Queens vs. Nipissing
Game 1: Queen’s 4 Nipissing 3
NORTH BAY, Ont. - The No.9 Queen's Gaels (1-0) used overtime to defeat the Nipissing Lakers (0-1) in game one of the OUA playoffs in their best-of-three series. Alex Stothart (Ottawa) was able to tuck home the winner in the extra period to give the Gaels a 1-0 lead in the series.
The start of the playoffs for the Gaels was penalty-filled as they found themselves shorthanded in the opening minutes of the game. The team was able to kill off a five-on-three chance for Nipissing who finished with 11 shots on Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.) in the period.
At the nine-minute mark of the period, a puck that was dumped behind the Gaels net took a funny bounce as Bailie went to play the puck behind the net, it bounced out front to a wide-open Deverick Ottereyes who opened the scoring.
The Gaels controlled the pace of play offensively and were finally able to break through themselves as Duncan Campbell (Brandon, Man.) took the puck up ice one on three and fired a shot from just inside the blue-line that fooled Brent Moran to even the score 1-1.
In the second, Queen's kept the pressure on but couldn't fend off the penalty bug. They found themselves shorthanded once again early in the second period but were able to keep the Lakers from taking the lead. Fresh out of the penalty box, Graeme Brown (Gananoque, Ont.) was able to pick up the puck off of a back-check and take it up ice. He dropped it off for Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) who made no mistake with a wrist-shot from the high slot.
Baile shut the door for the remainder of the period, and the Gaels headed to the third up 2-1.
Mid-way through the third period, the hometown Lakers were able to draw even on a goal from Brett Jeffries. Just 1:20 later Queen's re-took the lead 3-2 as Eric Ming fired a shot off the cross-bar and in.
With Moran on the bench and an extra-attacker out for Nipissing, the Lakers were able to tie the game up on a goal from Brett Hargrave to force overtime.
In overtime, the Gaels were finally able to break through at the 15:59 mark as Stothart finished off a scramble in front for the game-winner.
Bailie finished with 41 saves picking up the win while Moran stopped 53 shots in a losing effort.
Game 2: Nipissing 1 Queen’s 6
KINGSTON, Ont. – The No. 9 Queen's Gaels (2-0) ousted the Nipissing Lakers (0-2) with a dominant 6-1 victory on Friday night. Luke Edwards (Kingston, Ont.) and Jaden Lindo(Brampton, Ont.) led the way for the Gaels with strong offensive efforts. Edwards recorded four points (1G, 3A) while Lindo scored two goals and added an assist.
The Gaels got a scare in the first minute of play as Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) fell awkwardly in front of the Lakers' bench and was forced to leave the ice. He was able to return to the game with just under fourteen minutes to play in the opening frame. Queen's controlled the play in the period, holding a 15-8 advantage in shots.
Queen's was rewarded for their strong play at 14:16 when Edwards finished off a give and go with Lindo to give the Gaels a 1-0 lead.
Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.) came up big with 1:43 remaining when he made a sliding pad save to keep the Gaels lead intact.
Nipissing would tie the game near the midway point of the second period when at the conclusion of a Queen's powerplay, the Lakers would find Chad Thibodeau right out of the penalty box for a breakaway. Thibodeau made no mistake in firing a wrist shot past Bailie to make the score 1-1.
The Lindo-Edwards combination would strike again at 13:06 when Lindo scooped up a loose puck after an Edwards rush and rifled a wrist shot to the top corner of the net to give the Gaels a 2-1 lead. Alex Row (Elizabethtown, Ont.) and Ryan Bloom (Calgary, Alta.) would both have breakaway opportunities late in the period but were turned aside by Lakers' goaltender Brent Moran to keep the score close heading into the game's final frame.
Early in the third period, Warren Steele (Williamsburg, Ont.) blasted a rocket past Moran on a one-timer to give the Gaels a 3-1 lead at 8:06. That goal seemed to open the floodgates as the Gaels scored again just 23 seconds later when Lindo scored his second goal of the game, once again from Edwards.
The Lakers pulled Moran with just over five minutes remaining in the game as a last-ditch effort to tie the game. Darcy Greenaway (Wilton, Ont.) put an end to the Lakers' hopes when he scored an empty-netter at 17:42 after he won a foot race to the open puck and deposited it into the empty cage. Alex Stothart (Ottawa, Ont.) added his second of the series moments later, as the Gaels were able to finish the game with a commanding 6-1 win.
Bailie earned the win in net for the Gaels, recording 28 saves, while Moran was a bright spot in net for the Lakers, making 36 saves of his own.
Ottawa vs. Carleton
Game 1: Ottawa 2 Carleton 3
OTTAWA, Ont. - A resilient effort wasn't enough for the Gee-Gee men's hockey team, as they fell by a score of 3-2 in overtime to the Carleton Ravens to open the OUA Playoffs.
"The effort level was there. Positives are that we came back, scored a big goal to tie things up," said head coach Patrick Grandmaître following the game. "We had a lot of time in their zone, a lot of shots. But that's a good team, it takes a perfect game from our side to beat them. There's a reason why they're ahead of us and they showed it tonight."
Just nine seconds into the contest, the Gee-Gees found themselves on the power play. However, the man advantage was unsuccessful, and struggled all game long, with the Gee-Gees ultimately finishing zero-for-six on the night.
Later on, a misplay while attacking on the power play gifted a chance to Carleton. Ravens forward Curtis Meighan wasted no time burying a shorthanded goal through the five-hole.
The Gee-Gees however returned the favour in the second period, when Brendan Jacome evaded attackers and buried a wrist shot for a shorthanded goal to tie the game. Meighan's second goal of the night came just two minutes later would quickly restore the one goal lead for Carleton.
