Ottawa, ON – After blowing a multi-goal lead on Friday, the Carleton Ravens needed someone to save their night.
With their 5-4 overtime victory against the McGill Redbirds, the Ravens had a saviour on this night. Still, they had it re-emphasized that some of the mistakes they have continued to make in the early part of the OUA season need to be addressed.
The Ravens came into Friday on a miserable three-game losing streak. After collapsing against RMC and losing in a shootout on Oct. 21, they followed it up with back-to-back losses, 4-1 to Queen’s on Oct. 22 and 5-2 to UQTR on Oct. 28.
So with the McGill Redbirds at the Ice House coming off of back-to-back wins and back-to-back six-goal performances a week ago, the Ravens were in tough.
Surprisingly, the Ravens that took the ice looked more like the 14 goals in two games of the opening weekend team in the first period.
Outshooting McGill 12-5, a pair of goals from Parker AuCoin in five minutes midway through the period got him to 10 goals already on the season and Carleton to a 2-0 lead.
Ravens head coach Shaun Van Allen simply puts it, “He’s a scorer, give him some opportunities he’s gonna score some goals.”
William Rouleau got one back for the Redbirds, but Ottawa local Alex Johnston got his third of the season to make it 3-1 after one period for Carleton.
Into the second, the Redbirds started to claw back, but surprisingly it had to come at 5-on-5 rather than the man advantage. The Ravens entered the game with second most times shorthanded in the OUA at 37, and with the Redbirds boasting the conference’s best powerplay, Carleton made a point to stay out of the box.
“That’s a real lethal powerplay. It’s been a problem for about a decade, so you don’t want to give many free opportunities,” Van Allen said. The Ravens held firm, only going shorthanded twice on the night, but McGill still kept fighting.
Mikisiw Awashish got one back early in the second before Parker AuCoin potted another for his third hat trick of the season.
“I don’t know if anyone scores that hattrick goal but him,” Van Allen said. “For some reason, the puck just had eyes there, and you know when you’re hot, we want to keep him shooting.”
The Redbirds got all the way back, though, as Caidan Daley got his fourth of the year halfway through the period to make it 4-3 before Evan Patrician brought it even at 4-4 six minutes later.
With the shots 12-4 for the Redbirds in the third period, it was up to Mark Grametbauer to keep Carleton in it until overtime, where they got their hero for the night.
About five minutes into overtime, freshman defenceman James Mayotte found himself with the puck at the McGill blueline, and as he describes it,
“A lot of space because it’s three on three, just trying to get to any open area I could and then I figured it was time to get a shot off because we were in the zone for so long, cut to the middle and there it was,” Mayotte said.
The goal gave the former North Bay Battalion his first OUA goal and Carleton the second point they probably did not deserve but will be happy to walk out of the Ice House with.
Mayotte himself recognized that the goal helped Carleton snap their streak, but it didn’t cover for the fact they forced themselves to win in extra time in a game they held a pair of multi-goal leads.
“Obviously, the goal was nice, but I think the way we were playing the last couple of games, we were due for a win,” Mayotte said. “We have very good starts in our games, but just having that consistent effort throughout the whole game is something we’re going to keep working towards.”