Weekend of woe: Redmen drop two more

The McGill Redmen entered McConnell Arena on Friday evening hoping to bounce back after a tough 3-2 overtime shootout loss to UQTR last Wednesday night. Unfortunately for the Redmen, history repeated itself, as the Concordia Stingers outlasted McGill 3-2 in another overtime shootout.

Despite falling behind just 22 seconds into the game, McGill regained control, dominating the pace and constantly putting the Stingers on their heels, deep in their own zone. The Redmen outshot the Stingers 27-12 through two periods, and tallied their first marker midway through the second, as Jean-Philippe Mathieu scored his first career CIS goal.

The game was tied headed into the final frame, before a Stinger winger committed a cross-checking penalty sending McGill to the power play. The Redmen capitalized, as first-year winger Patrick Delisle-Houde buried his fifth goal of the season, giving McGill a 2-1 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. The Stingers responded with a flurry of shots on Redmen starting goaltender Andrew Flemming, as they fired 15 to McGill’s 3 shots in the third period. Finally, in desperation, Stinger fourth-year forward George Lovatsis tied the game with 35 seconds and their goalie pulled.

The goal was Lovatsis’s sixth on the year—good for third on the team—but the centre is just one season removed from a 20-goal campaign that saw him finish second in the OUA behind McGill’s own Francis Verreault-Paul. The absence of a premier scorer on the Stinger’s roster has made the difference for Concordia this season, after they finished .500 last year. Without this scoring presence, the team has struggled mightily to a 6-14-3 record so far—well behind last year’s pace.

Entering the extra frame, the game eerily resembled the Jan. 9 contest between the teams. Just over two weeks ago, it was the Redmen who tied the game late, as Guillaume Monast scored with 13 seconds left on the clock to force overtime. Jonathan Brunelle went on to score the game winner, and McGill came out on top 3-2.

However, in this most recent encounter, the extra frame settled nothing and was a relative stalemate. Concordia managed just three shots on goal while holding McGill to zero. The teams were forced into a shootout, and Lovatsis was the hero again. He scored the only goal in the tiebreaker to lift the Stingers to the 3-2 shootout victory.

The win brings the Stingers within 3 points of the final playoff spot in the OUA East, while also holding a game in hand on the Ryerson Rams. The Redmen won’t get another crack at Concordia unless the Stingers can catch either Ryerson (9-15-0) or Queen’s (9-9-5) for the final playoff spot.

The Redmen dropped to 14-6-3, but still hang onto the third seed in the division with a three-point advantage over the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

McGill suited up again to take on second place Carleton on Sunday. However, the Redmen effort just wasn’t there for most of the game, as the team fell behind 4-0 by the midway point of the second. McGill ended up scoring three unanswered goals—including two power play markers from Mathieu—but their comeback bid fell short.  While the Redmen have earned points in seven of their last eight contests, the team is on a four-game losing streak. On the bright side, their power play unit is red hot, and looks to be potent as the team competes down the stretch.

The Redmen will look to get back on the winning track during a short two-game road trip this weekend, as they battle the Varsity Blues on Friday before taking on the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday.’

With additional reporting from Steven Lampert

 

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