Ottawa, ON – The Carleton Ravens are looking to prove themselves this upcoming season. Last year, the team had to go through a COVID outbreak that postponed games and, on top of that, had to deal with the Omicron virus that forced the league to postpone play. This included their By Colonel Classic game that takes place yearly between their cross-town rival, Ottawa Gee-Gee’s.
How Did the Ravens Do Last Season?
Last season, the Ravens only played 11 games, the fewest games in the entire OUA. They went 4-4-3 in those 11 games. The first five games of the season put the Ravens on a good start as everything seemed to be clicking, going 4-1-1. However, by the end of the month, it was tough sledding. They completed the month with a record of 1-2-0 and finished the entire season on a four-game losing streak.
If we look at the season as a whole, the Raven’s last win came on Thursday, November 25th, against the UQTR Patriotes. Clearly, the Ravens want to prove themselves as they enter into the 2022-23 season.
Heading into the playoffs, the Ravens only played three games, as the rest were postponed due to COVID. As a team, it’s hard to gel and create any momentum heading into the playoffs when you can’t play most of the games. They eventually lost to the UQTR Patriotes 6-1 in the East Quarterfinal.
All of this adds up to one thing: it should be interesting to see how the Ravens start the season. Last season, it was hard to gauge the identity of the Ravens and how they could build off certain games and put their focus on the next game when the thought of having it be postponed looms in the back of your mind.
The New Guys on the Block
As always, with the new season, the Ravens have some new recruits on the team. Let’s analyze some of the players joining the Ravens in the upcoming 2022-23 season
- Braeden Virtue | Defence
Virtue is coming off a 19-point season with the Spruce Grove Saints in the AJHL, where fans saw him earn the assistant captain. The 6’1″ defenceman has experience playing in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts, Gatineau Olympiques, and Charlottetown Islanders. One thing that is a concern, though is Virtue tends to take a lot of penalties. This season he finished with 110 PIMS and also had 14 PIMS in the playoffs. If there’s one thing to fix about his game, it’s to ensure he’s disciplined.
2. Alexandre Hogue | Defence
Hogue finished last season with 57 points, leading the Navan Grads defenceman in points. He’s on the smaller end of the size spectrum, coming in at 5’8″ and 185 lbs which may have fans quickly point to the conclusion that Hogue may not be able to adjust quickly to the university style of hockey, however, he is a very smooth skater and should be a prominent player when breaking the puck out of the zone.
3. Kieran Craig | Forward
The 5’11” playmaker will be a great fit if he can find some chemistry with second-year player Oliver Castleman. Leading up to his commitment to Carleton, Craig has played for the Gatineau Olympiques & Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. He spent all four years with the Olympiques, totalling 90 points in 170 games before he got traded to Armada, where he played a big role scoring 35 points in 38 regular season games and another 9 points in 7 playoff games which was second on Armada. He could undoubtedly become applicable on the powerplay as well if utilized there.
4. Alex Johnston | Forward
Ottawa fans got to see Johnston play for the hometown 67s in the OHL after getting traded from the Soo Greyhounds. The 20-year old came into his own this past season with 22 points in 42 games. He should be a great addition to the Ravens who are looking to find more offence.
5. Nick McCary | Forward
He scored 63 points in 70 games split between the Kamloops Blazers and Spokane Chiefs. With this commitment, the Ravens are getting a playmaker with significant offensive upside and has excellent IQ for finding teammates in open spaces. He also played for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL, totalling 41 points in 104 games. It’s clear that McCary there was not match between player and system with the Tigers.
Players to Look Out For Next Season
Oliver Castleman – He was over a point per game this season for the Ravens and was a threat every time he stepped on the ice. He has an elite shot and excellent playmaking skills. His 13 points were tied for the team lead with Aaron Boyd. With an entire season coming up, you can expect him to be in the team lead and potentially lead the league.
Mark Grametbauer – He was fantastic every start he got for the Ravens, and I doubt his play decreases this upcoming season. In 8 games, he posted a .909SV% and a 3.27GAA. They aren’t outstanding numbers by any means, but given the circumstances the Ravens were under, it begs to ask just how good Grametbauer can be for them. He can make those highway robbery saves.
Simon Kerr – Fans can expect a breakout season for the 6’1″ defenceman who led the team in points with eight in 11 games. He was great on the powerplay for the Ravens. All of his three goals this season came on the powerplay. It would be best for Kerr’s development at the university level to use him for all situations this upcoming season.
It’ll be nice for players to get back to a regular schedule. Something that hasn’t been seen since the 2018-19 season.