Kingston, Ont. – The fall semester is coming to a close, and with just one weekend left to play before a month off, teams are looking to ride into the break on a high note. Both the Carleton Ravens and Queen’s Gaels have been able to do so with not only their recent play, but their entire first half, as both sides have played their way to top-10 national ranks, and they’ll look to author a scintillating 60 minutes when they face off in this week’s Marquee Matchup, powered by Planters Canada.
Heading into their penultimate fall schedule contests, both the Ravens and Gaels are among the hottest teams in the league, as each side enters on a five-game winning streak. The Ravens have managed four one-goal victories during their successful stretch, but have clawed out a pair of wins – including a 3-0 shutout last weekend – over cross-town rivals and No. 5 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees among those games. For Queen’s, they’ve relied on an offensive onslaught to power their winning ways, as the Gaels have tallied a total of 25 goals during their streak, including a pair of seven-goal performances over Nipissing and RMC, respectively.
The skillful scoring is nothing new for the Tricolour, as they have been punishing teams all season long with their offensive talent. The Gaels rank second in the conference with an average of 3.93 goals per game, totaling 55 on the year. Not only that, but their impeccable passing has been a key contributor to their success at finding the back of the net, as they rank third in assists with 92. And with an offensive-minded group such as this, it comes as no surprise that the Kingston squad has one of the most lethal powerplays in the OUA, checking in with a 31.4 success rate (2nd in OUA).
Mason Kohn (Hollywood, Fla.) has been a focal point on offence for the Gaels, as the first-year forward paces the club with 17 points. His nine goals – including three of the game-winning variety – have him tied with veteran Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) for the team lead as well, while teammate Duncan Campbell (Brandon, Man.) sits tied with Doggett for second with 12 points. Another key contributor for the Queen’s crew comes from the back end, as fifth-year blueliner Spencer Abraham (Campbellville, Ont.) is working on a terrific final chapter to his university career with 11 points, which places him in a tie for sixth among OUA defencemen this year.
While Abraham has been a significant part of the team’s ability to find the back of the net, he has also helped them stake claim as one of the best at keeping the puck out, having allowed the second-fewest goals against on the year (33). Their combined 2.35 goals-against average has them ranked fourth, while their netminders have secured them the leading save percentage at .941, turning away the second-most shots in the province.
The combination of Justin Fazio (Sarnia, Ont.) and Jack Flinn (Halifax, N.S.) have been downright dominant between the pipes, with each playing their part masterfully when called upon to protect the blue paint. The former checks in with a 2.31 GAA and .943 SV% in his nine games, good enough to lead him to a 6-1 record, while the latter has posted very similar numbers in his seven times in net as well (2.25 GAA, .944 SV%).
Not to be outdone, the Carleton Ravens boast one of the best netminders as well, as Francois Brassard (Gatineau, Que.) has been a brick wall for the black birds. In his 11 starts, Brassard boasts a 2.05 GAA, .928 SV%, and has earned nine wins along the way. But the talented goalie doesn’t do it alone, as Carleton brings some premier talent up front as well.
The Ravens rank fifth in league scoring with 52 markers to date, including a second-ranked total of 17 with the man advantage. Leading the charge on offence to help produce these impressive figures is the league’s fifth-highest point producer, Alexandre Boivin (Ottawa, Ont.). The forward has notched nine goals and 10 assists on the year to pace Carleton with 19 points. Right behind him is teammate Jacob Smith (Oshawa, Ont.), who is just one assist shy of Boivin’s impressive totals.
Brogan O’Brien (Prince George, B.C.) and Matthew Forchuk (Okotoks, Alta.) are among the other Ravens to register double-digit point totals thus far with 14 and 12, respectively, but like their marquee matchup opponents, they also see a big boost from one of their blueliners. Joshua Burnside (Brampton, Ont.) has been incredibly productive through the team’s first 15 games, having tallied two goals and 10 assists for 12 points. His dynamic two-way play has him among the best on the back-end this year and is yet another reason why these two nationally-ranked squads will go head-go
Certainly, both teams are playing their best hockey of the season and their latest rankings show it, with the Ravens sitting at No. 7 in the U SPORTS rankings and Queen’s checking in at No. 8. But something has to give on Friday night at the Kingston Memorial Centre, so it is only a matter of time before fans find out which winning streak will come to an end and which will keep their team rolling into the December break.
Fans can see the game live on oua.tv, with puck drop set for 7:30pm on November 30, or they can tune in via the oua.tv app, which is available for download on Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.