McGill kicks off OUA hockey season with convincing win

Photo by Derek Drummond
Photo by Derek Drummond

KINGSTON, Ont. -- A new season begins, but it was the same old story.  Alexandre Sills of Amos, Que., and Christophe Lalonde of Mirabel, Que., each registered two goals and an assist as the McGill University Redmen routed Royal Military College 7-1 to open the OUA men's hockey regular season, Thursday, at Constantine Arena.

The game featured a battle between two of the oldest hockey programs in the world, with McGill being established way back in 1877 followed by RMC in 1886. The Redmen, who outshot their hosts 40-24, are now 67-8-4 lifetime over RMC since they first crossed paths in 1892. The victory also increased McGill's win streak over the Paladins to 26 since a 2-1 setback in Kingston on Jan. 26, 2008.

Sills, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound centre, tallied his first at 18:18 of the second period before following it up with a power-play marker at 6:30 of the final frame.

Lalonde, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound left winger, bookended the game with the first and last goals of the contest. He opened the scoring at 7:29 of the first period and closed it at 9:39 of the third.

The Redmen exploded late in the second period with four goals in a three-minute, 43-second span to seal the fate of the Paladins. Redgie Bois of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., potted McGill's second of the evening at 14:35 of the middle stanza and Guillaume Gauthier of Drummondville, Que., made it 3-0 at 15:26. Rookie forward Michael Cramarossa of Markham, Ont., added another at 16:57 before Sills netted his first of the night.

Riley Brandt continued the torrid scoring flurry by putting the Paladins on the board at 18:59 of the period, making the score 5-1 after two.

Sills and Lalonde had the only goals of the third.

Cramarossa (1-1-2), Bois (1-1-2) and rookie Keanu Yamamoto of Spokane, Wash., (0-2-2) also recorded multi-point soirees for the Redmen.

Sophomore netminder Louis-Philip Guindon of St. Joseph du Lac, Que., started in goal for McGill and earned the win with 18 saves on 19 shots through 49:39. Joe Fleschler of Westfield, N.J., entered the game midway through the third period and turned away all five pucks faced.

Starting RMC goalie Austin Hannaford allowed five goals on 28 shots through two periods before being replaced by Daniel Vautour, who stopped 10 of 12 shots in relief. Hannaford was saddled with the loss.

The Redmen were 1-for-4 on the power play and perfect on all six penalty kills.

McGill (1-0-0) hosts archrival Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (0-0-0) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7 at McConnell Arena. The bitter archrivals faced each other twice in preseason play, with both teams winning 3-2 on the road.  RMC (0-1-0) faces Laurentian (0-0-0) on Oct. 14.