Ottawa, ON – The 2022-2023 OUA Men’s Hockey Season kicks off for the Carleton Ravens on Oct. 14 when they host the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks at the Ice House. It was a tough return to the ice for the Ravens in 2021-2022 as they finished in the seventh seed before falling 6-1 to the eventual OUA and U SPORTS champion UQTR Patriotes in the opening round of the 2022 Queen’s Cup playoffs.
There are a few key games to watch on their schedule though, as their season gets set to kick off.
#1 – Carleton Ravens @ UQTR Patriotes – Oct. 28, 2022
The rematch the Ravens have been looking forward to all summer. The last time the Ravens played the Patriotes it ended their season as the Patriotes won 6-1 in the OUA East quarterfinal. The story all last season was scoring the first goal. That is how most of the games ended and certainly the Ravens are looking for revenge based on what happened in the playoffs last year.
“Of course, it’s hard to forget who knocked you out of the playoffs especially with that one being so quick and recent. We were down a good amount of bodies but with the team we’ve brought in this year as well as with the playoff format being normal again, I think there’s no reason why we couldn’t beat them this upcoming season anytime,” second-year forward Oliver Castleman said.
“I can guarantee those two games we play them will be high intense physical hockey games, and I can’t wait.”
#2 – Carleton Ravens @ Queen’s Gaels – Nov. 18, 2022
If you want to be the best, you have to play with the best. Last season, the Gaels tore up the OUA East division finishing the season on a nine game winning streak. In 19 games, the Gales won 17. It’s definitely harder to judge teams last season due to many having postponed and/or cancelled games but the Gaels were a force to be reckoned with in the regular season.
Many people attributed the Gaels success to what was deemed as an “easy” division they had. This seemed t be true as they bowed out in the east quarterfinals against the McGill Redbirds. Yet even still, the numbers don’t lie and this will be a test for the Ravens in the 2022-23 season to see how well they can play with the best of the best in the OUA.
“The Queen’s game is something to definitely look forward to. They had a fantastic season last year and seems like they continued to build a strong team, however we are always up for a challenge and this will be a great test for our team as we have new players coming in as well.” – Carleton Ravens starting goalie Mark Grametbauer said about playing Queen’s.
#3 – Colonel By Classic
For the first time in two seasons, the Colonel By Classic is back! Many players were disappointed last season by not having the option to play in the annual Colonel By Classic which takes place between the two cross-town rivals Carleton and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. History shows that the Ravens play their best in these types of games as they hold a 3-1 all-time series lead with the most recent game ending in a 4-2 Ravens win.
“The Colonel By Classic is definitely one that I circled on my calendar as soon as the schedule was released. We all know how important the game is for the University of Ottawa and our program, so I know we will be ready to go when the puck drops with our crowd behind us.” Gee-Gee’s forward Daniel Hardie said.
Even the newcomers are excited to partake in the traditional rivalry. Braeden Virtue, who committed to Carleton after posting 19 points in 54 games in the AJHL with the Spruce Grove Saints, recognized the importance of the event early. “As a first year player I’ve heard it’s an awesome experience and I’m really looking forward to experiencing the battle between the two schools.” Virtue said.
The Ravens and Gee-Gee’s have three traditional games they play against one another. The Panda Games in football, the Colonel By Classic in hockey & Capital Hoops in basketball.