Category: Features


by Eric Balnar

When Scott Tanski woke up for hockey practice on Thursday morning, he was preparing for his first exhibition game with the Carleton University Ravens while adjusting to his new university lifestyle.

When he left practice, he was told to pack his bags, get on a plane, and head to the New York Rangers training camp.

Tanski had a fantastic junior career with the Brampton Batallion (PHOTO: ontariohockeyleague.com)

“It hasn’t even sunk in yet,” says the 21-year-old winger. “I was focused on heading to Nipissing with the boys for a game. To get the call was totally unexpected.”

The opportunity is well deserved for the Burlington, Ontario native.

Tanski put together impressive numbers during his four-year stint with Brampton Batallion of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL.

He had two 40+ point seasons, was a career +17, and was a key part in the Battalion’s run to the OHL finals in 2009.

But the OHL an entirely different world from the NHL – the players are bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. Tanski says his short time at Carleton University have already prepared him for the next step.

“There will be adjustments but Carleton has got me physically ready. The coaches and trainers have worked really hard,” he says.

Ravens head coach Marty Johnston also thinks the winger is ready.

He says the winger won’t look out of place in what he calls one of the league’s most demanding training camps.

“Physically he is one of our top players,” says Ravens head coach Marty Johnston. “He worked extremely hard this offseason and was top three in all our physical testing.”

Not only is Tanski physically prepared, but he says previous hockey experience has him mentally ready.

In 2009 he went to the Columbus Blue Jacket training camp and in 2010 he attended Jackets rookie camp.

He says he won’t be in as much “awe” of the talent around him this time around.

“I’ll still notice some of the big names out there but now I know the speed of the game and where to be on the ice. I have that bit of insight so I know what to focus on,” he says.

Raven’s assistant coach Ryan Medel also thinks Tanski will fit right in. He says he brings character that’s tough to come across.

“He’s a natural leader and one of the hardest workers. You like to hope he makes the team, but if he doesn’t he’s going to make a big impact with us,” he says.

Tanski begins his journey with fitness testing early morning  in New York on Friday, before the team skates on Saturday.

“This has been my goal,” he says. “I got a taste of a full NHL training camp two years ago and I’ve been working to get that taste again.”

Two players from the Carleton University Men’s Hockey team have received invites to NHL training camps.

Defenseman Matt Stanisz (Burlington, Ont.) will be attending Toronto Maple Leaf training camp, while forward Scott Tanski (Burlington, Ont.) will battle for a spot with the New York Rangers.

“This is what every player dreams of. We’re very proud of both of them,” says head coach Marty Johnston.

Stanisz is regarded as one of the top recruits to University hockey after a stellar Ontario Hockey League (OHL) career. He scored 88 points (15 goals, 73 assists) while playing for the Barrie Colts and Owen Sound Attack. In his final year he tallied 43 points (12 goals, 31 assists) on an Owen Sound team that won the OHL championship.

Stanisz is fresh off an OHL championship with the Attack (PHOTO: ontariohockeyleague.com)

Stanisz just finished Maple Leafs rookie camp, where he impressed the coaches and staff enough to earn an invite to the full training camp which begins Friday, September 16.

“The rookie camp was a lot of hard work, but all well worth it. Being treated like a professional all day, every day makes you realize how special it is to attend an NHL camp,” says Stanisz.

Coach Johnston says Stanisz is an excellent player who could make a mark on Leaf scouts. Stanisz says he needs to stick to his game if he wants to make an impact.

“I just need to focus on the game that I know how to play,” he says. “My main focus is taking care of my own end. I won’t be afraid to jump into the rush when it is necessary, but I want to take care of my own end of the rink first.”

Tanski had a fantastic junior career with the Brampton Batallion (PHOTO: ontariohockeyleague.com)

Meanwhile, forward Scott Tanski will get an opportunity to skate with the NHL stars like Marion Gaborik and Shaun Avery when he attends New York Ranger training camp of Friday.

“It honestly hasn’t set in yet. I was focused on playing an exhibition game with Nipissing. To get the call is such an honour but totally unexpected,” says Tanski, who was already expecting to go the Rangers’ American Hockey League (AHL) camp later this month.

But this is not Tanski’s first NHL camp. The 21-year-old winger attended Columbus Blue Jackets’ training camp two years ago and the team’s rookie camp last year.

He says he can use his past experience to help him this time around.

“Carleton helped me get into great physical shape, and because of Columbus I know the speed of the game. I have a bit of insight but what I really need to do is focus on my game and putting the best foot forward,” he says.

Tanski comes to Carleton after an impressive OHL career. He played four seasons with the Brampton Battalion and his final year he had 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists).

Feature: Brad Albert reflects on his first year in the CIS

By Jeff Krever

It’s been an eventful first year away from the Ontario Hockey League for former Brampton Battalion defenseman Brad Albert.

The 22-year-old from Nepean, Ontario is in his first year of playing university hockey and earning a degree in economics close to his hometown, following a four-year stint with the Troops.

While his time at Carleton University so far has seen an impressive start to his career after major junior hockey, Albert said he won’t soon forget how valuable his years in Brampton turned out to be. During his four years with the Battalion, Albert played in 225 regular season games, amassing 45 points and 158 penalty minutes.

“It was probably the best four years of my life so far, it was a great experience. I met a lot of great people and I felt like I grew a lot as a person and as a hockey player,” said Albert.

What was more impressive was his playoff success. Albert played in 41 playoff games with the Battalion, including a trip to the OHL finals versus the Windsor Spitfires in 2009. He said he expects his playoff success with Brampton to come in handy throughout his career at Carleton.

With the departure of four-year captain Brad Albert, expectations will be high this season for the sophomore defenceman.

“We might not have had the best team and we weren’t looked at as the top team in the league but we came together and I really learned a lot from that,” said Albert. “One of the biggest things was coming together as a team and believing in ourselves and that can help you in the playoffs, so if I can do anything to help this team out like that then that’s what I’ll do.”

This season with the Carleton Ravens, Albert played a key role in helping his team finish third place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division, earning heavy minutes as one of head coach Marty Johnston’s most reliable defensemen throughout the regular season and well into the playoffs.

And while his team faced a disappointing second-round exit at the hands of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) this year, Albert’s first year playing Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) hockey should be considered a success.

In 28 regular season games with the Ravens, Albert ranked 18th in the conference with 18 points, including one goal and 17 assists. He was also one of the most disciplined defencemen in the country, finishing with only eight penalty minutes.

Albert also earned nation-wide recognition when he was invited to try-out for Team Canada, which was set to compete at the Winter Universiade – an international multi-sport competition for University students – in Erzurum, Turkey. He said despite not making the team, he took a lot from the opportunity.

“It was a great experience. It was my first time being invited to a national camp like that and it meant a lot,” said Albert. “It was pretty neat being invited there and I was really proud just to make it there even though I didn’t make the team.”

This season may have ended a little earlier than Coach Johnston and his Ravens could’ve hoped for, but the first-year head coach is expecting Albert to take even bigger steps next season, especially with the team’s longest-serving defenseman and team captain, Brad Good, graduating.

“He’s got great poise with the puck and he jumps in and plays against the other team’s top line,” said Johnston. “There’s really been no adjustment to the league for Brad, and hopefully he gets better and better if he keeps pushing himself, but certainly he’s made an impact in the OUA already.”

Albert will also be the first to admit that there’s a steep learning curve for players making the transition from major junior to CIS hockey, but he gives full credit to Battalion head coach Stan Butler for helping players get prepared for life after hockey.

“Stan’s been around the game so long, he knows everything about it. I learned a lot from him and it wasn’t just hockey stuff too, it was stuff about life and I think that’s the biggest thing I’ll probably take away from him is lessons about life as well as hockey,” said Albert.

Butler, who coached in his 1000th OHL game this season, said he’s always stressed the importance of getting an education to his hockey players, and that he’s happy to see former players of his succeeding elsewhere.

“I think you have to have options after hockey’s over and Brad Albert is a prime example, along with Thomas Stajan at Brock and Ken Peroff at Guelph,” said Butler. “I think it’s important with those guys to continue with their schooling and Brad was always a really good student and I’m not surprised with how he’s doing.”

In terms of the on-ice adjustment, Albert says his new head coach has made things easy, and that Johnston and Butler closely resemble one another in coaching styles.

“They’re actually pretty similar. Stan is a really intense coach as well and Marty’s in his first year and I think he’s doing a great job so far. He already knew the program and everything so he’s just encouraging us and he’s really intense and I think that’s helping us be the team we are this year.”

But for Albert, the hardest part of making the transition to the CIS had more to do with getting adjusted off the ice than on the ice. He said his teammates and coaches have also played a major role in helping him making that transition.

“Everyone knows they have to do well in school if they want to play hockey, so everyone kind of chips in here and there and if you ever need help the guys are always there to help you with your work,” said Albert. “I think Stan helped me out a lot too because he made school really important in Brampton, he made sure everyone went to classes and really encouraged us all to go to school so I think he really helped out my transition to university hockey.”

Ravens third-year forward Brandon MacLean said he was in the same boat three years ago when he came to Carleton to play hockey following a four-year career with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

“I think for a lot of the new guys coming from junior hockey, the biggest thing is you have to juggle school with your hockey and you have bills to pay and all the other things,” said MacLean. “So I think it’s just transitioning into becoming a man and moving on with your life is the biggest thing, but as leaders we just try to point them in the right direction and give them a hand any time they need it.”

One thing Albert enjoys about playing at Carleton is that he gets to be close to home.

“It’s great to be back in Ottawa. I love this city and it’s nice to be back home with my friends and family and school’s going good so far too, it’s a different experience I mean I’d almost look at school first because if you get behind in that then you won’t be able to play hockey, so it takes a lot of discipline to stay up with your school work.”

Still, Albert said he’ll never forget his time in Brampton as both a player, and a person.

“I had a great time there, they have great fans and I’ll never forget my four years there,” said Albert. “I grew a lot as a hockey player and a person, and I’d like to thank the organization and all of the coaches and the players that I played with for helping me out.”

by Mitch Goldenberg

Since Varsity Hockey came back to Carleton in 2007, the Ravens have yet to miss the playoffs, but they’ve also yet to bust through the second round. Here’s how they finished the past three seasons:

2007-2008:

  • 12-13-3, 27 points, 6th place in OUA East.
  • Lost in first round of the playoffs, 2 games to 0 against the McGill Redmen.

2008-2009:

  • 13-11-4, 30 points, 5th place in OUA East.
  • Beat the Concordia Stingers in the first round 2 games to 1.
  • Lost in Second Round to the UQTR Patriotes 2 games to 1 (UQTR beat the Ravens in double OT in Game 3)

2009-2010:

  • 15-10-3, 33 points, 4th place in OUA East.
  • Beat Queen’s Golden Gaels in first round 2 games to 1. (Thrilling double OT victory in Game 3)
  • Lost in Second Round to the McGill Redmen 2 games to 1.

But we know better to live in the past. Captain Brad Good told us that Carleton has “been banging on the door the last few years but now is time to kick it down.” Can they do it though?

2010/11 SEASON:

18-8-2, 38 points, 3rd place in OUA East.

Season higlights include: back-to-back shutouts over McGill, a season high #8 ranking, dominant home play, seven shorthanded goals

The road to the Queen’s Cup begins Wednesday night against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in a best of 3 series. Here is what you need to know:

TEAM PROFILE: Varsity Blues (10-11-7, 27 points, 6th place in OUA East)

Top Scorers:

  • Byron Elliott (19 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 PTS)
  • Kyle Ventura (27 GP, 12 G, 10 A, 26 PTS)
  • Anthony Bergin (26 GP, 8 G, 13 A, 21 PTS)

Top Goalie:

  • Andrew Martin (20 GS, 8-12 RECORD, 3.65 GAA, .920 SV%)

Longest Streaks:

  • WINS- 3 (Jan 15-Jan 21)
  • LOSSES-5 (Oct 8-Oct 24)

Head to Head: 1-1

Oct 29 @ Toronto: Blues 4 Ravens 3 (SO)

  • Goalies: Ravens: Dopud (32/35) Blues: Martin (44/47)
  • Top Performer: Ravens F Ryan Berard (1 G, 2 A, 3 PTS)

Nov 6 @ Carleton: Ravens 4 Blues 2

  • Goalies:  Ravens: Dopud (9/11) Blues: Martin (34/38)
  • Top Performer: Blues F Kyle Ventura (1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS)

THREE QUESTIONS

1. Can the Ravens shut down top-liner Byron Elliott and his exceptional supporting cast of Ventura, Bergin and leading goal scorer Blake Boddy (27 GP, 13 G)?

Elliott missed significant time this year due to injury, and would likely be an OUA scoring leader if he played all year. However, Carleton has done a superb job at shutting down the league’s leading scorers. For example, Ottawa U’s top snipers Kyle Ireland and Luc Blain each averaged over 2 points per game this season but were held to only 4 points combined in three games against Carleton. And that all came from Ireland as Blain had to eat up the dreaded donut. The Ravens pride themselves on their shut-down capabilities with big, experienced defensemen Brad Good and Justin Caruana leading the way, along with standout rookie Brad Albert.

2.  Did the coaches make the right call in goal?

The debate was Ryan Dube or Matthew Dopud. Until now, we were unsure of who would get the nod. But the coaches have spoken, and they’re going with Dopud. Is this the right call? Dube played sensationally earlier in the month when starter Dopud went down with an injury, shutting out the McGill Redmen twice in a row (the first time that has happened in 107 years). But Dube allowed 4 goals to UQTR in his last start, and Dopud anchored the team to a 5-2 victory over Concordia in his return last Saturday. Both goalies have similar stats.

3. Can Brandon MacLean and Ryan Berard get going again?

These two Ravens Universiade Olympians have been stellar all year and piled up some assists last game. But they haven’t scored in either game since coming back from Turkey. The Ravens record when they were gone? 4-0. Record since they came back? 1-1. These two are crucial to Ravens success in the playoffs, and Head Coach Marty Johnston needs to find a solution to revive the scoring production of these two while maintaining the production the team received from Joey Manley, Andrew Self, Joe Pleckaitis and Jeff Hayes during the pair’s absence. One bad playoff game puts the team on the brink of elimination.

NOTES

- Carleton finished 10th in the CIS Rankings – the same place as eventual champions McGill last year. Can they continue the trend?

- The Ravens must win the OUA East playoff bracket to qualify for nationals

February Fever! Fill out your OUA Playoff Bracket

March Madness is still over a month away, so we thought of a quick fix for your bracket fever….

Introducing the real bracket busting challenge… February Fever: The Road to the Queen’s Cup.

Send us your Fever picks of Round One to ravenshockeylive@gmail.com or just post in a comment below, we’ll enter you in the contest.

Here’s the deal. The winner, the almighty hockey guru with the most points, will win a DVD prize from Maple Pictures. In addition to playoff time, it’s Oscar season and what better way to celebrate than by winning a copy of last year’s best picture, The Hurt Locker.

You get a point for each winning team and another point for the correct amount of games.

Each series is best of 3, meaning the team must win two games to advance. The final game, the Queen’s Cup, is a winner take all format between the best of the East and the best of the West.

Submit your picks in a comment below or send us an email. Remember, there’s two contests at play here. You can either a) submit picks round by round, or b) submit an entire bracket, and prove you’vre really got what it takes and take home a DVD prize.  Just email us and request a bracket, it’s all typed out for you.

Here are the first round matchups:

OUA EAST

1. McGill Redman vs 8. Ottawa Gee-Gees

The lowdown: Only two regulation losses, a plethora of experience and talent for the Redmen vs two of the OUA’s best rising stars in Luc Blain and Kyle Ireland. McGill has been hot all year, uOttawa can score a lot of goals but their defense is weak and goaltending continues to be a question mark.

2. UQTR Patriotes vs 7. Concordia Stingers

The lowdown: The once dominant Patriotes fell to second place this season, but have been one of the hottest teams in the league lately. They are riding a dominant 4-1 win over Carleton on the road, and solid play from their veteran forwards. Concordia began the season believing they could compete for first place, but a 7 game losing streak in the middle of the year plus a 5 game losing streak  to finish the season make for a tough first round matchup,  though they still have the weapons up front to be a cinderella.

3. Carleton Ravens vs 6. U of T Varsity Blues

The lowdown: Carleton has been one of the best in 2011, beating McGill twice but then looked out of form vs a tough UQTR squad last weekend. They have been getting goals from secondary scorers, they don’t allow a lot of goals and are the most physical team in the East. U of T surged up the standings to finish a surprising sixth despite a five game losing streak to start the year and two 4 game losing streaks early on. They’ve had injury problems but are getting key players back and performing well – including one of the CIS’ best snipers Byron Elliott.

4. Nipissing Lakers vs 5. Queen’s Golden Gaels

The lowdown: The Lakers looked like they were destined for second place only 3 weeks ago. But a couple of losses to U of T and worrisome play as of late has fans nervous for the playoffs. They still own one of the toughest buildings to play in but they have not played a team ahead of them in the standings since the beginning of November. Queen’s is looking like one of the best heading into the playoffs, but has struggled against the top 3 teams in the division all season.

WEST

1. Western Mustangs vs 8. Windsor Lancers

The lowdown: The ‘Stangs have dominated all year, but a recent 3-0 loss to UOIT draws concern. Windsor finished the season strong, beating Laurier and only losing to Western by one.

2. Laurier Goldenhawks vs 7. UOIT Ridgebacks

The lowdown: Laurier is one of the better teams in the OUA West, but ever since a 5 game winning streak was snapped Jan 15 vs Waterloo, the Hawks have barely beat the bad teams and have struggled against the good ones. UOIT is riding hot goalie Jason Guy, who dominated the high-flying Mustangs a few weeks ago.

3. Lakehead Thunderwolves vs 6. Waterloo Warriors

The lowdown: T-Wolves should be one of the best teams in Ontario. They showed it earlier in the year, as teams couldn’t even get close to them during a 9 game winning streak. But have stumbled into the break, including an embarrassing loss to last place York. Much of the same for Waterloo – a top team in the first have but now losers of 5 of their last 6.

4. Guelph Gryphons vs 5. Brock Badgers

The lowdown: After a slow start, the Gryphons earned home ice advantage by winning 6 of their final 8 and beat the top seeded Mustangs in their last game. Brock has showed signs of brilliance this year. They were the first team to take a point from McGill and have won 5 of their last 6.

Show what you’ve got, win the Hurt Locker…it will be fun with extra movie incentive.

Anyone is welcome, hockey knowledge or not….

Last week we revealed that Carleton’s athletic director said there may be an outdoor hockey game in the works between Carleton and Ottawa U.

Well we here at RHL have joined the capitalist world and sold out by selling that scoop to the Ottawa Citizen.

Here’s the story from Jeff.

Congrats, Mr. Krever

Mitch Goldenberg caught up with Ravens Assistant Coach Shaun Van Allen this morning to talk about the red hot Ravens Special Teams.

MG: The team has killed an extraordinary 87% of penalties since the Christmas Break. Have you guys been doing anything differently?

SVA: Not really.

The success is basically a credit to all the guys, and how they’ve bought into the system, and their talent level. They’re good players and they work well together. Specifically on the PK.

Our philosophy has been the same all year for the PK. Our mentality is to go out and pressure them as much as possible working as a four man unit.

MG: What kind of PK system do you preach?

SVA: We want to be as aggressive as possible and not give the other team any time at all to make a play. Force them to rush plays and make plays ahead of time. We’ve found that’s been awfully successful.

MG: How do you choose the right players for the job?

SVA: (Raven Head Coach Marty Johnston) likes to use different players on the PP and PK.

Some guys are better for one or the other

On the PK, we look for who’s got good sticks.

For the PP, we look for the players that can pay the price in front of the net, who can shoot the puck well and who sees the ice well.

MG: How is the PK unit get so good at getting the puck out of the zone and creating scoring chances while shorthanded?

SVA: On the PK we look at it like we’re not shorthanded and create as many scrums as possible, which leads to us winning battles. Then when we shoot it down and at that point, we realize we are shorthanded.

MG: How do you use your experience as a former pro to help coach the special teams?

SVA: As a player, you look at things at what teams did against you, and how you would react in certain situations. Then you try and get the guys to buy into your system.

MG: The saying goes that the best penalty killer is the goaltender, do you think that has been the case over the last few games?

SVA: No, I hate that saying as a PK guy. That means you’re not doing the job penalty killing and you’re making your goalie make too many saves. There are times the goalie is the best penalty killer, but you want your guys to let your goalie make as easy saves as possible. You want your penalty killers to take pride in the other team not getting a lot of shots through.

Brenning says Outdoor Classic may not be far off

The Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees hockey teams are looking to take their rivalry outside.

Carleton’s athletic director, Jennifer Brenning, says there’s been talk of an outdoor hockey game either at Lansdowne Park or on the Rideau Canal.

“If we can build this rivalry with the University of Ottawa, we can eventually have it outside as a bigger game,” she says. “It’s what we see in the future for sure.”

Brenning says Ottawa 67s owner Jeff Hunt has openly supported the outdoor game. She says it would ideally take place during Winterlude.

The players are excited about the prospect of playing outside.

Ravens goalie Ryan Dube says playing outdoors would be quite the experience

“We’ve actually joked about it,” says Dube. “We’ve talked about skating down the canal and leaving from our school and they leave from their school and we just meet in the middle. It’d be pretty cool. It’d be awesome.”

Fans are just as anxious to head outside.

Carleton student Kartikay Singh says the game would draw thousands of students.

“Words can’t describe how epic this would be,” says Singh. “It would be great. We would have all the students coming out – the city would come to a standstill.”

Head coach Marty Johnston says he would be in favour of the game if the ice can be in good condition.

“I think anything we can do to build the rivalry would be great. But obviously there are still a lot of questions around it,” he says.

But for now, the game remains an intriguing possibility.

“Coming to games inside at the Ice House is great,” says student Darnell Franco, “But it would be something else to go to a game outdoors.”

 

Commentators Corner #1: Matt vs Matt

Ravens Hockey Live is proud to introduce a new feature. They’re not as well dressed as Don Cherry, but are definitely a lot more coherent. Here is the Commentators Corner.

This week’s showdown: Matt vs Matt.

Matt Di Nicolantonio and Matt Chesser are the commentators for SSN Canada’s broadcasts of the Carleton Ravens and McGill Redman respectively.

Here are their thoughts, predictions and insights on Saturday’s marquee OUA match up:

Matt Di Nicolantonio

Last week, the Ravens entered their most important weekend of the season. This week, they once again approach their most important weekend of the season. While they have a road date with the Ottawa GeeGees on tap first, the focus will likely be on Saturday’s matinee against the McGill Redmen at the Ice House. Seven days earlier, the Ravens handed the #2 team in the country their first regulation loss of the season.

Was it luck? Perhaps.

The Redmen were without seven regulars. Goalie Hubert Morin didn’t even dress. 28-goal scorer Francis Verreault-Paul was a late scratch with an injury. Top defenceman Marc-Andre Dorion and captain Evan Vossen are in Turkey playing for Team Canada. So the Redmen didn’t exactly have the A-team. But the Ravens were without two of their top forwards, Brandon MacLean and Ryan Berard (Team Canada) and their own starting goalie Matt Dopud (injury).

Can the Ravens win again? Probably.

They’re 10-2 at home. Ryan Dube, who it appears will start again this weekend, has stopped all 56 shots McGill has fired at him this season. The Redmen will certainly be looking for revenge, but the Ravens are on a roll right now, especially at home. They’re still battling for positioning in the top half of the standings, so every point is important. The Redmen clinched top spot in the East two weeks ago, and are likely just trying to get to the playoffs healthy. It will more likely be a closer game than the 4-0 shutout we saw last weekend. The Ravens will be tired after playing Ottawa the night before, and the Redmen will be rested. Every game between these two clubs has been close, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one go to overtime. Carleton will be honouring captain Brad Good in a ceremony before the game, so that might give the Ravens the extra push they need. To me, it’s a coin flip, but I’ll take the Ravens, 4-3.

Matt Chesser

Welcome to the national spotlight Carleton.

The Ravens finally received some well-deserved national attention this week, after handing the Redmen their first regulation loss of the season. And while I’m likely preaching to the choir here, in my opinion Carleton is the second-best team in the OUA East.

No team this season has played the Redmen as well as the Ravens. In 22 games against OUA East opponents, McGill has been outshot three times. All three of those games were against Carleton.

Things won’t get any easier on Saturday night. When I spoke to McGill Head Coach Kelly Nobes earlier this week, he indicated that he might have only 14 skaters for the rematch on Saturday. Leading scorer Francis Verreault-Paul is doubtful to dress, as he wasn’t practicing with the team earlier this week. And the Redmen look lost without their best two-way forwards Evan Vossen and Maxime Langalier-Parent, and CIS Defenceman of the Year Marc-Andre Dorion (all participating at the World University Games).

Excuses won’t garner the Redmen any sympathy, however. The truth is that (with the exception of a 4-0 victory against UQTR) McGill hasn’t been playing particularly well since before the Christmas break. In 18 games before the break, McGill outscored their opponents 107-44. In the seven games since, that margin is only 23-18.

The sky is hardly falling for the Redmen — they’re still one of the best teams in the nation — but their modest struggles give the Ravens a great opportunity to capture a Top 10 ranking if they can defeat mighty McGill twice in the span of a week.

Win or lose, I can’t wait to see these two teams meet in the playoffs.

Goodbye (pardon the pun?)

We did a feature on our show about captain Brad Good moving on after 4 excellent years with the Carleton Ravens.

Coincidently, SSN play-by-play man Matt DiNicolantonio came through in the clutch with another great (and super timely!) story about your captain as well.

Check it out in the upcoming Charlatan, or you can just read it here.

Remember, it’s a Brad Good farewell this weekend against the Ice House against McGill in a crucial rematch. What better way to say Goodbye than with another win over the second ranked team? A real opportunity for Carleton to establish themselves as a top team in Canada, and a real opportunity for students to buy beer at this one…because it’s licenced.

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