McGill v Ottawa
Game 1: Ottawa 3 McGill 2
OTTAWA, Ont. - When the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men's hockey team was trailing late in their opening playoff game against the McGill Redmen, they refused to back down. Their tenacity was rewarded, as Marco Azzano and Médric Mercier tallied late power play goals to push the Gee-Gees over the top and take the series lead heading back to Ottawa.
Following the game, Head Coach Patrick Grandmaître cited special teams and starting goaltender Graham Hunt as keys to success.
"Our power play and penalty came up big and [Hunt] was nice and steady," Grandmaître said. "That was the difference at the end of the day."
The Gee-Gees opened the game with a hot start. Jacob Hanlon celebrated his 22nd birthday by deflecting Ottawa's first shot of the game into the back of the net.
The momentum appeared to continue into the second, with the Gee-Gees tallying 40 seconds into the period before the call was rescinded.
"I was really happy with our first and our third, after that goal that was disallowed we fell into a lull and bad habits," Grandmaître said. "They're a good team, when you give them chances they'll pounce on them. Our players regrouped well between periods. We took it to them in the third."
After falling behind heading into the third, the Gee-Gees drew a penalty midway through the frame. Just seconds into the power play, Azzano directed a puck through the five hole to tie the game.
The game appeared destined for overtime before Mercier was hauled down along the half-wall. While McGill fans voiced their displeasure with the call, the power play regrouped for Ottawa, and Mercier unloaded a trademarked blast from the point to tally the winner.
Hunt, starting in place of the injured Anthony Brodeur, stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced to earn the win in goal.
The Gee-Gees will look to complete the sweep on Friday when they host the Redmen for game two at the Minto Sports Complex. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m.
"I'm feeling happy with the first game here, but McGill is a huge beast," Grandmaître said. "I think with their first-round match-up maybe they weren't fully in playoff mode and we'll need to be even better next game."
Game 2: McGill 4 Ottawa 1
OTTAWA, Ont. - Rookie Keanu Yamamoto scored twice, including the game-winner, as McGill, the top-seed in the OUA, scored four unanswered goals to defeat fourth-seeded Ottawa 4-1 to even their best-of-three men's hockey semifinal series at one apiece, Friday, at the uOttawa Minto Sports Complex.
The Redmen, who dropped Wednesday's series opener 3-2, outshot their guests 34-25 but held a slim 2-1 advantage until the dying minutes when two empty-net goals sealed the victory. A decisive third game will be played on Sunday (Feb. 25) at 7 p.m. at McConnell Arena.
"We had a 60-minute effort," said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. "We had very good games from everybody. Guys played to their strengths tonight and it was a real good, well-deserved win in an emotional game. It was a full crowd here in Ottawa and we grinded hard for the 60 minutes."
The Gee-Gees took the lead just 2:47 into the contest on a shot by Michael Poirier.
But Yamamoto, a 5-foot-7, 166-pound forward from Spokane, Wash., tallied in each of the next two periods to put the Redmen ahead for good. He beat the goalie high glove-side to even things up at 5:43 of the second period, then intercepted a pass in the high slot and pushed in his own rebound at 3:31 of the third.
"Keanu actually had two really good (playoff) games," praised Nobes. "He was good on Wednesday (in the 3-2 loss) and he was even better tonight. He's a game-breaker type player -- that's how he was described coming out of junior and that's what he delivered tonight. He was outstanding out there and really clutch on both his opportunities."
With the Gee-Gees pressing in the final minutes, defenceman Dominic Talbot-Tassi of Mascouche, Que., gave McGill some breathing room at 18:22 when an ambitious and well-placed shot taken from behind his own goal travelled the length of the 200-foot rink to reach the back of the empty net. Christophe Lalonde of Mirabel, Que., then put the game to rest on another empty-netter with 45 seconds remaining.
Both sides went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.
Goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound economics senior from St. Joseph du Lac, Que., turned away 24 of 25 shots for the victory.
"He had a real good response tonight," said Nobes, referring to Wednesday's loss. "He played a solid game and gave us a chance to win."
Graham Hunt stopped 30 of 32 for Ottawa in a losing cause.
McGill improved their lifetime record against the Gee-Gees to 103-82-10 in 195 meetings since the series started in 1968.
