It was déjà vu all over again for the Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team.
Just like at last year’s Colonel By Classic – the annual men’s hockey game between the Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees – the Ravens found themselves down 2-0 heading into the third period.
Just like last year, the Ravens came back from behind and won the game. This time they pulled a win off in regulation thanks to fifth year forward, Alexandre Boivin’s, two goals.
“We talked the other day, and he wanted to play left wing with Brogan O’Brien, so, we made that change to see how it was going to look, and for tonight it worked out well,” Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen said.
“He’s been a strong, offensive player for us for a long time, and we’re really happy to see the work he’s put in in this game here and it led to two goals,” he added.
Similar to last week, the game would go scoreless throughout the first period, as both goaltenders came up with numerous saves to keep their team’s in the game.
The Gee-Gees would capitalize on two turnovers in the second period to give them a 2-0 lead heading into the final frame thanks to forwards Kevin Domingue and Daniel Hardie.
In the final frame, Boivin would get the Ravens on the board shortly after the penalty to the Gee-Gees expired.
“We were just coming off of a powerplay and we needed to get a quick one. So, our goal was to just get as many shots as possible,” Boivin said.
“Matt Forchuk got one through and it bounced off the boards, and I just happened to get a stick on it and put it up over the top of their goalie,” he added.
Ravens forward Jared Steege would later tie the game up with 15 minutes remaining in the period. First year forward Kody McDonald would give the Ravens the lead. With Boivin’s empty net goal tallied in as the insurance goal, the Ravens skated away with a 4-2 victory.
“I think we just kind of relaxed. We were very emotional in the first two periods, and we just tried to keep things a little more simple and go out and work hard,” Boivin said.
“We kind of talked about last year and how we were able to come back then, so, we believed in ourselves there,” he added.
Throughout the game, Ravens netminder, Justin Nichols, stood tall in net as he stopped 25 out of the 27 shots he faced.
“It was a game where he really battled. He kept us in there. That game could have gotten away from us in the first period. A lot of credit to Justin the way he battled. And in the third period there were a couple of scrambles there that he fought through and fell on the puck,” Van Allen said.
With the win, the Ravens keep their first place standing in the Ontario University Athletics with an 11-2-0 record.
“They’re a good program. You don’t get ranked fourth in Canada without having a good program. They’re a strong coaching staff, strong team over there, and it’s a good measuring stick for when you’re playing against one of the better teams,” Van Allen said.
“So, you see how you measure up, and after the first period we were concerned, and then after that, as it got going on, we’re obviously very happy with the result, and a lot of emotion in that room right now,” he added.
Not only does this year’s Colonel By Classic mark the second year in a row the Ravens have won, it also marks Boivin’s final Colonel By Classic due to him aging out of U Sports eligibility come years end.
“It felt awesome. I kind of soaked it all in at the end there, being able to look around, and the crowd was unbelievable, so it was a lot of fun,” Boivin said.
While on the Ravens, Boivin has played in all four Classics, winning three out of four.
“It’s awesome. I think everyone’s really putting in a lot of time. I know it’s not an easy event to organize, so, I just want to thank everyone who really works hard towards doing something special for both our teams and for the students, so, it’s awesome,” Boivin reflected.
Just like last season’s Colonel By Classic, Boivin has noted that this year was memorable due to the support from the crowd.
“It’s been great. I think, throughout the years it’s been progressing, and it’s gained a little bit more awareness and attraction to the students, but I think the atmosphere is awesome and it’s a lot of fun for us,” Boivin said.
“I think, obviously, coming from behind like that and having all the emotions in the crowd, it was really special. We really enjoyed it in there. Also, having all our alumni is really cool,” he added.
The Raven will now get set to face off against the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins on Nov. 16 as they look to extend their record to 12-2-0.
“Hopefully we can carry some of this momentum we had in the third period into the first tomorrow, and RMC doesn’t change the way they play. Doesn’t matter, they’re going to bring it every night, so, if we’re not prepared to play, we’ll be in for a dog fight,” Van Allen said.