By Aidan Chamandy
The Carleton Ravens men’s hockey team had the offense rolling in their game on Jan. 7 against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks at the Ice House. The Ravens thrashed the Ridgebacks by a score of 8−0, with forwards Brett Welychka and Brent Norris notching three points each.
“We came out with the right mindset tonight. All four lines contributed to the win,” said Ravens head coach Marty Johnston.
Ravens captain Michael McNamee opened the scoring midway through the first period and the team never looked back. The Ravens added one more later in the period, then two in the second, to give them a commanding 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Despite the stranglehold they had, the Ravens come out firing in the third. They tallied four more goals in a span of just six minutes, and dashed all hopes of a Ridgebacks comeback.
The Ravens were able to capitalize on a frustrated and undisciplined Ridgebacks team, and marked three goals on nine power play opportunities.
Johnston said he has been stressing the power play in practice lately, and even utilized a five-forward power play unit that was able to pin UOIT in their own zone for the full two minutes on one occasion.
During the holiday break, the Ravens added forward Nathan Todd to the roster. Todd previously committed to Carleton during the off-season, but left to play in the ECHL with the Quad City Mallards instead. He was cut last month by the Mallards, after he put up four points in 12 games.
Todd tallied his first assist with the Ravens off of Welychka’s goal in the third period, and scored his first goal a night earlier against the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins.
“[Todd] is an elite player,” Johnston said. “He certainly helps us down the middle and gives us another threat offensively, and you saw that tonight on the power play.”
The win pulled the Ravens into a three−way tie with the Ridgebacks and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes for fourth in the OUA East division.
The Ravens’ next game is a rematch with the Ridgebacks on Jan. 12 at the Campus Ice Centre in Oshawa. With a win, the Ravens could pull ahead of the Ridgebacks as they try and claw their way up the standings.
“Other than the slip-up against RMC in the third period, I think the last five or six games have been what we want defensively, and it’s nice to see the special teams succeeded as well,” Johnston said.
Despite their recent victories, Johnston said he is stressing a “one game at a time” approach.
“It’ll be a tight game and they’ll respond really well,” Johnston said of the upcoming game against UOIT.
“They’re a well-coached team and they play really well in their own rink,” he said. “We’ll enjoy the win now, but come Thursday it’ll be a much different hockey team and it’s up to us as to how we’re going to respond and react to them.”
After the Ravens hit the ice to take on the Ridgebacks on Jan. 12, they’ll return to the Ice House on Jan. 14 to host the Laurentian Voyageurs.