On Jan. 11, an overtime thriller ended in dismay for the McGill faithful and their men’s hockey team (12-5-4). The Carnival hockey showcase against the cross-town rival Concordia Stingers (12-7-1) ended in a 5-4 loss after a wrap-around shot cemented the Stingers’ three-goal comeback.
This year’s Carnival game was the first in McGill history to sell out before the opening face-off. With 1,029 people in attendance, there was only standing room available for many of the boisterous fans.
Concordia struck first just one minute and 20 seconds into the game, but McGill was quick to respond: Second-year forward Keanu Yamamoto sniped a slap shot just 20 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. McGill excelled in transition all night, as their next goal also came on a two-on-one. Fourth-year centre Jerome Verrier’s attempted cross found the back of the net when the Concordia goalie accidentally redirected the puck on goal.
McGill ended the period up 3-1 after third-year left wing Guillaume Gauthier came off the bench and immediately collected the puck to snipe a goal over the outstretched body of a Concordia defender.
McGill started the second period well; they controlled the puck and managed to limit much of the play to Concordia’s end of the rink. A sudden lapse in defence, however, allowed Concordia to tip in a goal off of a rebound to bring the game within one goal, 3-2.
Concordia seized the momentum, forcing third-year goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon to make a consecutive series of spectacular saves—38 in total—to maintain McGill’s narrow lead.
With four minutes left in the period, fourth-year centre Frederic Gamelin scored McGill’s final goal of the night despite being short-handed. However, a second penalty left McGill playing three-on-five, and Concordia took advantage to end the second period down 4-3.
The third period started with several shots on net for both teams, but neither goaltender would give way. With six minutes left to play, a skirmish at the Concordia net left the Stingers goalie winded and helmetless and the puck across the goal line—but the referees waved off the would-be McGill score. Only 10 seconds later, a rebounded slapshot by Concordia tied the game 4-4 and sent the match to a 3-on-3 overtime.
McGill started sudden-death play with two electrifying, breakaway opportunities, but neither shot succeeded. Controlling the puck, Concordia finished the game in heartbreaking fashion with a wrap-around effort, winning 5-4.
“I thought we played a pretty good game, but just a couple bad bounces and they got us at the end,” fourth-year defender Redgie Bois said. “It’s really painful to lose that one, especially in front of that crowd.”
Bois was very appreciative of the raucous fans, noting the encouragement that they provided.
“I was really fortunate to play that game,” he said.
Looking ahead, second-year forward Alex Renaud spoke to what it will take for McGill to win close matches.
“It’s hard to say what we need to do differently, but we just have to stick to our game [… because] we know what it takes to win,” Renaud said. “Every game is different and we’ve just got to put it all out there.”
McGill travelled to Ottawa on Jan. 12 to play the Carleton Ravens (12-5-4) and returned home with a decisive 6-2 victory. The team’s next home game is on Jan. 18, when they will host the Laurentian Voyageurs.
Moment of the Game:
With McGill holding onto a one-goal lead, fourth-year centre Frederic Gamelin managed to break past all five of Concordia’s skaters and beat the goalkeeper to put McGill on top 4-2 despite being short-handed by a player.
“You know, a couple bounces go differently and we are the ones cheering and having a parade at the end of the game.” – Alex Renaud on McGill’s narrow loss
Third-year goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon played the entire 62 minutes and 30 seconds of action without rest, tallying a game-high 38 saves.