The McGill Redmen hockey team (12-2-0) faced off against the Concordia Stingers (8-2-2) in their home barn on Nov. 17 in front of a massive crowd. Over 900 fans turned out for the game—a fundraiser for the Movember Foundation—with a dollar from every ticket donated to the organization. The Redmen, many of them sporting ‘staches of their own, defeated their rivals 2-1.
Despite only scoring one goal in the first period, McGill outperformed their opponents at both ends of the ice. The team’s lone tally was scored on an early 5-on-3 powerplay: The Redmen expertly moved the puck around the outnumbered Stingers defenders, eventually finding third-year defenceman Dominic Talbot-Tassi, who had plenty of time to fire the puck into the back of the net. On the few chances the Stingers did have, second-year goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon shut the door, absorbing all shots directed his way.
In the second stretch, Concordia displayed more life. The Stingers had some dangerous offensive opportunities that tested the Redmen defence, posing a much bigger threat than they did in the first period. Early in the frame, the score was evened at a goal a piece when the Stingers jammed the puck in after a chaotic pile-up in front of the net. For the rest of the period, both teams had their share of chances, but goals remained elusive. Despite the tight score, the Redmen were undeterred. Third-year forward Frederic Gamelin noted the importance of sticking to their game plan.
“They’re a pretty good team […], they skate fast, and they had good players,” Gamelin said. “We just stayed calm and didn’t panic in the second period, and I think it paid off in the third.”
In the final stanza, McGill reasserted control over the game, remaining composed and focused in the face of some penalty trouble. The Redmen came roaring out of the gate, bombarding the Stingers net with a barrage of shots in the early minutes of the period. An early attempt found the back of the net but was disallowed due to goaltender interference. Regardless, the Redmen maintained their high-tempo play, and managed to score midway through the period when third-year Jerome Verrier capitalized on a scramble in front of the net.
The Redmen penalty kill was exceptional in the third. The Stingers had five power play opportunities—including a five-minute major—but were unable to generate any kind of momentum due to McGill’s stellar defence. With Concordia unable to produce offensively, McGill closed out the game 2-1. Overall, the Redmen were content with many areas of their game.
“Everything went well,” Gamelin said. “We didn’t make too [many] turnovers. Defensively we played a big game, our [penalty kill] was awesome, and we created a lot of chances offensively.”
Moving forward, McGill know that they needed to remain consistent, especially before their game against Concordia the night after, on Nov. 18.
“The real good teams are able to put together two games against a good team,” Head Coach Kelly Nobes said. “We won a lot of the parts of tonight’s game, and we want to do the same tomorrow.”
In that matchup, the Redmen and the Stingers completed their home and away series, and McGill increased its lead in the OUA East standings with a 3-2 overtime victory.
Moment of the Game
While on a penalty kill in the third period, goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon made an inhuman save when he stretched his stick back behind his body to deny a shot.
“A big crowd here at McConnell, it’s pretty sick. We’re all used to playing junior teams [where there’s] 4,000 people in the stands [….] Against [teams] like Concordia and [other] strong teams, it’s really nice to have the support of students. [It gives us] really good vibes.” – Goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon on the attendance of the game.
In total 937 spectators came out to support the McGill Redmen on Nov. 17.