In the third period, Ottawa pressed aggressively in search of an equalizing goal. Hope was dwindling, but with only two minutes on the clock, Jacob Hanlon collected a loose puck in the crease and fired it home to force overtime.
The Gee-Gees used their speed to create chances in the extra frame. Cody Drover and Antoine Pouliot exchanged chances, but Carleton's netminder François Brassard stood tall for the Ravens.
At the other end of the ice, Ryan Van Stralen drove hard to the net, and toppled over following an aggressive check from Cody Van Lierop. The play was enough to warrant a holding penalty against Van Lierop, and sent Carleton to a rare overtime power play. Seconds later, Adam Chapman collected a rebound in tight, and scored to secure the win for the Ravens.
"If you look at special teams, they end up getting one on the power play. Both teams got one on the penalty kill. Sometimes those make the difference" said Grandmaître. "We had a lot of power play opportunities, and they put a lot of pressure. We knew that coming in, we knew that can frustrate us. We tried not to let it frustrate us, but sometimes it's not easy. We need to go watch some tape and figure things out."
Game 2: Carleton 0 Ottawa 5
OTTAWA, Ont. - With their playoff lives on the line, the goals came early and often for the University of Ottawa men's hockey team. A two-goal performance from Cody Drover lead the Gee-Gees to a 5-0 win over the Carleton Ravens and forced a series-deciding game three on February 18 at Carleton.
Following the game, head coach Patrick Grandmaître said the team played the game, "the right way."
"I was happy our power play chipped in today, but we were able to maintain possession and our important players had some goals. Defensively, we were tight and disciplined — we're playing playoff hockey."
"I thought game one we played 75-80-percent of our game, whereas today we were firing on all cylinders."
Both sides played cautiously in the early minutes of the game, looking for an offensive opportunity, but not wanting to give up defensive structure in the process.
Not long after Ottawa's first power play opportunity of the night, Quinn O'Brien came streaking down the wing and sent a shot on goal that nipped goaltender François Brassard's glove and fluttered into the net.
In the second period, Ottawa finally converted on the power play after the first seven chances of the series were unsuccessful. Cody Drover deflected a Médric Mercier point shot to double up the lead for the Garnet and Grey.
Kevin Domingue scored his first of the playoffs with a quick shot in tight, while a highlight reel goal from Drover (click to watch on Twitter) with 15 seconds remaining in the frame sent the Gee-Gees to the locker room with a four-goal lead heading into the third period.
A pair of penalties sent the three-man penalty killing unit to the ice early in the third period. Anthony Brodeur stood tall in goal as the team successfully fended off the pressure of the Carleton power play.
Midway through the frame, Jonathan Bourcier raced in unhindered, and scored to extend the lead to five goals.
Now the teams will meet for a winner-take-all game three at the Carleton Ice House.
Just like one year ago, the Gee-Gees lost game one in an overtime heartbreaker before tying the series at home. Grandmaître says this year, not a whole lot is different.
"I think it's very exciting to win a big game at home. It's really important for us to recharge mentally and focus, whether it's game one or game seven. It's important we're not too confident coming into game three," Grandmaître said.
Game 3: Ottawa 4 Carleton 2
OTTAWA, Ont. - After a heartbreaking overtime loss to open the series, the Gee-Gees men's hockey team pulled off the reverse sweep, and winning back-to-back games to to clinch the series win against Carleton. After an offensively explosive game two, the Gee-Gees battled on enemy ice to a 4-2 final score to keep their season alive.
"I'm so proud of this group, " said Gee-Gees head coach Patrick Grandmaître following the game.
"Not just to win a series, but the history behind our program and the rebuild here, a lot of kids took a chance to come here … and to do what we have done in two years here, it's all the credit to these kids that came in here and played the right way."
In the opening moments of the game, teams exchanged chances and hits at every opportunity, establishing that the do-or-die game would be a physical one.
Ottawa broke open the scoring late in the first when Kevin Domingue fired a shot from a bad angle and the puck found its way into the net.
An early power play opportunity in the second period offer the Gee-Gees a chance to double up their lead. Brendan Jacome did just that as he collected the puck in the slot and picked a corner with pinpoint accuracy.
Shortly after, Carleton replied with a power play marker of their own minutes later to cut into the lead.
Ottawa tallied another key goal late in the frame when Kevin Domingue saucered a pass to Cody Drover, who promptly buried it to restore the two-goal lead for the Garnet and Grey.
"Drover and Domingue, they're not the prototype major junior hockey guys that come out with a big resume, but we have lots of these kids on our team that help us go a long way," said Grandmaître.
A penalty against Carleton as the period closed offered Ottawa a chance to open the period on the power play. The opportunity wasn't wasted, as Drover's wrist shot from the point snuck past a crowd of bodies and found the back of the net.
The excitement of a commanding lead was short-lived, as Carleton scored seconds later to shave the Gee-Gees' lead back to two goals.
As the third period progressed, the Gee-Gees buckled down defensively in order to preserve the lead. A pair of late power play opportunities sent the Carleton attack into a frenzy as they attempted to muster a comeback, but Anthony Brodeur stood tall. With just 15 seconds to go, a player fell on top of Brodeur in the midst of a net-front battle, forcing him to leave the game with an apparent injury. Graham Hunt entered the net to close out the final moments and clinch the series for the Gee-Gees.
Up next, Ottawa will take on the first place McGill Redmen in round two. The series will kick off on Wednesday in Montreal at 7 p.m., on Friday the teams will meet at Minto Sports Complex for game two at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, game three will take place in Montreal on Sunday at 7.
