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PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Men’s hockey set for first round match-up with Ontario Tech

Photo of Cody Drover and Kevin Domingue
Photo: Greg Mason

The Gee-Gees men's hockey team will commence their quest for the Queen's Cup with an opening round matchup against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.

The three-game series begins on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Ice Centre in Oshawa, Ont. and game two is slated for Saturday, February 15 at 3:00 p.m. at the Minto Sports Complex. If necessary, a third and deciding matchup will take place in Ottawa on Sunday, February 16 with puck drop at 3:00 p.m.

Ottawa finished the regular season in third place in the OUA East with a 17-7-4 record. Ontario Tech enter the playoffs with a 13-12-3 record, good for sixth in the division.

The teams split their regular season series, with the Ridgebacks taking a game in October in Oshawa by a 5-2 score, before the Gee-Gees bit back via a 2-0 victory at the Minto Sports Complex in November.

The goaltending situation will be interesting to watch for Ottawa. Three different netminders have started the last three games for the Gee-Gees. While Graham Hunt has been solid in recent outings, Domenic Graham leads the program with a .914 save percentage.

Meanwhile, Anthony Brodeur stonewalled the Ridgebacks in November, by virtue of a 22 save shutout.

The Ridgebacks were paced offensively by Austin Eastman and Jake Bricknell. Eastman scored 15 goals and had 15 assists for a team-leading 30 points. Bricknell, despite missing a portion of the season due to injury and suspension, was second on the Ridgebacks with 27 points.

Veteran rearguards Alex Yuill and Brennan Roy quarterback an Ontario Tech powerplay that has been among the worst in the OUA this season. The man advantage is firing at 12.4 percent (13 goals on 105 opportunities), which ranks them 19th out of 20 teams in the conference.

Ottawa's penalty kill has been among the best in the country all season. They currently rank second in the OUA at 88.4 percent, but have given up the fewest powerplay goals (11). The Ridgebacks PK is respectable as well, sitting third at 86.6 percent.

The Gee-Gees were paced offensively by Kevin Domingue and Cody Drover. Both accounted for 34 points, with Domingue notching for 17 goals. Connor Sills was the only other Ottawa player to reach a double-digit goal tally, with 11 markers.

A pair of rookie defencemen are also key contributors for the Garnet and Grey. Dominic Cormier briefly led OUA rearguards in assists and finished the season with 20 points, while Nicolas Mattinen's seven goals provides some offensive flare on the backend.

Ottawa is looking to progress past the second round for the first time since the program was re-established in 2016. Their seasons have come to an end in the OUA semi-finals in each of the last two years.

For in-game updates, follow @GeeGeesMHKY on Twitter. The game will be streamed on OUA.tv. Tickets to all Gee-Gees home games are available at tickets.geegees.ca.