Homecoming Week celebrations were certainly in store for the McGill Redmen, as they trounced the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday with a final score of 6-0. The team followed up the win with a dominant victory over the UQTR Patriotes at McConnell Arena, posting a score of 3-0. Second-year kinesiology masters student Andrew Flemming guarded the net for McGill in the first shut-out, while rookie goaltender Jacob Chouinard added to the team’s shut-out total in their match against UQTR.
Following Friday evening’s matchup with the Gee-Gees, the Redmen faced the Patriotes for the first of two meetings this season. McGill quickly settled into a rhythm in the opening period, maintaining strong offensive pressure on their opponents by shifting the puck around the UQTR defence. The teamwork paid off as rookie forward Jan Kaminsky finally broke through the Patriotes’ blue line at 8:06, scoring his second goal of the season. Second-year Education student David Rose added to the Redmen total two minutes later, putting McGill up 2-0 to end the first.
McGill’s offence has developed well this season under Head Coach Kelly Nobes. He has been able to implement his offensive and defensive game plans with his young roster.
“We’ve been doing a good job of getting pucks to the net and getting guys driving the lanes,” Nobes said. “We’ve scored goals on second and third opportunities, which you need to do. Our penalty killing has been outstanding. We’ve killed off about 14 to 15 penalties this weekend [….] We’re able to use all 20 guys, so that’s key to winning for sure.”
Despite a scoreless second period, the Redmen came out with a sense of urgency and aggression, immediately putting pressure on UQTR goalie Marc-Etienne Gelinas once more. McGill’s up-tempo offence translated into a 43-41 shots on net advantage. Seven minutes into the final stanza, defenceman and co-captain Ryan McKiernan fired a rocket shot down the middle of the ice to net McGill a 3-0 lead. Second-year right-winger Max Le Sieur was credited with an assist for the goal, along with second-year centre Jonathan Brunelle. Other Redmen on the scoresheet included Cedric McNicoll, Neil Blunden, and Patrick Deslisle-Houde. McGill held onto the advantage to finish the game despite a few last minute scares from UQTR.
“We wanted to have another consistent effort tonight,” Nobes said. “We wanted to play with more of a physical edge, be disciplined. We wanted to get pucks in behind their [defence], get moving, and really establish the pace.”
This year’s roster has witnessed a relatively large overhaul, as the team lost many long-time veterans to graduation. Included among the losses was goalie Hubert Morin, the face of the Redmen for the past few years. However, it is clear that the changeover at the goalie position has caused few problems, with previous back-up Flemming posting two shut-outs and rookie Chouinard recording another.
“Our goaltending has been [strong],” Nobes said. “We’re getting good production… from both of our goalies.”
Rounding out the team are 21 players in their first or second year. Coach Nobes is high on the potential of his young roster following last year’s tough season.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Nobes said. “The guys are having a great time together[….] They’ve got a lot of energy. We’re coming together quickly.”
The Redmen now have a conference record of 3-1-0, in stark contrast to last season’s struggles against OUA teams. McGill’s sole loss has come at the hands of the Ryerson Rams, a winnable game that was dropped in overtime. With a fresh roster and young talent, the Redmen hope to once again challenge for the CIS Championship.
McGill faces the Carleton Ravens this Friday, Oct. 25 in the first of two match-ups.