"They're the most skilled team in our league, but we've beaten them two times out of three," said Grandmaître. "They don't like playing us, but we feel we'll see another side of McGill. Regular season, a good team like that, they don't take every game as seriously as we do cause we're fighting for positioning in the standings. We'll have to be at our best again, but we know they are the best. But to be the best you need to beat the best. We beat a good team here, and now we're going to face the best team in our league."
Brock vs. Laurier
Game 1: Brock 3 Laurier 0
WATERLOO, Ont - The Brock University men's hockey team opened the 2018 OUA playoffs with a 3-0 road victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks in the best 2-out-of-3 first round series.
Brock opened the scoring 12:16 into the first period as Mack Lemmon and Skylar Pacheco setup Mitch Nardi for his first goal of the postseason. The Badgers took a 2-0 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the opening period as Pacheco and Adam Lloyd found Cosimo Fontana who beat Laurier start Colin Furlong for his first of the playoffs.
The game would remain scoreless for the next 42 minutes, before Brock's Pacheco added an empty netter with 24 seconds remaining in regulation for his third point of the night and the 1-0 series lead.
In goal, Brock starter Clint Windsor was outstanding registering 38 saves for the shutout victory. Furlong added 33 saves in the loss.
The Badgers will host Game 2 versus Laurier Friday night 7:15 pm at the Seymour-Hannah Centre.
Game 2: Laurier 1 Brock 2
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The No.5 seed Brock University men's hockey team defeated the No. 4 seed Laurier Golden Hawks by the score of 2-1 Friday night at the Seymour-Hannah Centre. With the victory, the Badgers sweep the best 2-out-of-3 series 2-0 and advance to the OUA second round for the first time since 2012.
Laurier got on the board first as Mac Clutsman and Anthony Sorrentino setup Andrew Fritsch, who beat Brock starter Clint Windsor for the power play marker. Brock's Matt MacLeod would even it up 1-1 with less than two minutes left in the first period with Ayden MacDonald and Connor Brown adding the assists.
With just 1:21 left in the second period, Brock's Chris Maniccia and Cosimo Fontana setup Dexter Weber who walked in from the blueline and buried a bullet over the shoulder of Laurier starter Colin Furlong for the eventual game winner.
Late in the third, Brock battled hard being a man down a couple times, but it was Windsor coming up with some outstanding saves in the final minutes to secure the win.
In goal, Windsor recorded 37 saves for the victory while Furlong added 23 saves in the loss.
Western vs. Ryerson
Game 1: Western 2 Ryerson 4
TORONTO, Ont. – The Ryerson Rams have begun their playoffs on the right foot, as they took down the Western Mustangs 4-2 on Wednesday night to take game one of the best-of-three first round series.
Throughout the first period, the Rams were deadlocked with their first round rivals, fighting hard on every square inch of ice to gain an advantage. With the Rams defense providing significant safeguarding for Ryerson netminder Taylor Dupuis (New Liskeard, Ont.), the fan-favourite goalkeeper only had to contest with three Western shots throughout the entirety of the frame.
By contrast, the Rams swarmed the Mustangs offensively throughout the period, occupying long stretches of the first 20 minutes within the Western zone while firing 12 shots on goal to conclude the frame.
In spite of this significant offensive showcase, the defensive fortifications of both teams resulted a 0-0 tie to conclude the first period, leaving the fans in the Mattamy waiting on the edge of their seats for the first goal of the game.
And thankfully for the fans in attendance, it would be the Rams who would be the first team to claim this honour.
While majority of the second period consisted of a very similar level of activity to that of the first, the Rams were eventually able to break the ice thanks to a very skillful display from veteran Rams forward Aaron Armstrong (Teeswater, Ont.) who tapped in his first goal of the playoffs to give his team the 1-0 edge in the final moments of the second frame.
The Rams were able to carry the momentum they obtained in the second period into the final frame of the contest, as Devon Paliani (LaSalle, Ont.) pocketed the Rams second goal of the contest.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the Mustangs have become a team notorious for their ability to stage comebacks as of late, as this evening would prove to be no different.
Less than three minutes after the goal by Paliani, two quick contributions from Stephen Desrocher (Etobicoke, Ont.) and Mitchell Fitzmorris would tie up the game at 2-2, and leave an evident atmosphere of tension within the Mattamy as it seemed that the Rams may have blown a gasket in the final frame of the contest.
The Rams however, seemed to have learned their lesson from the last time they played the Mustangs, and were determined to seek retribution.
With less than two minutes to play in the match, Rams veteran Alex Leader (Toronto, Ont.) would put the Rams up 3-2, and teammate Steven Harland (Toronto, Ont.) would later provide an empty-netter to provide the Rams with the eventual 4-2 victory.
Heading into the next match-up, the Rams will be taking on Western at the Thompson Arena. With the Rams holding the series advantage heading into London, Devon Paliani seemed fairly confident in the team's ability to win the series, so long as they can stick to the game plan.
Game 2: Ryerson 1 Western 5
LONDON, Ont. – A three-goal night from Trevor Warnaar led the way, as the Western Mustangs topped the Ryerson Rams 5-1 on Friday night at Thompson Arena to force a third and deciding game in their OUA first round playoff series.
"We had it for the full 60 tonight," said head coach Clarke Singer. "Ryerson is a great team – one of the top teams in the country – and if we aren't at our best in all three zones they're going to win the game. I was happy with our effort and our passion."
Warnaar and Cordell James were responsible for all five goals, with Warnaar completing his hat trick in the third period. Both players also picked up one point from an assist, while Anthony Stefano earned two.
A power play goal from John Carpino was the only mark on the score sheet for the Rams, who struggled to get past Luke Peressini's commanding presence.
The game began with quick end-to-end play that would come to characterize the entire 60 minutes. Both Ryerson and Western used the neutral zone primarily as a highway and were constantly employing an aggressive offense.
Western would put up two in the opening frame, one each from Warnaar and James, to establish a lead that the Rams would be unable to match.
Warnaar's marker came just five minutes in, beating Adam Dupuis on the glove side to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
James followed up four minutes later with a goal of his own that would ultimately be the game-winner. It was set up by a shot from the point that rebounded off the post and landed in front of the rookie, allowing him to send the puck into a wide-open net.
Neither team would put up another point before the whistle, but both had several opportunities. The game was fairly evenly matched on the offensive end with Dupuis facing 13 shots while Peressini fended off 14.
However, the OUA leading purple and white power play struggled to find its footing. A hooking penalty gave the Mustangs the man advantage, but the team was only able to produce one shot on net throughout the two minutes.
The Mustangs special teams fared better in the second frame, with one of the three power plays resulting in a goal. Western's lead would double by the end of the second period, with the same two players who bested Dupuis in the first making repeat performances.
Warnaar's second goal of the night came on the power play, sending a one-timer from James into the back of the net.
"Over the last few weeks we haven't had many opportunities on the power play, haven't had many chances. To get that one today was big for us," said Warnaar "We were moving the puck around pretty well I thought, and it's something we've been working in practice. We got the opportunity tonight and we capitalized. It was good to see."
Not to be outdone, James followed up with a goal of his own less than two minutes later. The pair of goals came in the first five minutes of the frame, but Warnaar would add one more in the third to complete the hat trick midway through the third.
The Rams continued to press in the final frame, with Peressini facing frequent traffic in front of the net as the Rams started to send whatever they could towards the former OHL Goalie of the Year. Only one of the attempts made it through, with Carpino sliding it in with six minutes remaining when the Rams were on the power play.
The Mustangs will look to again top the Rams this Sunday, when they head back to the Mattamy Athletic Centre for game three.
"We have to play like we did tonight. Come out strong, stick to the systems we've been having so far and hopefully it works out," said James about Sunday's contest.
Game 3: Western 3 Ryerson 6
TORONTO, Ont. – The Ryerson Rams live to fight another day, as they take down the Western Mustangs in Game 3 of the best-of-three series with a thrilling 6-3 victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sunday night.
However, there was almost a vengeful sentiment embodied within the spirit of the Rams playing style on Sunday evening, as they attempted to correct all their shortcomings that led to their 5-1 loss to Western in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.
By implementing a more aggressive form of defense against the Mustangs in their own zone, while simultaneously playing with a much faster paced offense that relied on end-to-end rushes, Ryerson was able to keep the Western line-up on edge throughout the entirety of the first period.
And for utilizing this strategy, the Rams would be rewarded early on. Catching the Western line-up off-guard immediately off of the opening face-off, Rams forward Steven Harland (Toronto, Ont.) capitalized upon early Mustangs passing errors and tucked away his second goal of the playoffs just 24 seconds into the match.
Three minutes later, the Rams would pick up their second goal of the contest as Erik DeLaurentis (Markham, Ont.) would take advantage of a scramble around the Mustangs blue ice and tap in a rebounded point shot courtesy of teammates Marcus Hinds (Toronto, Ont.) and Vince Figliomeni (Bolton, Ont.).
With a 2-0 lead so early on in the contest suddenly the atmosphere in the Mattamy turned from one shrouded in ambiguity, to one exuding with confidence as the Rams continued to dominate the remainder of the opening frame.
Thirteen minutes into the second frame, Rams freshman forward Kyle Tibbo (Conception Bay South, Nfld.) would record his first goal of the playoffs following a beautifully executed series of passes from teammates Mitchell Skapski (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Brandon Hughes (Oakville, Ont.).
Tibbo's contribution would be quickly followed up by teammate Vince Figliomeni who tapped in the Rams fourth goal of the night, to give the home team a 4-0 advantage against a confounded and overworked Mustangs line-up.
Heading into the final frame, it was imperative for Head Coach Johnny Duco that his team maintain their composure, so as to prevent a potential Mustangs comeback.
Throughout the final period, the Mustangs threw everything they had at the Rams in the hopes of gaining some sort of momentum and, while they were able to tally some goals in the process, it was not enough to prevent an eventual Rams win.
"We knew it was do or die, and it was the first time our backs were really against the wall," stated DeLaurentis on the team's ability to maintain composure throughout the contest, adding, "everybody stepped up tonight. It took a full 20 of us, and everybody took their role and stuck to the game plan."
Less than two minutes into the final frame, Mustangs forward Trevor Warnaar (Brampton, Ont.), who recorded a hat-trick in game two of this series, tucked away Western's first goal of the contest.
Unfortunately for the visiting team, however, the Rams would have a response as veteran forward John Carpino (Maple, Ont.) fired home a shot from the slot to extend Ryerson's lead back to a comfortable four goals.
Further Western contributions to the scoring sheet, provided by Kolten Olynek (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Anthony Stefano (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) respectively, would further help in closing the goals deficit but would not be enough to push the visiting team to a come from behind victory.
A late empty net goal by Figliomeni would provide the eventual final score of 6-3 for Ryerson.
Concordia vs. UOIT
Game 1: Concordia 4 UOIT 1
OSHAWA, Ont. - The UOIT men's hockey team kicked off their playoff run at home against the Concordia Stingers. Unfortunately for the Ridgebacks, the Stingers proved to be the stronger team winning by a score of 4-1.
Game two will go on Friday night in Montreal as the Ridgebacks look to extend the series to three games.
Things were looking good for the Ridgebacks early on as they were able to find a way to shut down the Stingers fast paced offence. It wasn't until late in the first period when Malik Johnson (Montreal, Que.) got called for hooking, that Massimo Carozza opened the scoring for the Stingers. Just moments later Carozza scored again when the Ridgebacks gave the puck up in front of their own net.
The first intermission came at a bad time for the Ridgebacks as they had just begun a two-man advantage power play before heading into the change room. Finding themselves flat in the second period, the Ridgebacks were unable to have much success breaking out of their own end. Eventually Concordia would capitalize on their strong offensive push and increase their lead to 3-0 when Antoine Masson put one over the shoulder of goaltender Brendan O'Neill (Ilderton, Ont.).
Down by three, the Ridgebacks needed to have a big third period if they wanted to complete the comeback. The period started off promising as Johnson was able to finish on a pass made by Mike Robinson (Stouffville, Ont.) from behind the net, putting them within two with just under 15 minutes left to play.
When Philippe Hudon scored the empty net fourth goal for the Stingers it finalized the Ridgebacks' fate of the first game in the OUA eastern quarter-finals.
Despite the loss, O'Neill posted a total of 39 saves for the Ridgebacks. The Stingers goaltender also had himself a game recording a total of 36 saves.
"We are in a tough spot now but we will hit the ice for practice and then go down to Montreal ready to battle it out for the next two games," said head coach Curtis Hodgins.
In the Ridgebacks lone playoff series win, they dropped the opening game to the Queen's Gaels and came back to win two straight. Last year against Concordia, UOIT won game one but lost games two and three in Montreal.
Game 2: UOIT 2 Concordia 3
MONTREAL, Que. – The UOIT men's hockey season came to an end on Friday night after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Concordia Stingers in Montreal.
This marks the second straight season UOIT's playoff run has ended in Montreal as the Stingers beat UOIT 3-2 in game three of their series one year ago, picking up their first series win in 17 years. Concordia will advance to the second round along with the Queen's Gaels who swept Nipissing.
UOIT had a gutsy effort on Friday night as they fought back from a 2-0 deficit that included Jack Patterson (Bedford, N.S.) scoring the game-tying goal off a deflection with just over two minutes left in the third period.
In overtime, Concordia captain Phil Hudon, who was playing with a full cage and a broken nose, scored the series clinching goal on the power play 5:08 into the extra frame.
"We knew it would be tough winning two games in Montreal but our guys showed a lot of heart fighting back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime tonight," said UOIT head coach Curtis Hodgins. "Our team has been resilient all season long and it proved to be true again tonight. The series didn't go the way we had hoped but our guys have nothing to hang their heads about."
Concordia looked impressive in first half of the game and were rewarded for their strong play as Raphael Lafontaine and Carl Neill scored their first goals of the playoffs to put the Stingers up 2-0. UOIT goaltender Brendan O'Neill (Ilderton, Ont.) was busy in net, keeping the Ridgebacks within striking distance despite being outplayed.
Mike Robinson (Stouffville, Ont.), who tied the UOIT single season record for goals with 17 this year, sparked the Ridgeback offensive attacked as he scored a power play marker with just over a minute to go in the second period. Alex Yuill (Wellington, Ont.) added an assist on Robinson's shot top shelf.
On Patterson's tying goal in the third period, Yuill picked up his second assist of the game as he passed it to Jesse Baird (Brampton, Ont.) who got the initial shot off.
O'Neill made 35 saves in the loss while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 31 stops for his second straight win. Concordia outshot UOIT 7-1 in the overtime frame.
This marked the sixth straight year UOIT has qualified for the postseason and eighth overall. This was the first time since 2015 that the Ridgebacks were swept in the opening round.
McGIll vs. Laurentian
Game 1: McGill 5 Laurentian 2
On Wednesday night, the Voyageurs men's hockey team lost 5-2 as they took on the powerful McGill Redmen in the first game of the playoff run.
The first period started off with not much action ensuing. The hometown Vees were capable of holding off the ever so powerful McGill team giving hope for the game.
Nathan Chiarlitti started things off for Mcgill as he buried a goal at 18:37 of the first period assisted by Michael Cramarossa.
The Voyageurs found themselves in the second period as they had created many opportunities for themselves but unfortunately we're unable to capitalize and beat Louis-Philip Guindon.
On the opposite side of the attack the McGill Redmen found themselves a three goal period to send the Vees into the dressing room for what needed to be a valiant third period.
The start of the third period was fierce and intense as neither team left the ice for the second intermission satisfied.
The Vees kept on the gas as so did the Redmen but the Vees came out on top with another goal from Russel Nowry with just eight seconds left in the third period but unfortunately the Vees two goals were no match for the opposing five.
Following the end of the third was a showing of intensity as a total of sixty two penalty minutes were awarded between the two teams.
The Voyageurs were unable to claw back into the game and the buzzer eventually signaled the end of the game, with McGill earning a 5-2 win. The Voyageurs will play the next two games in Montreal this weekend with game 2 going Saturday night and, if necessary, game 3 going Sunday night.
Game 2: Laurentian 1 McGill 9
MONTREAL, Que. - Guillaume Gauthier netted a hat-trick and added an assist as the McGill men's hockey team routed the Laurentian University Voyageurs 9-1 at McConnell Arena, Friday, to sweep their OUA East best-of-three quarter-final series 2-0.
McGill, which won the series opener 5-2 in Sudbury last Wednesday, matched the team's second-highest single-game playoff offensive, falling one goal shy of the team record established in a 10-5 quarter-final victory over Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2011. The eight-goal spread equaled the team playoff record set in an 8-0 win over Concordia on Feb. 18, 2007.
The Redmen led 4-0 after the opening period, 7-0 after two and were up 9-0 before Laurentian spoiled the shutout bid with less than seven minutes remaining.
"I was pleased to see the way we came out, with good jump and good execution and maintained it for the better part of the 60 minutes," said Kelly Nobes, who improved his record to 233-100-3 in 336 games overall during his eight seasons as head coach at McGill. "It was good to get the series done in two games, so that we get an extra day of rest as we prepare for the next round."
Gauthier, who leads the OUA playoff scoring race with a 4-2-6 record in two games, put McGill ahead 2-0 at 10:56 of the second period, made it 3-0 less than six minutes later and completed the hat-trick with McGill's ninth goal at 11:31 of the final stanza. He also assisted on defenceman Maximilian Daigle's second-period power-play goal.
"I really liked 'Goats' tonight'" Nobes said. "In the first period, he had two real good back-checks before he scored and he was going. He was moving his feet, was real sharp with the puck tonight and had a good game all-around. So it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet and get the hat-trick."
Rounding out the scoring for McGill was Samuel Hodhod with two, Christophe Lalonde, Alex Renaud and rearguard Dominic Talbot-Tassi, who went- coast-to-coast, from behind his own net all the way up the middle to score an unassisted Bobby Orr-like goal. Teammate Jerome Verrier, who finished second in the OUA regular season scoring race with 41 points in 28 games, collected four assists and is now second in OUA playoff scoring with five points in two games.
Brent Pedersen, a junior from Arthur, Ont., replied on the power-play for the Voyageurs.
With a seven-goal lead, winning netminder Louis-Philip Guindon (2-0) was pulled after two periods despite an 18-save shutout. Senior Jacob Gervais-Chouinard played the final period and turned aside seven of eight shots, not including the body shot he took only 30 seconds into the period from forward Luke McCaw, who was penalized for goaltender interference.
That was one of nine minor penalties assessed to the Voyageurs, as the Redmen went 3-for-9 with the man-advantage. Laurentian was 1-for-3 on their PP chances. McGill now leads all 16 OUA playoff teams with a PP success rate of 30 per cent (3 goals, 10 PP chances).
"We've worked lots on it and the guys have worked hard," offered Nobes. "Even early in the season, we were doing good things on the power play but just weren't executing as well as we needed to or getting rewarded. But we have been doing that lately, we've been executing and that's a real positive."
Laurentian starting goalie Mackenzie Savard was also yanked after two periods. He conceded seven goals on 30 shots and took the loss. Gunner Rivers played the final 20 minutes and was beaten twice on 15 shots.
McGill now advances to the second playoff round for the fifth straight year. They will meet the winner of Sunday night's Ottawa-Carleton matchup. Game 1 of the OUA East semifinal series would begin at McConnell Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., with Game 2 in the nation's capital likely on Feb. 23 and Game 3, if necessary, back at McGill on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
York vs. Lakehead
Game 1: York 2 Lakehead 3
THUNDER BAY, Ont. - The Lakehead Thunderwolves opened the playoffs by downing the York Lions 3-2 in a marathon overtime struggle in front of 1,617 fans at the Fort William Gardens on Thursday night.
Game #1 of the OUA West Division quarter-finals featured plenty of end-to-end action and an epic goaltending duel that lasted well over four hours before it was decided.
Things didn't look so good for the Thunderwolves early on when Josh LaFrance took a feed from the corner and beat Lakehead goalie Nic Renyard five-hole just 39 seconds into the fray.
York came out strong in the first five minutes and Renyard made a couple of key saves to keep the Lions from extending their lead.
It didn't take long for the Wolves to hit their stride, however, and their momentum grew as the opening period went on.
Sam Schutt evened the score on a Lakehead power play at 10:37, flipping a rebound over York netminder Mack Shields who was sprawled out on the ice after making a good initial save. Daniel Del Paggio and Grant Valiquette were credited with the assists.
The Lions got the only goal of the second period with a power play goal of their own at 4:41 when Reid Jackman tipped a point shot past Renyard.
Lakehead's E.J. Faust tied the game at 2-2 early in the third by slamming home a rebound after Shields made a nice save off of Schutt as the Wolves swarmed around the Lions' cage.
The back and forth continued for the rest of regulation time, but neither side was able to put anything past their opposing goaltenders. Schutt had the best chance of the third period on a breakaway with nine minutes to go, but Shields came up with a huge blocker save.
The first overtime period was a wide-open affair, with both teams looking like they wanted to end it as soon as possible, but neither Renyard nor Shields would yield.
Renyard made a spectacular glove save while he was already down on the ice in the early going to save the day for the Thunderwolves.
At the other end of the ice, Shields stopped Lakehead's Dylan Butler stone cold on two occasions. The first time was a great pad save on a clear break for Butler, and later on he robbed him with a glove save after Butler fired a rocket from the slot.
Butler had a third chance with just seconds left on the clock and Shields out of position, but his shot was redirected high over the net by a York defender, and the game continued into a second overtime session.
After four periods of fire-wagon hockey, the pace slowed down considerably in the second overtime. Lakehead put 17 shots on Shields in the frame, but not many were serious scoring threats.
Renyard wasn't tested as often, but he made a few crucial stops to keep the Wolves' hopes alive, and the game went into a third overtime period.
Although fatigue was becoming a factor, both sides seemed to get their second wind in the third O.T. Lakehead had some good opportunities on a goalmouth scramble, and Faust just missed the net on a deflection within the first few minutes.
York regrouped with a few good rushes, and Renyard made a heads-up play by snatching the puck out of the air after it caromed off the glass behind him and bounced back in front of the net.
Lakehead's line of Butler, Brennen Dubchak and Scott Gall - which had been the Wolves' best unit all night - came through in the end. Just after Gall was stopped after breaking down the left side, the puck wound up behind the net where Dubchak picked it up and quickly fed Butler in the slot. Denied three times earlier, Butler made no mistake and buried it behind Shields to end the game at 10:07 of the sixth period.
Total shots on goal in the game were 76-51 in favor of the Thunderwolves.
For the night, Lakehead went 1-for-8 with the man advantage, while York was 1-for-2.
Game 2: Lakehead 2 York 4
NORTH YORK, Ont. - The York University Lions men's hockey team hosted the second game of the first-round Queen's Cup playoff series against the Lakehead Thunderwolves Saturday night facing elimination but pulled off a 4-2 victory to force a deciding Game 3.
The series began with the second-longest men's hockey game in OUA history, a 3-2 triple overtime thriller that Lakehead won courtesy of Dylan Butler. The Thunderwolves outshot the Lions 76-51 in that contest, but the Lions turned the table in this game and outshot the Thunderwolves 42-23.
The Lions battled hard in the first period and their efforts paid off 14 minutes in when rookie forward Morgan Messengerwas able to score, giving the Lions a 1-0 lead. He was assisted by Colton Vannucci and Justin Bean.
This excitement was short-lived, however, as the Thunderwolves' Scott Gall scored unassisted just two minutes later, tying the score 1-1. The score remained this way for the rest of the period.
Vannucci added another goal for the Lions at 2:04 in the second period. Assisting him was Nick Zottl to give the Lions the lead once again at 2-1.
The Lions held onto this lead longer than the last time, but eventually the Thunderwolves came back to tie the game again. Trevor Hynnes scored at 13:35 in the second period, assisted by Dillon Donnelley and Austin McDonald, and the period once again ended in a tie, this time 2-2.
After a scoreless first half of the third period, Alex Mowbray tallied the Lions' third goal of the game, bumping the Lions back into the lead at 3-2. Mowbray was assisted by Stefano Pezzetta.
In the final few seconds of the game, Kyle Campbell added a final goal for the Lions on an empty Thunderwolves net to guarantee the win.
Game 3: Lakehead 1 York 5
NORTH YORK, Ont. - The York University Lions men's hockey team hosted Game 3 of the first round of OUA playoffs against the Lakehead Thunderwolves Sunday night and pulled out all the stops for a big home ice win by a score of 5-1 at Canlan Ice Sports.
The Lions started the game off incredibly strong, scoring two goals in the first four minutes of the opening period. Less than two minutes into the first, Ben Verrall scored with the assistance of Daniel Nikandrov and Nik Coric. Exactly two minutes later, Morgan Messenger added his second goal of the series with help from teammates Trevor Petersen and Kyle Campbell.
As a result of their efforts, the Lions took an early 2-0 lead over their opponents.
The Thunderwolves had plenty of opportunities to score when the Lions had two men serving penalties at the same time, but nothing transpired during that tense minute of overlap. This was largely due to the stellar goaltending Mack Shields is known for.
He had abundant assistance from captain Shayne Rover – who at one point ended up behind a fallen Shields to ensure the puck stayed out of the net – to ward off the Thunderwolves until the 16:10 mark of the period. At this time, the Thunderwolves were able to score their first goal of the game from Cooper Leitch, who was assisted by Jonathan Masters. The period ended 2-1 in favour of the Lions.
The second period didn't see a goal until 8:54, when Derek Sheppard scored on a power play. Petersen added his second assist of the game on this goal while Messenger had his first, which brought the Lions back to a two-goal lead at 3-1.
In a tense final couple of minutes in the second period, both teams had two players each serving penalties. This certainly didn't slow down the action on the ice as both teams played ferociously to the close of the period, though no additional goals were scored.
Reid Jackman continued the Lions' success by adding a goal at 8:50 in the third period. Assisting him were Sal Filice and Scott Feser to bring the score to 4-1. Towards the end of the period, Stefano Pezzetta put in the Lions' fifth goal of the game with the aid of Alex Mowbray and Campbell. This would be the final goal of the game to clinch the series for the Lions.
Windsor vs. Guelph
Game 1: Windsor 1 Guelph 3
GUELPH, Ont. – Throughout the regular season, no team in the OUA showcased as much offensive firepower as the Guelph Gryphons, who scored an OUA-best 122 goals in 28 games while posting the best record in the West Division (21-6-1). On Thursday night in the opening game of the 2018 OUA playoffs, the No. 6-ranked Gryphons proved they can win games by riding their defence as well. The No. 1-seeded Guelph Gryphons picked up a 3-1 home win over the No. 8-seeded Windsor Lancers in Game 1 of their best-of-three OUA West Quarter-final series. The Gryphons limited the Lancers to just seven shots over the final two periods and outshot Windsor 40-16 on the evening. After falling behind 1-0 just over five minutes into the game, the Gryphons would bounce back with three unanswered goals, two of which came from standout rookie Todd Winder, en route to a crucial Game 1 win. The Gryphons will now look to close out the series on Saturday night in Windsor.
"We had a bit of a slow start tonight and showed some nerves early, but really settled down after that and started moving our feet," said Gryphons head coach Shawn Camp. "The guys were excited to get the playoffs going, but once we got that first goal, it seemed to give us some confidence. It was a good defensive effort."
The Gryphons entered Thursday night's playoff game well aware of the threat posed by the Lancers, with Windsor winning both of their regular season meetings with Guelph. 5:31 into the opening period, the Lancers jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Alex Friesen showed off some nice hand-eye coordination to bat a puck out of mid-air to open the scoring for the visitors.
