Oshawa’s Ontario Tech earns upset in OUA men’s hockey playoffs

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Published March 16, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Led by a hat trick from captain Jack Patterson, the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks put their stamp on the first night of the Queen’s Cup university hockey playoffs with a road win.

The Ridgebacks, who played only divisional games in the regular season under Ontario University Athletics’ COVID-19 safety measures, were up for their first trip out of the province. The sixth-seeded Oshawa squad wrested the lead in the second period and defeated the third-seeded Concordia Stingers 6-4 at Ed Carr Arena in west-end Montreal, holding off a frantic comeback effort from the Stingers in the game’s final minutes.

The result sets up Ontario Tech with a conference semifinal matchup against the second-seededd Trois-Rivières Patriotes this weekend. Due to pandemic-related delays, OUA is holding single-elimination playoffs instead using of the traditional best-of-three format it uses during the playdowns that decide the conference’s three representatives for the University Cup, which is the U Sports national championship.

The other conference semi will involve the Nipissing Lakers and McGill Redbirds. McGill knocked out the No. 1 seed Queen’s Gaels with a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime win in Kingston.

Patterson’s second goal of the night staked the Ridgebacks to a lead through two periods, and he sealed the win with an empty-netter with seven seconds left. But goalie Leif Hertz and his teammates were under constant pressure in the late going.

Rookie centre Andrew Suriyuth stuffed in a wraparound attempt with 2:47 left to give the Ridgebacks a two-goal lead for the first time in the game. But Concordia scored less than 30 seconds later, and was pressing for a game-tying goal and potential overtime. Hertz held firm, and a Concordia own-blueline turnover forced Stingers rookie defenceman Maxim Trépanier to take an interference penalty with 1:04 left.

Ridgebacks forward Matthew Barron pried the puck from a scrum to set up Patterson’s clincher.

Ontario Tech went 8-8-1 during the regular season, where they faced only Queen’s, Nipissing and the Royal Military College Paladins. They handed Queen’s their only two regular-season defeats.

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