It was a rocky season for the Carleton Ravens, to say the least. They started on a hot note getting points in five straight games. Their first regulation loss came against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on November 20. Then the season was postponed, which led to Carleton losing key veterans, including Andrew Jarvis and C.J. Garcia and going into the playoffs on a four-game losing streak.
Through the downs, there are also. Rookie standout Oliver Castleman is a name to watch out for as he has five goals which is tied for 2nd on the team and is tied with Aaron Boyd with 13 points for the team lead.
People may not be sure what to make of Carleton since they finished the OUA regular season with 11 games, the fewest in the entire league.
What you need to know about the Ravens
Before the Omicron postponement of the season, Carleton was a very good team. They broke the puck out quickly and could attack you with speed and physical play. However, when it came to special teams, that’s where the wheels fell off the bus. The Ravens had a subpar powerplay, clicking at around 19%. Their penalty kill was great, clicking at 82%.
Since then, the powerplay has gotten even worse, clicking at 8%, whereas the penalty kill has remained strong, clicking at 92%. If the Carleton Ravens want to have playoff success, the powerplay is where they need to get better.
However, Carleton’s special teams haven’t been the greatest on the road, with the powerplay converting at a 15.4% rate and the penalty kill at a 78.8% rate.
Mark Grametbauer has also been a bright spot for the Ravens. Despite his stats showing a 3.27 GAA and a .909 SV%, he gives you a chance to win the game each time he starts.
What to know about the UQTR Patriotes
Carleton is in familiar territory going up against the UQTR Patriotes as they’ve played them three times this season with a record of 1-1-1.
UQTR has done very well against the Ravens on home ice as Carleton has yet to win a game in their barn. They are a team that can win close games, such as the game against Ottawa on November 12, which ended 2-1, and they are a team that can win high scoring games such as the game against Carleton on November 7, which ended 6-5.
If there’s one thing fans should know about the Patriotes, it’s that goaltender Alexis Gravel is a brick wall. During their most recent game against Ottawa, he made big saves at the right time. There was a shorthanded breakaway for the Gee-Gee’s that Gravel stopped. His numbers back this up as in 10 games, he boasts a 2.07GAA and, to go along with that, a .923SV%.
The season’s postponement didn’t affect the Patriotes as much as it did with the Ravens, as the Patriotes had 14 games played compared to the 11 for the Ravens. Throughout the season, the powerplay has been in the league’s upper echelon at 21.9% and likewise with their penalty kill at 82%.
The Patriotes special teams have been very good at home, with the powerplay at 25% and the penalty kill at 83.3%.
The battles so far…
This season, the two teams have seen one low-scoring game and two high-scoring games. As was the story when Carleton went up against McGill, the team who scores first has won every game.
For Carleton to move on to the 2nd round, they must keep it a low event hockey game. They must strike on the majority of the powerplays they get. Further, they must take the crowd out of the game early. It’s been hard on the Ravens as they haven’t won a game on the road against the Patriotes.
For UQTR to advance to the 2nd round, they’ll have to use their dominant special teams, and Alexis Gravel will need to have another excellent performance. It’s been no mystery for the Patriotes as the Ravens have struggled to score 5v5. 3 goals has been the maximum the Ravens have scored and that’s just a testament to the tremendous defensive system the Patriotes have in place.
The game is set to be played Wednesday, March 16 at 7 pm.
COVER: Marc Lafleur/Carleton Athletics