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Men’s hockey, volleyball teams advance to OUA finals

[Queen's Gaels men's hockey players celebrate a goal]
Players from the Queen's Gaels men's hockey team celebrate a goal during their 4-1 win over the Carleton Ravens at the Memorial Centre on Friday night. (Photo by Robin Kasem)

A quick roundup of Queen's Gaels teams and athletes in action over the weekend:

MEN'S HOCKEY

The No. 8 Queen's Gaels men's hockey team defeated the No. 4 Carleton Ravens 4-1 on Friday night to advance to the Queen's Cup next Saturday night at 7:30 pm at the Memorial Centre in Kingston. It is the first time the Gaels will host the Queen’s Cup since 1981.

With the 2-0 series sweep the Gaels now face the Guelph Gryphons, who beat out the Western Mustangs for the OUA western conference title. Queen’s has also now qualified for the U Sports University Cup in Lethbridge, Alta.

After winning the series opener in overtime on Wednesday, the Gaels jumped out to an early lead in front of a crowd of 1,109 at the Memorial Centre as Luke Edwards banged home a rebound just before the 15-minute mark. With 58 seconds left in the period, Gaels captain Spencer Abraham wheeled around from the blue line to the centre of the ice and fired a shot that found its way through for his fourth of the playoffs and a 2-0 lead.

In the second period, the Ravens stepped up their offensive game finishing the frame with 21 shots on Gaels goalie Justin Fazio and made it 2-1 after seven minutes

In the third period the Ravens continued to pepper the net with shots but Fazio kept them at bay. At the 16:56 mark Jared Bethune clinched a Queen’s victory as he broke down the left wing one-on-one and slipped the puck past the Ravens defender. He then closed in on goal and was able to regain control of the puck and tuck it past the Ravens goalie with a deke to the backhand to put the Gaels ahead 3-1.

An empty-netter from Duncan Campbell at 17:48 sealed the win.

The Gaels now advance to the Queen's Cup for the first time since 2017 and will look for their first Queen's Cup victory since 1981.

[Queen's Gaels men's volleyball players celebrate a goal]
The Queen's Gaels men's volleyball team celebrates after defeating the Guelph Gryphons in five sets at the Athletics and Recreation Centre on Saturday. (Photo by Robin Kasem)

VOLLEYBALL

The Queen’s Gaels men’s volleyball team, the top-seed in the OUA East conference, defeated the Guelph Gryphons, the fourth-seed in the OUA West, on Saturday in five sets – 25-18, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 23-21.

With the win the Gaels advance to the OUA Final Four and as the highest seed in the East will host the Forsythe Cup at the ARC next weekend. Game times and ticket information will be posted to gogaelsgo.com.

The host Gaels were in control early on and took both of the first sets with a punishing attack.

Just as the Gaels looked like they were going to walk away for the afternoon with an easy finish the Gryphons made adjustments and found their rhythm, bouncing back to tie the match up at two sets apiece. 

The fifth set saw neither team able to break away. The match went past 15 with ties all the way through to 21-21. After staving off match points on three occasions the Gaels tied and then collected kills from Zac Hutcheson to seal the win 23-21.

Hutcheson finished with 24 kills while Dylan Hunt had six blocks and Zane Grossinger added 47 assists.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

The Queen’s Gaels women’s volleyball team saw their season come to an end after a four-set defeat against the Western Mustangs in London. 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 24-26.

In the opening set the Gaels got off to a quick start, taking an early 7-1 lead, and then maintained the cushion to take the opening set 25-19.

The next two sets were hard-fought but the Mustangs were able to win each.

Queen’s grabbed an early 9-4 lead in the fourth set but the Mustangs were able to battle back and tie it up at 20-20. The Gaels then moved ahead 24-21 but the hosts rallied with five straight points to seal the match.

Caroline Livingston led the Gaels with 16 kills while Sierra Hardy had 42 assists.