February 13, 2018 8:47 am

Queen’s Gaels are ready to defend their OUA Eastern Conference title

The Ontario University hockey playoffs start this week with Queen's playing the Nipissing Lakers.

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They’re finally here. The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s hockey playoffs begin on Wednesday night in North Bay for the Queen’s Gaels. It’s a best-of-three opening round series against the Nipissing Lakers.

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“I love the post-season” said third-year defenceman Cory Genovese. “I can’t wait. That’s what we all play for, we all play to win that trophy at the end of the year. The playoffs are a bit different, its more exciting, even more competitive because you have a bit more of an edge so I really love the post-season.”

READ MORE: Queen’s hockey Gaels look to second half of season as ‘a sprint, not a marathon’

The Gaels enter the playoffs as the defending OUA Eastern Conference champions. Genovese, a former star with the OHL Erie Otters says the team knows they enter the post-season with a target on their collective backs.

“It’s what we want. We want to be one of those top teams, we want to be a target because that makes you better. We had a good year last year going to nationals in New Brunswick. We started the season slowly but we’ve been building momentum, winning seven of our last eight games.”

Game two in the series returns to the Kingston Memorial Centre on Friday night. If a third game is necessary, it will be played on Saturday, once again at the Memorial Centre on York Street. Both games will start at 7:30 p.m.

READ MORE: A thrilling overtime goal decides the Carr-Harris Cup

The other Eastern Conference quarter-final match-ups have the Ottawa Gee Gees playing the Carleton Ravens. The top seeded McGill Redmen take on the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Concordia Stingers face-off against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology based in Oshawa.

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