Ottawa, ON – It was a long winter break for the athletes in university sports. I might not be considered an athlete, but when the news broke on December 17th that the winter season was delayed due to the surging Omicron variant, I felt the effects of it. Reporting in my first year as a Media and Communications student at Carleton University has been a blast, and I’m happy to say that the OUA is resuming action February 9th, 2022. The Carleton Ravens are scheduled to play at Concordia on February 18th.
Since the pause, more than 70 players elected to leave the OUA and sign pro deals in Europe and North American leagues. The Ravens were heavily affected by this as they saw three defencemen and two forwards leave the team.
Andrew Jarvis – A steady defensive defenceman who was very calm in his zone and made great plays under pressure. In addition, he would help break the puck out of the zone. Not only that, but he logged big minutes and played penalty kill time. He totalled two points in seven games for the Ravens, but his contributions in the defensive zone made him a great player. He is currently playing for the Allen Americans in the ECHL.
Jeremy Masella – It was his first season as a Raven, and he registered eight games. In a short career, he added stability on the left side on defence and used his 6’5″ frame to his advantage. He is currently playing for the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL.
Cody Caron – A fifth-year return player, he did everything he could for the Ravens this season. He was a veteran presence in the locker room, and now that will be a void that will need to be filled. Right from the first game, Cody made his presence felt as he got his first point of the season on an Oliver Castleman goal. He registered five points in eight games for the Ravens and finished his Ravens career on a three-game point streak. He is currently playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL.
C.J. Garcia – An absolute powerhouse on the back end that Carleton will miss very much. He would quarterback the powerplay and be an outstanding offensive-minded defenceman that would know when to jump in the rush and when to defend the rush. Garcia was a fifth-year return and was 2nd in defenseman scoring 5 points in 6 games. He is currently playing for Anglet in Ligue Manus in France.
Cole Carter – Oliver Castleman won’t be happy about Carter leaving as they developed chemistry right from day one when they lined up together. Carter would show off his speed, gaining the offensive zone with ease. He was great on the powerplay and had a great vision looking for his teammates as he was second on the team in assists with six. He finished the season with 7 points in 8 games. He is currently playing for HC Prouba in the Czech Republic.
Carleton is losing a lot of defensive depth on the left side as both Masella and Garcia are gone. This could create a problem for the Ravens as they have many right-handed defensemen, and playing defence on their weak side is never a recipe for success. There’s going to be lots of room for young guys like Jacob Cuffley to prove their worth and gain trust from head coach Shaun van Allen.
Leadership will be a hot topic going down the stretch for the Ravens. Thankfully, Aaron Boyd, who is in his last season, stayed put with the Ravens and may have to carry some of that leadership.
Injuries as well will be an issue as teams across the OUA got affected by players leaving and signing pro deals. Teams may have gotten thinner since the last time we saw them play.
Many questions will be answered as the second half of the season gets underway on February 9th.