CIS men's hockey Sunday roundup
|AUS semifinal #2 - Game 4|
|OUA semifinal 2 - Game 3|
|MONTREAL - Six different Redmen scored as
No.2-ranked McGill turned the table on the UQTR Patriotes, winning
6-1 in men's hockey before a near-capacity crowd at McConnell
The victory gave McGill the OUA Eastern Conference title and an automatic berth at the CIS national championship tournament, for the fifth time in six years. Before that, however, the Redmen have a little business to take care of. They will head to London, Ont., to take on the Western Ontario Mustangs next Saturday in the 100th edition of the Queen's Cup league championship.
McGill, which had lost by an identical 6-1 score in Game 2 of the series on Friday, had opened the best-of-three affair with a 5-3 win at home last Wednesday. The Redmen completed their home schedule with an unprecedented an unblemished 21-0 record.
"The guys played hard and it was a big win, a good response for us to bounce back like that after losing Game 2 the way we did," said Evan Vossen, the Redmen team captain from Swift Current, Sask., who opened the scoring at 7:17 of the first period. "We have so much confidence in everybody in our locker room. It was a big team effort... blocked shots, playing smart, chipping pucks deep. Our special teams were unreal and that's really what contributed to our success tonight."
McGill had a 47-25 edge in shots, including a 14-5 margin in the opening period. They led 1-0 after the first and exploded for three more to lead 4-1 after two, sparked by sniper Francis Verreault-Paul of Mashteuiatsh, Que., who struck at the 59-second mark of the middle period to make the score 2-0 with what proved to be the game-winner.
After Felix Petit of Jonquiere, Que., narrowed the gap to 2-1 with his eighth of the playoffs, defenceman Marc-Andre Dorion of St. Hubert, Que., connected on a power-play two minutes later to regain a two-goal cushion for the Redmen.
Veteran Guillaume Doucet of Anjou, Que., netted his fourth of the post-season at 18:26 to make it 4-1. Rounding out the scoring in the final stanza was Christophe Longpre-Poirier and Simon Marcotte-Legare, both native of Longueuil, Que., who clicked on the power-play, which went 3-for-8 in the game.
"Our three graduating seniors all came up with huge efforts in their final home game," said Andrew Wright, a junior from Toronto who chalked up three assists and leads theOUA playoff scoring race with a 5-11-16 record in seven games. "Guillaume and Simon were spark-plugs for us offensively and Stephen Valente had a great game on defence. They were a dominant force out there for us and a key part of this victory."
It marked McGill's fifth straight playoff series win over the Patriotes, a team that had won the first 11 series matchups over the previous four decades.
"It was the result 20 guys playing real hard, a complete 60- minute effort," said Redmen head coach Kelly Nobes, who has guided the team to a single-season school record for wins, posting a 35-4-3 dossier, one more victory than last year, with as many as four games remaining en route to bring home McGill's first-ever national championship.
"We had six different scorers again tonight and that depth has really been important for us," said Nobes who was wearing his new McGill belt buckle and is now 6-0 in the playoffs when wearing the hand-carved lucky charm. "Specialty teams were a factor; we moved our feet, got to the net and tried to create a lot of offensive opportunities by getting pucks on their goalie, low, and with some traffic in the crease.
"We were very thorough defensively and Hubert Morin had a solid game in nets. It was great to see him rebound after a tough outing the other night. He's elevated his game and I could see a relaxed look in his face when he came to the rink earlier in the day for a light run."
The Redmen, who posted a 5-2 record against the Pats this season, will depart on Friday for London, Ont., where they will meet the OUA West champion Western Ontario Mustangs on Saturday in the league championship game for the Queen's Cup, which will be presented for the 100th time. McGill, which beat the Mustangs 6-3 in pre-season play, is the defending Queen's Cup champion and will be gunning for their 16th Cup title. Both finalists will then advance to the CIS championship, a six team tourney in Fredericton, N.B., March 22-27.
