McGill to host Windsor tonight in OUA winner-take-all wild-card game

McGill to host Windsor tonight in OUA winner-take-all wild-card game

MONTREAL -- The McGill University men's hockey team will host Windsor on Friday night in an OUA bronze medal wild-card game. The winner merits a trip to Fredericton for the U Sports Final Eight national championship, March 23-26. the loser heads back to the library.

It will be the final hockey game at McConnell Arena, located at 3883 University Avenue, this season. Puck drop is 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Both teams advanced to this sudden-death affair by losing their OUA East and West best-of-three final series. McGill was swept 2-0 by Queen's, while Windsor lost their series 2-1 to York. The Lions will host Queen's in the Queen's Cup gold medal game in Toronto, Saturday, with both also qualifying for the Nationals.

The Redmen, ranked No. 7 in the nation this week, own a 28-13 record overall, compared to the ninth-ranked Lancers, who have registered a 20-21 overall mark. In regular season play, McGill finished atop the OUA East with a 21-4-3 record, while the Lancers ended up seventh in the OUA West at 13-13-2.

In head-to-head play, the teams played back-to-back games in Windsor this season, with McGill sweeping the series 4-0 and 5-0, Jan. 6-7, respectively. It marked McGill's first back-to-back shutouts since 2013 and their first consecutive goose-eggs on the road since 2006.The Redmen improved to 10-8 in 18 lifetime meetings with Windsor since they first met in 1985, including a 5-3 record at McConnell Arena.

Rookie goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon kicked aside 28 shots to merit his first collegiate shutout in the first match-up, while senior Jacob Gervais-Chouinard posted a 32-save shutout and assisted on a goal in the second confrontation.

In the two games, only the shots on goal were close, with the Redmen holding a 67-60 advantage. McGill was 4-for-13 on the power-play and snuffed out all 14 shorthanded situations.

While the stats appear to favour the Redmen, be advised that these two teams have previously met in a bronze medal game for all the marbles and Windsor skated away with a 2-1 home-ice victory in overtime on March 7, 2015. The year before that, they crossed paths again, in Windsor for the Queen's Cup league championship, and the Lancers came away with a 3-2 decision.

As many as eight Redmen seniors are expected to graduate and could be playing their last game for McGill, including team captain Patrick Delisle-Houde and alternate captain Mathieu Pompei, both fellow fifth-year veterans and the team's top scoring forwards. Other seniors who still have eligibility remaining and could return include centres Simon Tardif-Richard and Rock Regimbald, plus defencemen Francis Lambert-Lemay and Alex Chenevert, (injured) and alternate captain Etienne Boutet, in addition to goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard.

So with apologies to famed poet Robert Frost, the Redmen have promises to keep and miles to go before they sleep.