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Three third-period goals give Ottawa 4-2 win over RMC

January 6, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

In playing perhaps their best hockey game of the season Sunday afternoon, the Royal Military College Paladins still made a couple of mistakes.

For the Paladins this year, that’s pretty much all it takes to end up in defeat.

“We work harder,” RMC coach Adam Shell said after his team dropped a 4-2 Ontario University Athletics decision at the Constantine Arena to the Ottawa Gee-Gees, “but we need to be almost perfect all the time because other teams are more talented than we are.”

RMC broke a scoreless deadlock late in the second period, with a goal in the game’s 38th minute, but Ottawa came back with a goal 19 seconds before the end of the period and another 41 seconds into the third.

(It was the sixth time the Paladins surrendered a goal in the first minute of a period this year; the eighth time — not counting empty-net goals — that RMC was the victim of a goal in the last minute of a period.)

The home team tied the score 2-2 at 4:33 of the final period but a goal off a screen shot four minutes later and another in the final minute of the game into an empty net gave the Gee-Gees the victory, their 11th in 18 games.

“In the third we worked but then we tried to create offence and as we try to create offence we cheat a little bit and that’s when we get into trouble,” Shell said, “but it was a good game for us. We just made a couple of mistakes.”

RMC was playing with as close to a full lineup as Shell has had at his disposal all season.

“We were almost healthy, minus one, so it was good,” he said, “but because we haven’t played with the full group, trying to learn how to use the guys properly midway through the year is tough.”

The last winless team in Canada (0-15-2), the Paladins won’t have playoffs in their future this year but they still have the marquee games of their schedule — the annual Carr-Harris Cup match with cross-town rival Queen’s and the renewal of the historic series with the U.S. Military Academy — on their horizon.

“We’re going to keep trying to win games,” Shell said. “We can go on a run at any time, things will turn around and you never know. It’s going to be tough but we want to send out our fourth-year guys properly. We still have the Carr-Harris, we still have West Point to play. They’re important.”

Kyle Phillips, one of the returning injured Paladins who was playing just his fourth game this year, scored RMC’s first goal on a low shot after taking a pass from the left-wing corner from Eric Louis-Seize. Scott Domenico scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year, briefly tying the game on a crisp, low shot off a dash down right wing.

The offensively challenged Paladins have scored more than two goals in a game just four times this year, and in seven of their 17 games to date have managed to score just once.

“We’re getting better,” Shell said. “We’re better today than we were the last game and this is the first time our curve has been up, not up and down.

“The guys enjoyed the game today. They’re not getting paid, they’re not going to be pros, so they’ve got to enjoy the moment. It’s hard work so you’ve got to enjoy what you get out of that and it was fun tonight.”

Stephen Blunden, with two, Mathieu Guertin and Taylor Collins scored for Ottawa, as the Gee-Gees outshot the home team 52-17. Guertin’s goal extended a personal scoring streak to four games as the rookie forward from Terrebonne, Que., has scored in six of his last seven contests.

RMC resumes play Friday when the Paladins will host Ontario Tech at 7 p.m. at the Constantine.

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