OTTAWA, ON – After a crushing 6-5 overtime loss at the hands of the UQTR Patriotes the last time the Ravens hit the ice, they were hoping to have a better result in front of a sold-out capacity crowd at the Ice House on Friday night.
The Carleton Ravens welcomed the McGill Redbirds for their home opener this season. With the Raven’s sitting at 1-0-1 following their opening weekend split of a win over the Gee-Gees and a loss to UQTR, the Redbirds entered Carleton in a similar place. A 3-2 shootout win over Concordia on opening night was followed by a 5-3 loss to Ottawa three nights later.
The quickness of the Ravens would be something the Redbirds struggled to handle early on in the game. Meanwhile, when the Ravens weren’t on offence at the other end of the rink, it was goalie Mark Grametbauer who made timely saves. One clear example came less than a minute into the second period; Grametbauer robbed Uba point-blank off a defensive turnover. “He was outstanding.” Coach Van Allen said postgame. “[Grametbauer] made a lot of big saves, stopped a lot of rips back there. Really battled and was easily and clearly our best player [tonight].” Coach Van Allen said postgame.
Early in the game, Keanu Yamamoto, Caiden Daley and Eric Uba asserted themselves as an offensive threat for McGill. They created turnovers and would get most of their chances from that way. In addition, Daley was strong in the faceoff circle as he won 85% of his draws.
The penalty kill would be a source of momentum for the Ravens. As soon as they killed the Bulych penalty, they would be on the attack. McGill Redbirds goalie Alexis Shank would close the door. The Ravens were aggressive and physical and did not allow the Redbirds to set up in the offensive zone during their three powerplays.
The Raven’s first powerplay would be successful as they would break the ice with an Aaron Boyd wrist shot that went top glove at the thirteen-minute mark of the second period.
Soon after, the Redbirds would get a beautiful chance to tie up the game with an offensive turnover by Andrew Jarvis, but Mark Grametbauer would stand tall and make another huge save.
The Redbirds found success in sustaining pressure in the offensive zone by creating chances off their cycle game and tiring out the Ravens defence.
After a great save from Grametbauer early in the third period, the Ravens would go on the counter-attack with Aaron Boyd carrying the puck into the offensive zone and scoring his second of the night to double the Ravens lead.
The Redbirds would go to the powerplay three times in the period, including one late, thanks to a hooking call on Samuel Meisenheimer, but the Ravens killed off the final 49 seconds to preserve their 2-0 win.
- Mark Grametbauer. When the Ravens needed someone to bail them out, Mark Grametbauer was there. His steady presence in goal calmed the team down when in stressful situations.
- Aaron Boyd. The veteran would lead the way with two goals, including one powerplay goal, and both of them came off the rush. His scoring off the rush is something to watch for the coach of a different team watching the film on ways to beat Carleton.
- Powerplay. Although the powerplay went 1/3 tonight, the units seem to get more cohesion among the group each time. McGill didn’t do as good of a job of closing the passing lanes as the Ravens passed with ease.
- Traffic in front. The only criticism of the Ravens tonight is not getting enough traffic in front of Shank, which made it easier for him to save the puck and keep Mcgill in the game.
Cover Photo: Marc Lafleur/Raven’s Athletics