After capturing the OUA East Championship, the McGill Redmen entered the 103rd Queen’s Cup this past Saturday to take on the Windsor Lancers in Windsor, Ontario. Despite a thrilling third period, the Redmen fell 3-2 to the Lancers, who were kept afloat by their goalie Patrick Van Burskirk.
The game began with an unexpected goal off the opening face-off, which resulted in a 1-0 lead for the Lancers in the first 17 seconds of the game. After the early mishap, McGill picked up its offence by trying to draw out opposing defenders. However, the Lancers held their ground thanks to Van Burskirk, who recorded 16 saves in the first period.
In the second period, the Redmen looked to crowd the Windsor net, and put away a rebound. However, Van Burskirk faced McGill straight on and continued to turn away shots; by the end of the second period, he had racked up 36 saves. Windsor rookie Mac McDonnell was able to increase the Lancers’ lead to 2-0, sneaking a loose puck by McGill netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard. Things went from bad to worse for McGill when the Redmen were penalized a minute later for attemptinga check-from-behind. The Lancers quickly took advantange, with Windsor’s Kenny Bradford netting the power play goal off of a feed from Lancers captain Drew Palmer.
Despite being down three goals, McGill mounted a quick run with some lucky breaks and a resilient attitude in the third period. Second-year defenceman Vincent Barnard was able to beat the odds and score on a short-handed play halfway through the third period. Two minutes later, McGill’s second-year right-winger David Rose further rejuvenated the team with a goal of his own—narrowing the Redmen deficit to one goal with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
With little time left, Nobes called a timeout to regroup before McGill’s final rally against Windsor. However, Van Buskirk came up big in the end, with a glove save through traffic to close out the game. He withstood a 52-shot onslaught to help Windsor claim its first Queen’s Cup in 16 years. Gervais-Chouinard stopped 35 of 38 shots in the crushing loss for the Redmen.
Both McGill and Windsor will be heading to Saskatoon this weekend for the CIS National Championship. This will be McGill’s seventh appearance in nine years at the CIS National Championships; the Redmen are seven-for-seven for podium finishes at Nationals, including a gold medal in 2012 and a silver in 2011.