Struggling early in hockey games has become a trademark of the Queen’s Golden Gaels this year and it happened again Saturday night in North Bay. Fortunately for the Gaels, comebacks have been just as customary.
This time, the rally resulted in victory.
Two goals by Eric Ming sent the Gaels to their second win of the weekend, 3-1 over the Nipissing Lakers. The win leaves Queen’s, 13-6-1, two points behind fourth-place Ontario Tech in the East division of Ontario University Athletics, with two games in hand, and six points ahead of Concordia, which has played four more games than the Gaels.
Nipissing slipped to 8-11-3, good for seventh place in the East division.
Saturday’s game was the seventh in a row where the Gaels have allowed an opponent to score the first goal of the game. Four times Queen’s has ultimately come back to win the game, but in those seven first periods, Queen’s has been outscored 8-0.
Craig Campbell opened scoring for the Lakers Saturday in the game’s sixth minute, and the Gaels tied the game early in the second period when Patrick McGillis scored his 11th goal of the year on a power play.
Eric Ming put Queen’s ahead with 45 seconds left in the second period, and he scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to clinch the victory in the final minute of the game.
It was Ming’s team-leading 12th goal of the year, his ninth in the last nine games, and the points extended his consecutive game point streak to 11 games.
Spencer Abraham had a pair of assists.
Queen’s goaltender Kevin Bailie made 31 saves—17 of them in the third period—as the Gaels outshot the home team 33-32. Bailie, whose 2.05 goals-against average is perhaps the main reason the Gaels have allowed the fewest goals in the league (47, in 20 games), ended the weekend with a save percentage of .942, the best in Canada.
The Gaels will play their next game Friday at the Memorial Centre, where they will host the Carleton Ravens.