PREVIEW: Playoff positioning on the line this weekend for men’s hockey

Photo of Kevin Domingue
Photo: Greg Mason

The Gee-Gees men's hockey team continues to jockey for playoff position this weekend as they take on the Queen's Gaels and the Concordia Stingers.

The team travels to Kingston, Ont., on Friday, January 24 for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop and return to the Minto Sports Complex on Sunday, January 26 for a 3:00 p.m. matinee against the Stingers.

Ottawa finds itself in a tight race for second place with the UQTR Patriotes. Two losses in their last three contests has the Garnet and Grey trailing their Québécois rivals by four points while having played one fewer game. They are seven points ahead of fourth-place McGill and trail the division-leading Carleton Ravens by nine points.

Depending on the results of the remaining regular season matchups, Ottawa could very well be facing their first-round playoff opponent this weekend. Queen's and Concordia are battling with Ontario Tech for the fifth, sixth and seventh spots in the OUA East, and the three teams are separated by a mere four points.

The goaltending situation will be worth keeping an eye on this weekend. Domenic Graham has been the netminder-of-choice for Ottawa, but Anthony Brodeur is coming off a strong outing against McGill in which he picked up his fourth victory of the season.

Graham enters with a 10-4-1 record – impressive considering his previous career high was six wins with Nipissing in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Ottawa's offence was humming to begin the second half of the year, accounting for 19 goals through their first three games. However, they were shutout for the first time this season in their last game, a 2-0 loss to Carleton.

Cody Drover still ranks second in assists in the Ontario conference, while Kevin Domingue's 14 goals have him tied for fourth in the OUA.

The offence will be looking to pounce on two opponents who have some question marks defensively.

Luke Richardson, the Gaels 20-year-old rookie netminder, is a workhorse for his team. He has started all 22 games for Queen's and is second in minutes played. However, the rigorous schedule could eventually get to the freshman.

Meanwhile, Ottawa has a history of putting up big offensive numbers against the Stingers. The Gee-Gees have scored 12 goals through their first two matchups of the season. They also topped Concordia 8-1 at the Minto Sports Complex in November 2018.

Ottawa's last matchup with Concordia was a thriller. The game in early January featured 15 goals and the Gee-Gees erased a two-goal deficit with under two minutes to play. The Stingers prevailed 8-7 in overtime.

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