A team playing with just pride on the line can be a difficult opponent.
Just ask the Queen’s Gaels.
Taking on the Royal Military College Paladins in the annual Carr-Harris Challenge Cup game, the Gaels found that out the hard way in a 5-1 loss to their cross-town rivals on Thursday night at the Leon’s Centre.
It was RMC’s largest margin of victory in a Carr-Harris match since an 8-3 exhibition game victory in the inaugural game in 1986. They posted a three-goal win in 1993, 5-2.
Going into the game, the Gaels, at 18-8-0-0, had a chance to climb into second place in the Ontario University Athletics East Division standings with a win, but they trailed the Paladins 4-0 by the 1:47 mark of the second period in front of 3,888 fans, the largest crowd to see a hockey game at the Leon’s Centre this season and a Carr-Harris attendance record.
The Paladins, at 5-19-2-2 coming into the game, were eliminated from OUA playoff contention last weekend.
Scoring for RMC were Liam Stagg, with a pair of goals, Rhett Wilcox, Alex MacDonald and Cameron Lamport. After RMC’s fourth goal, Queen’s starting goaltender Justin Fazio was replaced by Jack Flinn.
Paladins goalie Austin Hannaford stopped 46 of 47 shots for the win, while RMC accumulated 30 shots on the two Gaels goalies. Twenty of Hannaford’s saves came in a second period in which the Paladins outshot the Gaels 21-11.
Queen’s captain Spencer Abraham got the Gaels on the scoreboard on a power play just over five minutes into the second period to make the score 4-1 at the time.
The goal gave Abraham 116 points over his Queen’s career, tying Aaron Fransen for the most by a Gaels defenceman.
Lamport’s goal with just over four minutes left in the second period restored RMC’s four-goal lead and completed the game’s scoring.
The win was RMC’s 11th of the series against 20 losses and two ties.
“We played well, we came out on fire and the guys really rallied for our last salvage of the season,” RMC head coach Richard Lim said. “A lot of heart for our graduating guys.”
The Paladins are graduating seven players this season.
“We played our game plan for 60 minutes and got rewarded,” Lim said.
The game got off to a crash-and-bang start that is common occurrence in Carr-Harris games, with both teams throwing the body around, much to the delight of the RMC fans filling the north side of the stands.
After a feeling-out time in the first period, the Gaels’ Luke Edwards took a checking from behind penalty at the period’s halfway point, putting Paladins’ Rhett Wilcox into the boards in the RMC end.
Just two seconds after Edwards’ minor penalty expired, Stagg scored the first of four consecutive RMC goals, all with Edwards serving the 10-minute misconduct that goes with his type of penalty.
Queen’s was playing without regulars Eric Margo, Liam Dunda, Jared Bethune and Slater Doggett, the latter two having received suspensions during the Gaels’ northern road trip last weekend.
Source: Ian MacAlpine | The Kingston Whig-Standard