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RMC ends its season with 7-4 loss to Concordia

February 15, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Royal Military College Paladins ended their Ontario University Athletics hockey season Friday night as they began it — on a losing streak — but in between coach Adam Shell said there were signs of hope for next year.

“There’s a lot to improve on, but we saw that what we thought was there, was there,” Shell said after his team dropped its final game of the year, 7-4 to the Concordia Stingers, at the Constantine Arena.

RMC lost all 16 of its pre-Christmas games, but won three of eight, with an overtime defeat, at one point in the second half, a modest improvement to be sure but a pace that, had they maintained it through the season, would have landed the Paladins in the playoffs.

“The first half didn’t go quite the way we hoped,” Shell said. “We had some injuries, at times we didn’t play particularly well. That put us in a hole. Our second half was good. We got healthy and we did some good things.”

Shell allowed that the team showed improvement — “maybe not as much as I would have hoped or thought” — but more important than that he learned some things about it.

“We now know the areas we need to get better in and the ones where we are good enough. There were some good discoveries in terms of some first-year guys and our goalie proved he can play successfully in this league.”

Perhaps the most gratifying part of the season for Shell was the way his team overcame its dreadful first half.

“The character and resilience of the guys is something we remark about all the time,” he said. “No matter what happens they show up to work and they’re smiling every day and that’s why we were able to have that second half after our first half.

“It was a matter of us getting the lineup we thought we had. We were missing three guys for the most part, goaltending was hit or miss in the first half and we’re not deep enough to withstand that. When we started playing with our four full lines — boom, there you go. We got some points.

“If we can bring in some guys and add some depth next year so we have that all time, we’ll be good.”

Friday night the Paladins hung tough with Concordia, 10-13-1 with one game remaining in its schedule. The Stingers led 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 late in the second but when Eric Louis-Seize scored at 17:04 and then Kyle Phillips scored at 1:19 of the third, RMC found itself in a 3-3 tie.

Then came a penalty and a power-play goal by Concordia at 8:45 that restored the one-goal lead. It was a strange goal, on a high slap shot by Gabriel Bourret that bounced off the end glass, off the back of Paladins goaltender Evan Deviller and into the net.

It was the first of three odd goals in a span of six and a half minutes for the Stingers, who got their next goal on a 70-foot wrist shot from outside the blue line that bounced off a goal post and into the net after Deviller misjudged it. Bourret was again the beneficiary of good fortune three minutes later when his shot from the blue line bounced into the net off a defender’s backside for his fourth goal of the year.

Bourret and Dany Potvin each finished the game with two goals and an assist for Concordia.

Phillips and Louis-Seize each had a goal and two assists for RMC, which got its other goals from Patrick Pinder and Mathieu Lavallee.

After two extended stints on the shelf with injuries, Phillips, a rookie centre from Carleton Place, ended the season with five goals and nine points in his last eight games.

Concordia outshot the home team 53-35.

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One Comment
  1. Thank you for the consistent highly professional articles during the season on the Paladins. You have a way of capturing the moment (game); for those of us who were unable to be in attendance – we had wished we were after reading your article.

    With your approval we will add your link to our upcoming Issue (7) of e-Veritas.

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