Golden Gaels: Queen's is still standing in the OUA playoff race. Ottawa dropped a 3-1 decision to Carleton Tuesday, on the very same day our own Andrew Bucholtz confirmed that confirmed "the dream of a new hockey arena on Main Campus was all but dead."
That is a downer, although there have been rumblings about this for more than a year that any new arena at Queen's would be built on its west campus. Among we Queenies, West Campus is universally loathed because it lacks the buffer the Queen's bubble and the great unwashed. (It is like, a 20-minute walk from the corner of University and Union.)
It is understood that the Queen's admin is about as aware the school has hockey teams as Rogers is that it owns a baseball team. The Gaels' being plucky underdogs fighting the current will always be endearing, but a university of 15,000 students without a readily accessible rink is unfathomable. It could also reflect shifting priorities; perhaps not as many students arrive on campus with skates, sticks and hockey gear.
Anyway, Ottawa's loss means the scenario remains the same. The Gee-Gees need three points from their final homestand (No. 10 McGill Saturday, also-ran Ryerson Sunday) or a Queen's loss to Ryerson on Friday. Queen's gets in if they win and Ottawa has a regulation-time loss in either game.
Gee-Gees: Scheduling has altered the playoff race, but please bear in mind that, as far as we know, everyone signed off on an unbalanced scheduled to save money.
Ottawa (10-11-5) will end up playing 16 of its 28 games within the deep Far East division, whose other four teams have all clinched playoff berths. They might end up being bumped out by Queen's, which has not beaten a Far East team in regulation time this season (they beat Ottawa in a shootout, and Carleton and Trois-Rivieres in overtime).
The Gee-Gees played just four times outside the conference, none against the loaded OUA Far West, which has had at least three teams ranked every week this season.
Ottawa's record, broken down by division:
vs. Far East: 5-7-3And for Queen's:
vs. Mid East: 3-2-2
vs. Mid West: 2-2-0
vs. Far West: Didn't play 'em
vs. Far East: 3-6-1 (all three wins in extra time)One can see why there's some impetus for change. Ottawa played more games against the best teams in the East, but had the misfortune to be beset by injuries in January when it had a four-game stretch against the mediocre Mid West division, which kept them from getting the job done. Queen's has made a virtue out of averageness on the ice at times this season, but for the most part beat the times it was supposed to defeat. Replace those five games vs. Far West with Ryerson, RMC and Toronto and they would probably have a better record.
vs. Mid East: 6-1-1
vs. Mid West: 2-1-1
vs. Far West: 0-5-0
It figures that Ottawa and Queen's two head-to-head matchups this season would have each gone to shootouts, that's how tight it's been.