scrum broke out in front of the Ravens’ net which resulted in both teams earning a minor penalty.
As both teams left the ice, the Gee-Gees were leading with nine shots on goal compared to the Ravens four.
During the second period, Carleton took the lead in shots on goal 14-11, but it was the Gee-Gees that took the lead 12 minutes in, as forward Kevin Domingue fired the puck past Brassard.
The Ravens converted one more goal past Brassard to close out the period, as Gee-Gees forward Quinn O’Brien extended his team’s lead to 2-0 heading into the third period of play.
As tensions continued to rise in the final period, the Ravens found the back of the net with 11 minutes remaining when defenceman Josh Burnside fired the puck past Brodeur to make it a one-goal game.
“I just wanted to walk the line and see if that gave me a lane and they did and I shot on net, and luckily it went in,” Burnside said. “It was a big momentum booster for our team and it got us going and helped us in winning the game.”
U of O forward Cody Drover gave his team their second two-goal lead of the game two minutes later as he fired the puck past Brassard and into the net.
As time began to wind down on the clock, the Ravens made it a one-goal game again as forward Jared Steege scored his fifth goal of the season with four minutes remaining in the game.
Ravens forward Jake Smith also scored his fifth goal of the season to make it a tie game and sent the game to overtime.
Overtime solved nothing as the teams headed to the shootout with one shot on goal apiece.
It was Ravens forwards Matthew Forchuk and Smith that would seal the victory for the Ravens and ultimately send them home with the Colonel By Classic banner.
“Well, in the back of my mind is that we lost to these guys in shootouts last time—I was just trying to stay calm and let them make the first move and, kind of, it would be a little easier to follow,” Brassard said.
“Last time, I was a little too aggressive, so I just let them come to me and I just stayed back and relaxed a little.”
“It was kind of the same guys of last time,” Brassard added. “I know Domingue liked to come in a little slow and try to outwait me, but I think I did a pretty good job of just kind of waiting for them to make the first move and trying to take it easy.”
With the win, the Ravens now lead the Colonel By Classic series by a score of 2-1. Despite the win, however, Van Allen said the game was missing one key component.
“The disappointing part for me is not enough people came out to enjoy two teams working that hard,” Van Allen said.
The Ravens now look to pick up a win against the McGill Redmen on Nov. 17 when they drop the puck at McConnell Arena in Montreal.
Article also appears in The Charlatan