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Hockey Gaels move into first place with 3-0 win over Windsor

November 23, 2013

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Queen’s Golden Gaels scored three goals in the third period Friday night to defeat the Windsor Lancers 3-0 in an Ontario University Athletics hockey game at the Memorial Centre.

The win lifted the Gaels, 7-0-5, into first place in the East division standings, two points ahead of McGill. The Redmen were beaten at home Friday night, 4-3 by Wilfrid Laurier, the last-place team in the West division.

Queen’s played Windsor, which came into the game 9-2 and the No. 7-ranked team in Canada, to a standstill through two scoreless, nondescript periods when both teams skated at a high pace but neither seemed able to do much with the puck.

Rookie Jordan Coccimiglio scored the game’s first goal in the fourth minute of the third period. He beat Windsor goaltender Parker Van Buskirk with a high wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, into the far top corner, for his first goal of the season.

The game opened up after that and Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie made back-to-back splendid saves during a Windsor power play about five minutes later to preserve the one-goal lead. Patrick McEachen, on a low shot from the blue line with less than four minutes to play, gave Queen’s a 2-0 advantage and Kelly Jackson, with his team-leading seventh goal of the year, iced the win into an empty net.

“For two periods I thought we were a little passive but in the third period we came on and outplayed them,” said Gaels coach Brett Gibson, whose team remains unranked though it is one of only three teams in the country without a regulation defeat.

“We have to skate. That’s what you saw in the third period — we had more odd-man rushes. We’re not going to beat up any teams. We’re not the biggest team in the world, but when I’m out there recruiting, the game now is all about speed and transition and that’s what we’re built to do.”

Gibson said after the second period he challenged Corey Bureau, Coccimiglio and Jackson to get more involved in the play, “and they stepped up.”

“I thought they were watching in the first two periods,” Gibson said. “In order to beat top teams your best players have to be that, and at the end of the day, let’s be honest, Kevin Bailie probably was the best player on the ice.”

It was the first shutout of the year for the rookie Bailie, who has a sparkling 1.75 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

Though outshot 31-28 in the game — including 8-3 in the second period — the Gaels outshot the visitors 15-9 in the final 20 minutes.

“It’s funny, when you go 17 games without a (regulation) loss there’s different ways to win,” Gibson said. “(This was) definitely not the way we drew it up but to beat a seventh-ranked team, I’m pretty happy with their effort.”

The Gaels will host Windsor again Saturday night at the Memorial Centre. Game time is 7:30.

Royal Military College Paladins were betrayed by their power play Friday night as they fell 6-1 to the No. 10-ranked Western Mustangs at the Constantine Arena.

RMC not only failed on all five of its man-advantage situations, they surrendered three shorthanded goals as they dropped their 13th game in a row.

Western got goals from six different players and scored a goal in the final minute of each of the first two period en route to their third win in a row, and their eighth in 11 league games.

A goal by Eric-Louis Seize spoiled the shutout bid of Western goaltender Greg Dodds early in the third period. It was the fifth time in the last six games that the Paladins, the last remaining team in the nation without a win this year, were held to just one goal.

Western outshot the home team 43-28.

The Paladins will entertain the Guelph Gryphons in their next game, Saturday night at 7 o’clock at the Constantine.

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