Hamilton, ON -- Fully earning their status as the top two seeds in the men's draw, the Carleton Ravens and Toronto Varsity Blues put on a show for the Ivor Wynne Centre crowd Sunday, as the Ravens won gold at the OUA Water Polo Championships in dramatic fashion.
Storming back from multi-goal deficits on two separate occasions, the no. 2-seeded Ravens tied the game late in the fourth quarter before out-maneuvering the Blues in a penalty shootout en route to a 10-9 win to reclaim the conference title in 2015.
Carleton goaltender Yorek Hurrelmann put in a Herculean effort between the posts, producing several acrobatic saves in regular time to keep his team in touch, before stopping four of Toronto's six shootout attempts.
The pair of Dusan Boskovic and Rodrigo Rojas paced the Ravens offence with four goals apiece, as Rojas netted twice in the six-round shootout. On the losing end of a neck-and-neck battle, Emre Tali was Toronto's top scorer, with all of his team-leading three goals coming in a strong first half.
A promising start saw the teams maintain a high tempo in the opening quarter, with Carleton taking a 3-2 lead when Boskovic notched his third goal of the period just as it was drawing to a close.
Toronto turned the tide in the second, with Tali striking twice as the Blues out-scored the Ravens 3-1 in the quarter and grabbed a 5-4 lead at halftime. Building on their lead with a defensively strong third quarter, the Blues stretched their advantage to 7-5 through goals from Matt Hart and Sukhmun Hare.
But Carleton found the means to swing momentum one more time, holding Toronto off the board in the fourth while Austin Stanton and Rojas clawed back the deficit and forced the shootout, where Hurrelmann's heroics took centre stage.
Toronto did have some consolation on the double-championship Sunday, however, with the Blues women comfortably dispatching the host Marauders 11-6 to win the OUA banner.
The duo of Ana Miroslavic and Alexandra Kraft had three goals apiece to lead the Blues, while Emily Bidinosti and Megan MacCormac each chipped in two to round out a balanced offensive outing.
Meanwhile, a young Marauder group showed promise in a losing effort, as Jordan Brydges scored four goals and fellow offensive standout Jillian Stringer had two, to make a game of the difficult matchup.
Toronto built an insurmountable lead in the first half with seven of their 11 goals coming before the break. While Mac's defence firmed up after the break, and Stringer came alive with both of her goals coming in the third quarter, it was too little, too late for the home side.
A game earlier, the Ottawa Gee-Gees men matched their women's medal haul from day two, holding off a furious comeback attempt from McMaster to win the bronze medal game 12-10.
Jovan Dabic and Giulio Vampa both had four goals for the Gee-Gees, who led 9-5 after three quarters but conceded five in a goal-filled fourth before narrowly escaping with the win. Mac's Nick Davies led his team with four goals in a losing effort.