The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s hockey team wrapped up the 2017/18 regular season with a 4-3 overtime win over the UOIT Ridgebacks. Heading into playoffs head coach Patrick Grandmaître says his team is feeling confident.
“We’ve been playing well. I think we can mach up well against any team,” Grandmaître said. “Our guys are starting to believe it and playing the right way. Everyone is chipping in and we don’t rely on one person.”
The game opened with a hot start for the Gee-Gees. Quinn O’Brien wasted little time before scoring to extend his recent goal streak to five games with 7 goals over that span. Before the game even reached the halfway point of the opening period, Cody Drover tallied a highlight reel goal to notch his 50th career point and double the lead.
Late in the frame, the Gee-Gees were assessed a pair of penalties and were forced to kill a lengthy five-on-three sequence. UOIT converted on the power play with only five seconds remaining to cut the lead in half. Lack of discipline continued to be a trend for the Gee-Gees, with three consecutive penalties and another power play goal against in the second period. UOIT gained their first lead of the night with a snap shot from Ben Blasko with two minutes to go in the frame.
Cooler heads prevailed for the Gee-Gees in the third as they pressured for the equalizing goal. With time dwindling on the clock, Ottawa drew a pair of calls to generate a five-on-three opportunity with only three minutes to go in regulation. After some close calls, the Gee-Gees tied the game with a one-timer from Mathieu Newcomb.
In overtime, Jacob Sweeney capitalized on a loose puck in the crease to bury it and take the game.
The Gee-Gees’ upcoming playoff opponent will be Concordia or Carleton depending on the result of other ongoing OUA games that were not completed as of press time. “Both teams are really, really good,” Grandmaître said. “I would say one team is more physical than the other one. Judging by the standings this year and our matchups and the way everything went, nothing is going to be easy. But I don't think we’ll be an easy pushover as an underdog.”
“Obviously we’ll have to create an upset, but with the confidence we have coming in, we have a chance to create that upset.”