a, Men's Varsity, Sports

Split sours homecoming weekend for Redmen hockey

The McGill Redmen (2-2-0) faced two Ontario teams on consecutive nights this past weekend, and split the games, handily defeating the Nipissing Lakers in a dominant 8-1 performance Friday night and falling to the Laurentian Voyageurs 5-2 Saturday night. The hosts out-shot, out-played and out-skated the Lakers, but couldn’t find the same spark against the Voyageurs.

First-year Assistant Coach Urquhart remained positive about the team’s overall performance over the weekend.

“It’s just a matter of consistency, not ability,” Coach Urquhart said. “It’s about bringing that performance we showed on Friday to every game.”

The Redmen came out shooting against the Lakers, converting three out of six power play opportunities, with seven different players finding the net. Defensively, McGill came out strong as well, killing five out of six power plays—even managing to score a shorthanded goal on one of them. Redmen winger David Rose opened the scoring less than three minutes into the first period. Star centre Cedric McNicoll added a goal and two assists for a total of three points. Overall, the Redmen out-shot the Lakers 16-4 in the period.

McGill showed the virtues of quality over quantity in the second period, as they added to their lead in the face of a resurgent Nipissing attack that put up more shots on goal in the period than the Redmen. Three separate Redmen netted goals in the second period before the visitors finally got on the board in the 16th minute. After Simon Tardif-Richard’s unassisted, short-handed shot slid past the goal line a minute into the second period, Nipissing pulled their starting goalie. He saved 13 of 17 shots in 21 minutes on the ice. The Redmen widened their lead by another two goals in the final frame, while equaling the Lakers’ shot total.

“One of our goals going in was to play 60 minutes […] and the guys came out and showed that they were capable of that so it was really good to see,” Urquhart said.

In all, the Redmen out-shot the Lakers 44-34, and sophomore goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard turned away 33 of 34 shots he faced. A brawl broke out following the final whistle, with Nipissing’s Doug Harvey going at it with McGill defenceman Hugo Laporte. Harvey was declared the instigator of the incident, and received a total of 29 penalty minutes, including gross misconduct for removing his helmet to engage in a fight, and an automatic six-game suspension.

McGill faced a stouter opponent in Laurentian University Saturday. The Redmen went into the matchup as favourites, having won their last five encounters against the Voyageurs. McGill struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first period of the game, and faced several long stretches without any consistent possession. The Redmen found themselves down one goal after two minutes, but McGill centre Mathieu Pompei answered with a goal of his own on a shot that found its way through the goalie’s five-hole and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The two teams traded power play goals in the first six minutes of the second period, and Laurentian took the lead 12 minutes in. McGill pushed hard on offence, but failed to convert two power play opportunities late in the period. By the third period, the Redmen appeared exhausted and desperate, failing time and time again to crack the Voyageurs’ defence. Gervais-Chouinard made way for an extra attacker in the final two minutes, but a move that immediately backfired on Redmen Head Coach Kelly Nobes, resulting in two late empty-net goals for Laurentian.

“The season is just building blocks of doing things right,” Urquhart said. “So once you do it right consistently in practice then that shows up in the game and we showed that we could do it on Friday [making] Saturday a bit of a letdown because we proved that we could do it [against Nipissing].”

The Redmen hit the road to face Nipissing and Laurentian again this weekend.

Share this:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Read the latest issue