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Hockey Gaels bow 3-2 at Trois-Rivieres

February 15, 2014

Queen’s Golden Gaels poured 16 shots at the Trois-Rivieres goal in the third period Friday night but they could not pull even with the home team, as the Patriotes claimed a 3-2 Ontario University Athletics hockey victory.

In the final game of their regular schedule, the Gaels had nothing to gain or lose as they were locked into fourth place in the East division and a first-round playoff series with the Ottawa Gee-Gees, who were similarly locked into fifth place regardless of how they fared on the final weekend of the regular season.

The best-of-three series will open Wednesday at the Memorial Centre.

Both of Queen’s games with Ottawa were decided in shootouts, with Ottawa winning 2-1 at home Nov. 1 and the Gaels prevailing 4-3 at home Nov. 30.

The teams scored three goals in a wild opening four minutes Friday night, as Trois-Rivieres opened scoring at 2:08. Patrick McEachen replied for Queen’s 39 seconds later and the Patriotes regained the lead 29 seconds after that.

The goaltenders took over at that point, and there was no more scoring until the third minute of the third period, when Billy Lacasse scored his second goal of the game for Trois-Rivieres. Four minutes later, Andrew Wiebe, who drew an assist on the first Queen’s goal, scored to lift the Gaels again within one goal of the lead.

In spite of three Trois-Rivieres penalties and lifting goaltender Chris Clarke for a sixth skater with more than a minute left in the game, in a period where the Gaels would outshoot their opponent 16-6 they couldn’t tie the score.

Queen’s outshot the home team 30-23.

After opening the season with 17 straight games without a regulation-time defeat, Queen’s ended the year by losing six of its last 11. Division-leading Trois Rivieres, the No. 7-ranked team in Canada, is 21-6 with one game remaining on its schedule. The Patriotes have lost just twice in 16 games since Nov. 16, one of them a 4-2 setback at Kingston last week.

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