There were two Redmen home games this weekend.
On Friday, the Redmen defeated the now 5-5 Guelph Gryphons 3-2, improving to 8-4-2 for the season. The goalies were Jacob-Gervais Chouinard for McGill and Andrew Loverock for Guelph.
After a scoreless first period, goals from Cedric McNicoll (3rd goal of the season) and Patrick Delisle-Houde (3) gave McGill a comfortable lead heading into the third period. McGill looked to close it out quietly in the third; however, this did not come to fruition.
Halfway through the final frame, Guelph potted two goals of their own, less than a minute apart. Stunned by this quick turn around, McGill quickly refocused and looked for the winning goal. With just over a minute left in the game, Guelph took an undisciplined slashing penalty, their seventh penalty of the game. McGill’s power play had been ineffective to this point, but, off a feed from Carrier, none other than last year’s leading scorer Patrick Delisle-Houde (4) buried it where mom likes to keep the cookie jar, with his second goal of the game.
McGill outshot the Gryphons 46-23.
Patrick Delisle-Houde was named the first star of the game. Delisle-Houde has started where he finished off last year, recording 11 points in 9 games.
On Saturday, the Redmen ground out a 5-4 victory over the Western Mustangs.
This game had its ups and downs for the Redmen. Throughout the game there were three blown leads. Western got on the board first, firing a shot past starting goalie Andrew Fleming. Later in the period McGill’s big man Neil Prokop (3) snapped one into the back of the net, past goaltender Josh Unice, to tie the game. After the ‘Stangs’ got another one off of an unbelievable tip from Western’s Zach Harnden, the first period ended with the Redmen trailing by one.
The Redmen seemed to come out with a jump in the second as they scored two in the first five minutes of the period. David Rose scored his fourth of the year and Ryan McKiernan added his own sixth to give McGill a 3-2 lead. However this would not last as Western quickly struck back to tie the game, and ended the second period with a power play goal from Matt Clarke. Once again McGill trailed at the end of the period.
After starting the period with an unorthodox change in goal, with Jacob-Gervais Chouinard replacing Fleming, the Redmen came out flying in the third and struck early. Rookie Carl Gelinas scored his second of the season, three minutes into the period on the power play. As the period went on, the physicality, which had been building all game, kept increasing. But finally Cedric McNicoll scored to give the Redmen their second lead of the game. It was his second goal in consecutive nights, and it would end up being the game-winning goal.
Cedric McNicoll was named the first star of the game. The Redmen improved to 9-4-2 on the season with the win. The Redmen travel to Brock and York next weekend, looking to extend their four game winning streak.
Once again McGill had no problems finding the back of the net, and their offense is certainly clicking much better than last year, as Coach Kelly Nobes said it would before the season. They are getting a steady balance of offense as five players have a point per game rate thus far, with defenseman Ryan McKiernan leading the way with 12 points in 9 games played.
The defense has been solid, with not too many lapses. Other than McKiernan’s splurge of offense from the blue line, the D-corps hasn’t been something to talk about: this is usually a good thing. The steady, boring blue line is certainly getting the job done, and allowing the goalies to see shots, with steady lane clearing abilities.
Goaltending has been quite solid with both goalies getting their fair share of work.
Once again McGill has been quite undisciplined, and it almost cost them in the game against Western, as they allowed two goals on the ten power plays given to Western. This must change, or it will come back to haunt the Redmen.
Offense: A (lead the league with 38 goals for)
Defense: A- (Very steady; efficient is a good way to describe them)
Goaltending: A- (Goalies lead the league with a combined 17 goals against)
Player to watch: David Rose, number 7
Rose already has eight points in eight games played. Not only does he bring an offensive punch to his game, but also he brings that ‘nasty’ element that teams love to hate. He is the type of player that wears his heart on sleeve, and finishes every check with the ‘oomph’ that will get you out of your seat.