Game 3: Ottawa 3 McGill 6
MONTREAL, Que. - Jerome Verrier scored once and added a pair of helpers as McGill eliminated the Ottawa Gee-Gees with a 6-3 victory in the rubber match of the OUA East men's hockey semifinal series at McConnell Arena, Sunday.
It was the second consecutive win for top-seeded McGill, which came from behind to win the series 2-1 after dropping the opener 3-2 at home on Feb. 21, then won 4-1 in the nation's capital on Feb. 23.
McGill, the No.4 ranked team in the nation, now owns a 4-1 playoff record after posting a 22-4-2 mark in OUA play. They will meet third-seeded Concordia (4-1 playoffs, 18-7-3), when they cross paths in the OUA East best-of-three final in the coming week. The Stingers upset Queen's 3-2 in overtime on Sunday at Kingston to win that series 2-1.
The upcoming McGill-Concordia playoff match-up will be their first-ever confrontation in a divisional final. The series is slated to begin at McConnell Arena on Wed., Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Game 2 is unconfirmed but tentatively slated to be at Concordia's Ed Meagher Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, the deciding game will be back at McConnell on Sunday at 7 p.m.
The Redmen, who outshot Ottawa 32-28, led 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after two, then outscored the Gee-Gees 3-2 in the final stanza, including an empty-net goal.
"We were relentless tonight and showed good composure," said Kelly Nobes, in his eighth season as McGill head coach. "We had lots of good hard plays and that's what you need to do to close out a series. Ottawa was a good test for us. They played a solid series. They are a fast team, work real hard and forced us to play better. I thought that we grew as a team over the course of the three games."
Verrier, a 23-year-old economics junior from Drummondville, Que., was one of five different players to score for the Redmen. He set up the game's first goal by defenceman Maximilian Daigle at 5:26 of the opening period, then scored his second of the playoffs to put McGill ahead 3-1 at 11:11 of the middle period.
On that play, he was the last of all five McGill skaters on the ice to touch the puck. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound centre also assisted on defenceman Dominic Talbot-Tassi 's playoff marker to give the Redmen a commanding 5-2 lead at 12:08 of the final period.
Verrier, who had an NHL tryout with Detroit in 2015, was second in the OUA scoring race this season with a 12-29-41 record in 28 games. He now finds himself tied for first in the OUA playoff scoring race with 10 points, including a league-leading eight assists in five contests.
Rounding out the scoring for McGill was freshman Keanu Yamamoto, a native of Spokane, Wash., who played in the WHL, rookie Michael Cramarossa, an OHL product from Hamilton, Ont., and senior Jan Kaminsky, another OHL grad who hails from Kennesaw, GA, with the empty-netter.
The Redmen have now outscored opponents 26-10 in five post-season contests with a dozen different players finding the back of the net.
"We had a real collective effort in the last two games," noted Nobes. "To win at this time of the year, you need goals from your whole group. When you have so many different people scoring, that's a real positive."
Replying for the Gee-Gees was Mathieu Newcomb, Kevin Dominingue and Connor Sills.
Goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon of Sherbrooke, Que., saved 25 of 28 shots between the pipes for the victory and improved his playoff record to 4-1. One of his saves came on a penalty shot by Dominigue with McGill ahead 4-1 at 6:36 of the third period. He was awarded the shot after being tripped from behind by defenceman Nathanael Halbert.
On the ensuing faceoff, Dominigue got sweet revenge by scoring just three seconds later.
Guindon, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound kinesiology sophomore now has a stingy 1.93 goals-against average in the playoffs with a .929 save percentage.
In the Gee-Gees net was Graham Hunt, a sophomore from Concord, N.H., who was beaten five times on 31 shots. He took over the netminding chores at the beginning of this series after starter Anthony Brodeur was injured with 15 seconds left in the Game 3 of the Ottawa-Carleton quarter-final.
McGill was 1-for-4 on the power-play while snuffing out all three shorthanded situations. The PP unit ranks second best in the OUA playoffs with a success rate of 25 per cent efficiency (5/20), while the PK unit is operating at 80 per cent (12/15).
McGill improved to 104-82-10 in 196 games overall against Ottawa, including a 17-14 record in post-season play.
McGill split their four-game season series with Concordia, each team scoring 10 goals. All four encounters were one-goal decisions with McGill winning 2-1 and 3-1, sandwiched around Concordia prevailing 3-2 and 4-3 in an overtime shootout.
The Redmen own a 102-98-14 overall record in 214 lifetime meetings against Concordia dating back to their first confrontation in 1975. The crosstown rivals have met 13 times in post-season play and McGill has won nine of the 13 series with a 16-11 record in 27 playoff games. The Redmen defeated Concordia in 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Stingers won in 1977, 1979, 1998 and 2001.
The winner of the OUA East final will travel to the OUA Queen's Cup championship game on Mar. 10 against the winner of OUA West final between fifth-seeded Brock (14-9-5) and second-seeded York (17-10-1). Both OUA finalists will qualify for the U SPORTS University Cup national championship tournament in Fredericton, Mar. 15-18, along with the OUA bronze medalist. The loser of the McGill-Concordia series will host the OUA bronze medal game on Mar. 10 against the loser of the York-Brock series for the OUA's wild-card berth to the Nationals.
Queen’s v Concordia
Game 1: Concordia 4 Queen’s 2
KINGSTON, Ont. - The No.9 Queen's Gaels suffered a 4-2 loss at home in the opening game of their best-of-three series with the Concordia Stingers on Wednesday night.
The Gaels will now have to win on Friday night in Montreal to force a third and final game in the series on Sunday afternoon back in Kingston.
The Stingers were able to open the scoring early in the game as Massimo Carozza was able to deflect a point shot from Matthieu Desautels with his leg and the puck caught Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.) going the wrong way.
After a Warren Steele (Williamsburg, Ont.) penalty had just expired, a loose puck in the crease found it's way to the side of the net where a wide open Raphael Lafontaine made not mistake to bury his second of the playoffs. Just 58 seconds later the Gaels were able to respond. After Marc-Antoine Turcotte made a glove save off a shot from Cory Genovese (Hespeler, Ont.), Darcy Greenaway (Wilton, Ont.) was able to deposit the puck past Turcotte to cut the Stinger lead in half.
In the second period, Concordia was able to extend their lead to two goals once again. At the 15:48 mark of the frame, a puck took a strange deflection in front of Bailie and William Gignac found the puck on his stick for a tap-in goal past a confused Bailie. After 40 minutes the Gaels found themselves trailing 3-1.
In the third, Queen's was once again able to make it a one-goal game. Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) dished the puck to Eric Ming (Williamstown, Ont.) who made no mistake for his second of the playoffs, cutting the Stinger lead to 3-2.
The Gaels had a late power play in the game but couldn't find an equalizer. With their net empty it was Stingers captain Philippe Hudon who scored into the empty net to secure the win 4-2.
Bailie finished with 23 saves while Turcotte picked up the win stopping 32 pucks fired his way.
Game 2: Queen’s 3 Concordia 0
MONTREAL (February 23, 2018) – The No. 9 Queen's Gaels forced a third and final game in their OUA quarter-final playoff series with a 3-0 win over the Concordia Stingers on Friday night. Gaels goalie Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.) made 45 saves in a dominant shutout effort in the win. The teams will face off on Sunday afternoon for the right to go to the OUA Semi-Finals.
The first period was all Stingers as they outshot the Gaels 13-4 in the opening frame. Bailie was strong in the period for Queen's as he turned aside all 13 Concordia shots. The Gaels had a few quality chances late in the period with Spencer Abraham(Campbellville,Ont.) firing wrist-shots from the point but they couldn't open the scoring. The teams would head into the second period scoreless.
After a slow first period, Queen's came out strong in the second frame and showed their offensive punch. Duncan Campbell (Brandon, Man.) started the scoring at 2:17 when he corralled a loose puck off a broken three-on-two rush and put it home for his second of the playoffs, with an assist going to Luke Bertolucci (Montrose, B.C.). Later in the period it was Ryan Bloom (Calgary) who notched his first of the postseason to put the Gaels up 2-0 at 12:30. Although they were outshot 16-13, the Tricolour would head into the third period in good position to force a deciding game.
The third period featured another Stingers barrage of shots as Bailie was in fine form, turning aside all 16 shots he faced. Darcy Greenaway (Wilton, Ont.) was able to add a power play goal from Eric Ming (Williamstown, Ont.) and Slater Doggett (Oakville, Ont.) at 18:38 to seal the Gaels win and force a third and final game.
Bailie was a bright spot for Queen's in net as he turned aside all 45 shots he faced for the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte took the loss in net for the Stingers but was replaced late in the second period by Antoine Dagenais after Turcotte suffered an injury.
Game 3: Concordia 3 Queen’s 2
KINGSTON, Ont. - "Did you say 1984? That's the year I was born," said Stinger head coach Marc-André Element as he was picking up celebratory hamburgers with his team on the way back to Montreal. "We will enjoy it tonight. Tomorrow it's back to work."
The Stingers had to go to overtime in Game 3 of a best-three series to erase 35 years of early exits. Philippe Sanche scored on a power play 51 seconds into the extra period to give Concordia the victory.
"I was really happy when we scored that goal," Element said. "I think I jumped in (assistant coach) Jim Corsi's arms."
Rookie William Gignac and Anthony Beauregard, the leading scorer in U SPORTS men's hockey, scored the Concordia goals in regulation play.
Goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte turned away 27 of 29 shots to secure the win.
"We stuck to our game plan the whole game," said Element of the events in Kingston. "All four lines, the defence, everyone played well."
In 1984, Concordia was playing in the defunct Quebec University Athletic Association conference. This year marks the first time Concordia has reached the OUA East finals. The Stingers play a best-of-three series with the McGill Redmen.
Dates and time for those games will be announced shortly.
York v Ryerson
Game 1: Ryerson 3 York 6
NORTH YORK, Ont. - The York University Lions men's hockey team scored five unanswered goals in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and post a 6-3 victory over the Ryerson Rams in the opening game of their OUA quarter-final best-of-three series at Canlan Ice Sports on Wednesday night.
After falling behind by two goals in a lopsided second period, the Lions came out flying in the third, levelling the score less than 90 seconds in and then adding another two quick goals later in the third to secure the win.
Derek Sheppard wasted little time getting the scoring started, finding the back of the net for the first goal of the game just a minute and a half into the first period. Assisting him were Reid Jackman and Josh LaFrance.
After this exciting start to the game, the rest of the period did not see another goal and it ended 1-0 for the Lions.
The Rams stepped up their game in the second period to score three goals. The first of these goals came from Erik DeLaurentis, assisted by Marcus Hinds and Vince Figliomeni. Less than a minute later, Aaron Armstrong, assisted by Steven Harland and Matt Nosella, added another goal. John Carpino closed out the period with the Rams' third goal with the aid of Armstrong to lead 3-1 over the Lions.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the Lions came back to score five goals in the third. Not to be outdone, the Lions scored a pair of goals just 10 seconds apart in the first 1:24. Trevor Petersen scored first, assisted by Sal Filice and Sheppard, followed by Scott Feser, assisted by Jackman.
Later in the period, the Lions added another pair of goals only 12 seconds apart. Petersen put in his second goal of the game with the assistance of Colton Vannucci and Morgan Messenger, and then Kyle Campbell buried the puck in the back of the Rams' net with assists to Stefano Pezzetta and Alex Mowbray.
To round out scoring, Vannucci added a sixth goal on an empty Rams' net. Nick Zottl had the assist on this tally.
The Lions now lead the series 1-0 and will look to complete the sweep on Saturday night when the series shifts to the Mattamy Athletic Centre for a 7:15pm puck drop. Should a third game be necessary, it will take place on Sunday afternoon back at Canlan Ice Sports, beginning at 2pm.
Game 2: York 3 Ryerson 2
TORONTO, Ont. - The York University Lions men's hockey team eliminated the Ryerson Rams from the playoffs on Saturday night with a 3-2 victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre to sweep their OUA quarter-final best-of-three series.
The Lions came out of the first game with a big 6-3 win after trailing by two at the end of the second period. There was less excitement in the second game as the Lions never trailed and advanced to the OUA semifinals for the second year in a row.
The first period saw strong offensive efforts on both sides, with the Rams making 12 shots on net and the Lions just behind at 10. However, defensive efforts were equally as strong, as neither team were able to score. The period ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Lions stepped up in the second period, with Colton Vannucci scoring 15 seconds into the frame. Assisting him in putting the Lions in the lead were Justin Bean and Trevor Petersen.
Daniel Nikandrov added a second goal for the Lions on a power play six minutes later to bring the Lions to a 2-0 lead. Josh LaFrance and Reid Jackman had the assists on the goal.
With one second remaining in the period, the Rams added their first goal of the game from Cavin Leth, assisted by Aaron Armstrong and Steven Harland to bring the score to 2-1 heading into the last 20 minutes of regulation.
Petersen – with the assistance of Derek Sheppard and Morgan Messenger – scored the Lions' third goal at 9:47 in the third period on a power play. The Rams wouldn't let the Lions get too far ahead, however, as Armstrong scored less than a minute later to cut the Ryerson deficit to just one again. He was assisted by Leth and Gregory DiTomaso.
That was the closest the Rams would get to the Lions, as goaltender Mack Shields stood tall to preserve the win. He finished with 24 saves, while Ryerson's Taylor Dupuis made 23 in the loss.
In the OUA West's other quarter-final match-up, the fifth-seeded Brock Badgers posted a huge 5-4 overtime victory to upset the first-place Guelph Gryphons and advance to the next round. The Lions will be the home team in the match-up and will host Game 1 and, if necessary, Game 3, while Game 2 will take place in St. Catharines, Ont. The full schedule for the series is to be announced.
Guelph v Brock
Game 1: Brock 4 Guelph 3
GUELPH, Ont. - The Brock University men's hockey team came from behind to win Game One 4-3 in OT in the best 2-out-of-3 OUA 1/4 Finals series versus the Guelph Gryphons Thursday night on the road.
The Gryphons opened the scoring three minutes into the first period as Reilly O'Connor and Seth Swenson setup JP Villeneuve for his first goal of the postseason. With just over five minutes left in the first, Brock tied the score 1-1 as Cosimo Fontana and Adam Lloyd found Chris Maniccia who beat Guelph goaltender Andrew Masters for his first of the playoffs.
In the second period, the Gryphons took a two-goal lead 3-1 as Todd Winder and Scott Simmonds answered with back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart. With 29 seconds left in the second, Brock's Fontana added his second goal of the postseason to make it 3-2. Ayden MacDonald and Maniccia added the assists.
With just over three minutes left in the third period, the Badgers tied the game 3-3 as Sammy Banga and Maniccia setup Fontana for his second goal of the night, sending it to overtime.
Six minutes into the overtime, Guelph turned the puck over and the Badgers MacDonald capitalized beating Andrew Masters for the game winner.
In goal, Brock starter Clint Windsor was outstanding registering 39 saves for the victory. Masters collected 20 saves in the loss.
The Badgers will host Game Two Saturday night 7:15 pm at the Seymour-Hannah Centre.
Game 2: Guelph 4 Brock 5
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - The Brock University men's hockey team knocked off the first place Guelph Gryphons by the score of 5-4 in overtime to sweep the best 2-out-of-3 OUA West Semi-Finals series.
With the victory, the Badgers now advance to the OUA West Finals as they take on the No. 2 seed York Lions in a best 2-out-of-3 series with the winner advancing to the USPORTS Nationals. Brock has captured two OUA West titles in school history (1994-95, 2007-08).
The Badgers opened the scoring 16:35 into the first period as Sammy setup Matt MacLeod for his second goal of the playoffs. Just 18 seconds later, Guelph tied the game 1-1 on a goal from Scott Simmonds.
In the second period, Brock answered with three straight goals over a five minute span to take a a 4-1 lead. Scoring for Brock were Josh Timpano, Connor Brown and Macleod, his second of the night. Guelph would get a late one with 32 seconds remaining to make it a 4-2 game after 40 minutes.
With the season on the line, the Gryphons opened the third period with two goals to tie the game 4-4. Scoring for Guelph was Mark Raycroft at 4:34 and Marc Stevens with a power play goal at 6:08.
For the second time in this series it would be decided in overtime. Seven minutes into OT, rookie Brayden Stortzwould dig it out the corner to Dexter Weber at the blueline, who fired a shot on goal, which was redirected by Mitch Nardi in front of Guelph goaltender Andrew Masters for the game winner.
Brock starter Clint Windsor recorded 46 saves for the victory. He also became the first Brock goaltender in a single season to record 1000 saves. Masters collected 31 saves in the loss.