On Jan. 19, the Redmen Hockey (19-4-1) team took on the Carleton Ravens (14-5-3) in a physical and exciting Carnival matchup. Ultimately the Redmen proved victorious, taking the game 4-0. Over a thousand fans were in attendance, many sporting furry onesies as part of the Management Undergraduate Society’s annual Winter Carnival.
Both teams established high-tempo play in the first frame, resulting in chances at both ends and an emotionally charged contest with frequent scuffles. McGill was first to draw blood when third-year forward Jerome Verrier dipsy-doodled around a Carleton defender and wired a shot on net on the power play. Later in the period, McGill again found success on the power play with second-year forward Samuel Tremblay’s ninth goal of the season. McGill led 2-0 after the first period, but shots on net were even at eight apiece.
The Redmen had the majority of the scoring chances in the second stanza, gaining control of the game. They added to their lead with a third power-play goal when Verrier found the back of the net for the second time.
“I took the puck and I really wanted to pass it […, but] the puck fumbled just before I shot [it],” Verrier explained. “So I said, ‘never mind just shoot it’ and it went in.”
Despite not seeing much action in the period, Redmen goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon was excellent in thwarting the few Raven attempts on goal. He was especially heroic at the tail end of the stanza, making a crucial save on a shorthanded Carleton breakaway. Heading into the final period, McGill was up 3-0, outshooting their opponents 20-10.
The Redmen continued to dominate the Ravens in the third period, although the emotional nature of the game resulted in some scrappy shenanigans. Both teams traded power play opportunities, but neither was able to convert. Guindon stood strong in net, shutting the door on the Ravens’ attack. The game concluded with a 4-0 scoreline after first-year forward Antoine Dufort-Plante chipped in an empty netter in the final minutes.
The rowdy Carnival crowd’s energy provided a welcome boost for the Redmen, who enjoyed when fans cheered on the Redmen and jeered their opponents throughout the entire game.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” Redmen captain Nathan Chiarlitti said. “Huge shout out to all the fans, the students. It’s an absolute blast playing in an atmosphere like that, and hopefully we gave them a good show.”
The team’s victory was driven by its power play efforts. Head Coach Kelly Nobes explained that McGill’s success came from executing the basics.
“We were shooting the puck at the right time, and getting pucks to the net quickly,” Nobes said. “We didn’t score on the rebound tonight, but we did have good net traffic.”
Overall, Nobes credited the win to a complete team effort.
“We had everybody going again tonight, and I think that’s been a key for us,” Nobes noted. “It’s not just one or two lines, it’s everybody going, everybody contributing, offensively and defensively.”
The following evening, on Jan. 20, the Redmen took on the Ottawa Gee-Gees (11-7-4) but fell 4-3 in overtime.
Moment of the Game
While on the power play, third-year forward Jerome Verrier caught a puck out of midair, dropped it to the ice, and scored a goal in the same sequence, putting the Redmen up 3-0.
“When I was younger I [would get nervous], but honestly this might be the last couple months of my career, so I’m just trying to soak it in.” Redmen captain Nathan Chiarlitti on his mindset in big games.
McGill went three for eight on the power play (37.5 per cent).
A previous version of this article stated that the Ottawa Gee-Gees held a (11-7-3) record. In fact, their record was (11-7-4) at time of publication. The Tribune regrets this error.