REDMEN RAP: Former McGill head coach Martin Raymond, now an assistant coach with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, called from Tampa after the game to find out how the Redmen fared... Montreal Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche was among the faces in the crowd to see his alma mater play for the second straight home game. He brought along Habs teammate David Desharnais, who was a former junior teammate of Verreault-Paul... Other ex-Redmen on hand included David Gourde, Dave Grenier, Mathieu Poitras, Yan Turcotte, Ron Perowne, Guillaume Demers, Chris Churchill-Smith, Charles Gauthier, Dan Gubiani, Herb Madill and Charlie Lafontaine.
Source: McGill Sports Info
|Canada West semifinal 1 - Game 3|
|CALGARY – With a great burst of energy to
start the game, and a gutsy effort to finish it, the University of
Calgary Dinos are headed to the Canada West Finals and the
University Cup with a 4-1 victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies,
winning the deciding game of the best-of-three semifinal series.
The victory assures the Dinos a berth at the University Cup on March 24-27 in Fredericton, N.B., and a chance to win the conference crown next weekend in Edmonton against the Alberta Golden Bears. The Bears defeated the Manitoba Bisons in straight games in their semi-final series, and are looking to make it four Canada West titles in a row against Calgary next weekend.
It marks the first time since 1996 that the Dinos have gone to the Canada West championship, a series in which they defeated the Alberta Golden Bears to advance to the University Cup. Calgary had another shot at the national tournament in 2000 as a wild-card entry, but has not been since. The Dinos have no CIS banners to their credit in their history, and are 7-13 all-time at the national stage.
Jevon Desautels scored the game-winning goal midway through the first period on a nifty move to get it onto teammate's Matt Isbister's stick. Banging home Isbister's subsequent rebound, the fifth-year scored his second goal of the playoffs from his spot on the fourth line, making it 2-0 Dinos, which would be all they would need.
Brock Nixon was sensational all night long, using his speed to generate chances, blocking shots and feeding his teammates. Kodie Curran's game-opening goal was a result of a well-timed pass from Nixon to get the rookie defenceman open, while Aaron Richards was the beneficiary of another Nixon pass in a remarkably similar play midway through the third. Both goals were on the man-advantage, where Calgary was two for four.
Walker Wintoneak iced the game with one of the more exciting empty-net goals in recent memory at Father David Bauer. With the Huskies pressing hard down two, the puck was turned over in the neutral zone and trickled slowly over the blue-line towards the empty Saskatchewan net.
The closest players to the puck, Wintoneak and Saskatchewan defenceman Jason Wagar, both knew what was at stake, and each lunged for the puck. Wintoneak got to it first by sprawling out on to the ice, pushing it into the net for the late 4-1 advantage which sparked mayhem both on the Calgary bench and in the stands.
Dustin Butler was rock-solid, stopping 32 shots with just one goal against. Kyle Ross beat him for the fourth time in the postseason for the lone Huskies goal of the game, batting in his own rebound. David Reekie made 20 saves in the loss.
Head Coach Mark Howell commented on the big win, and looked ahead to the Canada West finals.
"I thought we came out with great energy, we were excited to make amends for last night," said Howell. "We had waves throughout the game, but to win in the playoffs you need great goaltending, and Butler was phenomenal for us."
"The boys do know they get to go to Nationals, but it's not just about going to the dance," said Howell. "They want a trophy, and they want to go in as Canada West Champions. We'll be ready to go and energized when we get up to Edmonton."
With the loss, the Canada West season is now finished for the Saskatchewan Huskies despite a 17-11-0 record and a third place finish in Canada West. It also marks the last game for fifth year forward Jason Wagar.
The Calgary Dinos, on the other hand, will now pack their bags for Edmonton next weekend, where they will tangle with the three-time defending Canada West champion Alberta Golden Bears for the conference crown. Games will be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary), with 7:30 p.m. start times. The result of the series will not only determine a conference champion, but will help sort out seeding at the University Cup.
Source: Calgary Sports Info