Rivalry games are huge. This is especially true when it comes to college teams in the same city.
The Carleton Ravens and the University of Ottawa (U of O) Gee-Gees are a perfect example of that rivalry. The two teams will face off in the fourth annual Colonel By Classic on Nov. 15 at TD Place.
First year Ravens forward Kody McDonald will experience his first Colonel By Classic, while fifth year Ravens forward, Alex Boivin, will be experiencing his final one.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m going to try and enjoy it as much as I can. Obviously, we’re focusing on the win, but I’m going to try and soak it all in,” Boivin said.
Last season, the Ravens took the game 4-3 in a shootout.
After being down 3-1 in the third period, the Ravens came back to force overtime, with star rookie Jake Smith scoring the tying goal. Smith’s shootout goal helped propel them to the win.
“The emotional roller coaster of being down, and then having that last minute of coming back, and then being able to finish it in the shootout. I think the crowd was the most engaged. That was the best one,” Boivin said about his most memorable Colonel By Classic.
The Ravens play against the Gee-Gees about three times a year. The two teams saw each other last week in which the Gee-Gees took the game by a score of 2-1.
“The Gee-Gees are a disciplined team and they work hard and they’re going to capitalize on our mistakes, so, I think we need to come out and focus on limiting those errors, and trying to capitalize when we have opportunities,” Boivin said.
Not only is this year McDonald’s first Colonel By Classic, it will also be his first time playing on an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) rink.
“It’s my first one, so it’s going to be exciting, it’ll be cool to play in an OHL rink, I’ve been playing in a lot of WHL rinks, so, that will be something to get used to in pre game skate,” McDonald said.
For both teams, the game is big. Not only will it give the winning team a banner to take back to their school, it will also give Carleton bragging rights and a little bit of redemption over the Gee-Gees Panda Game win.
“It’s a redemption game. We’ve had a good season so far, but we still know we can keep playing better, and coming into this game, we just want to give it our best especially when we have all the students coming from Carleton to cheer us on,” McDonald said.
As the Ravens are getting set to face their cross-town rivals since Sunday, they have been preparing for redemption.
“It’s been very serious for the group, especially as we had a tough loss last weekend against Ottawa U, so, it’s something we’re looking forward to,” McDonald said about the team’s preparation.
And in terms of the goal for each team, it is to win that special game played once a year at TD Place.
“It’s the game that we mark on our calendar that we really want to win because it’s the fun one. We want the bragging rights; we want to keep the banner in the rink,” Boivin said.
Check out my game recap of last year’s Colonel By Classic here: