KINGSTON, Ont. (Queen’s Gaels) – The Queen’s Gaels are OUA men’s hockey champions for the first time since 1981 after they defeated the Guelph Gryphons 4-1 in the Queen’s Cup championship game at the Memorial Centre in Kingston in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,800 fans.
The Gaels came out hard in the opening period, igniting the home crowd with big hits early in Saturday night’s game. A few Gaels power-play chances came up empty handed, as the goalies stole the show in the first 20 minutes of play. Justin Fazio made 10 saves in the period for Queen’s, while Andrew Masters made 11 for Guelph to keep the game scoreless heading into the first intermission.
Jaden Lindo solved Masters just 22 seconds after play restarted when Queen’s started the period on the power play. Lindo deflected a Spencer Abraham point shot in close on the screened Guelph goalie to give the Gaels the lead. Just before the second period expired, Guelph’s Marc Stevens brought his team level when his shot on goal slipped past Fazio.
The Queen’s Cup Champion would be decided in the final 20 minutes of play at the Memorial Centre. Scoring his fifth goal of the 2018-19 playoffs, Lindo snuck his second of the game past Masters on a sharp-angled shot as the Gaels regained the lead. Minutes later, Henry Thompson gave Queen’s a two-goal cushion when he stepped into a wrist shot from the slot.
An empty-netter from Liam Dunda secured the victory for Queen’s, who claim the top spot in OUA men’s hockey for the first time in nearly 40 years.
“I thought the clock was never going to end,” said Gaels coach Brett Gibson. “This building was unbelievable and now to have the opportunity to bring it home to Queen’s, this team is special it’s been a fun group.”
Captain Spencer Abraham echoed his comments. “To go out there and get that cup and lift it in front of this great crowd, great city, great school, that’s a feeling I’m never going to forget. It felt like everyone in the rink was lifting it with us.”
The Gaels, as well as the silver-medal winning Gryphons, will now head West to Lethbridge Alberta for the U SPORTS national championship.