The Gryphons would answer later in the period however, with first-year forward Todd Winder (Uxbridge, ON) potting a rebound past Windsor goalie Jonathan Reinhart during a Gryphon power play opportunity to tie the game at 1-1. Winder, who was the 5th-leading goal scorer in all of U SPORTS during the regular season with 18 goals, would strike again midway through the 2nd period to give the Gryphons a 2-1 lead. This time, it was Winder finishing off some nice passing from Cody Thompson and Reilly O'Connor to beat Reinhart for his second goal of the night. It was all part of a dominant 2nd period performance by the Gryphons, who outshot Windsor 16-4 in the frame. The Lancers remained within striking distance however, down just a goal, thanks in large part to the play of their goalie Jonathan Reinhart.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the 2nd period, the Lancers would get a scare when Reinhart was forced to leave the game after taking a shot to the mask which drew some blood. With Reinhart temporarily out of the game for repairs, the Gryphons would not waste any time solving backup goalie Matt Badour. With just over two minutes remaining in the 2nd period, Gryphons fourth year forward Seth Swenson(Parker, Colorado) would give the Gryphons a 3-1 lead when his wrister fooled Badour to extend the U of G lead to two heading into the final period.
Reinhart would return in 3rd period, just in time to deny Todd Winder of his hat-trick with a nice pad save early in the period. But the Lancers were unable to generate anything offensively over the final 20 minutes, with the Gryphons limiting Windsor to just three shots in the 3rd.
U of G's rookie goalie Andrew Masters had a relatively quiet night in his playoff debut, turning aside 15 of the 16 shots sent his way for the win. Coach Camp was quick to point out the play of U of G defencemen Josh and Zach McFadden, with the two brothers combining to help spearhead the polished defensive performance by the Gryphs.
Game 2: Guelph 3 Windsor 4
WINDSOR, Ont. - The Lancer men's hockey team stayed alive in the post season following a 4-3 win over the Guelph Gryphons Saturday night at South Windsor Arena.
The Lancers laced up their skates and took to the ice for what could have been their last game of the season. After sneaking in to the playoffs, they lost their first game of a best of three series Thursday night in Guelph, 3-1. Making matters worse, starter Johnathan Reinhart was out of commission after taking a puck to the face in game one. The Lancers jumped out to an early lead, however it was a pair of goals in the third period that forced a game three.
Matt Badour put forth a solid effort in net, making 21 saves on 24 shots. Guelph's Andrew Masters made 19 stops on 23 shots.
The penalty kills units both had busy days. Guelph killed all four penalties they served and Windsor only allowed one goal on six penalties.
Guelph also won the shot battle, firing off 35 shots to the Lancers' 32 shots.
Facing elimination, the Lancers opened the scoring midway through the first period when Todd Ratchford was able to beat the Gryphons Andrew Masters unassisted to give Windsor the lead early. Ben Assad doubled up the Lancers lead when he was able to get one past Masters with some help from Nathan Veres and Kody Gagnon. The Lancers went into the first break with a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, they don't call a 2-0 lead the worst lead in hockey for a reason as it evaporated fast. With five minutes left in the second period, the Gryphons finally broke through and got one past backup goalie Matt Badour when Trevor Morbeck scored. Less than a minute later, Guelph's Todd Winder tied the game.
With just 20 minutes left, the Lancers needed just one goal to keep their playoff hopes alive. Kyle Hope gave the Lancers the lead just over halfway into the third period and Ian Parker banged home a rebound to give the Lancers a two goal lead. The Gryphons scored once more late in the third but couldn't tie the game. The Lancers lived to play another day with a 4-3 victory.
Game 3: Windsor 1 Guelph 6
GUELPH, Ont. – Throughout the 2017-18 OUA men's hockey regular season, the Gryphons were the class of their division. Saturday night in a must-win Game 3 matchup in their OUA West Quarter-final series with Windsor, that class was once again display. The Gryphons exploded for four goals in the opening period and cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Lancers to win the best-of-three series 2-1. The top-seeded Gryphons advance to the OUA West Semi-finals where they will face the No. 5-seeded Brock Badgers.
"We knew coming off of Saturday night's game that we would have to do a better job of moving our feet," said Gryphons head coach Shawn Camp. "We were able to get a good jump early and the guys kept pushing for all three periods."
No player in the OUA was better in the opening round of playoffs than U of G rookie forward Todd Winder. The Uxbridge native accounted for two of the Gryphons' four goals in the first period on Sunday night, giving him five goals in three playoff games. Veteran defenceman Mark Raycroft and team captain Scott Simmonds also found the back of the net in what was a dominant opening 20 minutes by the No. 6-nationally ranked Gryphons. Windsor's backup goalie Matt Badour was forced into action after Lancers' starter Jonathan Reinhart suffered an eye injury in Game 1 of the series. While Badour was sharp on Saturday night, he had no answer for the high-powered Gryphon offence in Game 3. The Gryphons outshot the Lancers 19-9 in the opening period.
The U of G lead would grow to 6-0 in the 2nd period with goals from Andres Kopstals and Cody Thompson. Kopstals finished off some outstanding passing, with Josh McFadden and Tryg Strand leading a 3-on-2 rush that ended with some tic-tac-toe passing by the Gryphs. Midway through the 2nd, the Gryphons would take advantage of a five minute power play opportunity with Thompson tapping home a nice feed from Josh McFadden. Josh McFadden, a Guelph native and former member of the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, finished the night with 4 assists. Gryphons rookie goalie Andrew Masters turned away 28 of the 29 shots sent his way for the win.
The Gryphons will now turn their attention to the Brock Badgers for their OUA West Semi-final series. During the regular season, the Gryphons won three of their four head-to-head matchups with the Badgers. Game 1 of the series is set for Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7:30pm at the Gryphon Centre.