LONDON, Ont. – Greg Dodds of Wingham, Ont., made 38 saves for a hard-earned shutout as the Western Mustangs blanked red-hot McGill 3-0 in OUA men’s hockey and put a halt to the visitor’s five-game win streak, Saturday, at Thompson Arena.
The result narrowed the gap in the all-time series between the long-time rivals, with McGill holding on to a 18-16-3 lifetime mark against the Mustangs, dating back to their first rendez-vous in 1936. the Redmen have taken seven out of the last 10 meetings, including a 4-3 overtime win in the CIS gold medal game in 2012.
Dodds, a sophomore who leads all 25 OUA goalies in goals-against average (1.76), save percentage (.949) and shutouts (2), improved his record to 6-2-0.
“I think the guys played pretty well, actually, besides the fact that we didn’t score,” said David Urquhart, in his first year behind the bench and fourth straight game as acting head coach, while Kelly Nobes was away coaching a Canadian squad at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ont. “Our penalty-kill was very good, blocking a lot of shots and doing the little things. The difference in the game was their PK, which did a good job at shutting us down.”
The Redmen had a 38-37 edge in shots in a highly-entertaining game between two of the OUA’s elite teams. Both teams combined to go-0-for-11 on the power-play, with McGill coming up empty on seven opportunities. McGill netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard was saddled with the loss, despite 34 saves, as his record dropped to 4-2 on the season.
“Any time you keep McGill to zero goals a game, your defence, your goaltending, your team game has to be applauded,” said Mustangs head coach Clarke Singer, whose troops had the luxury of not playing the previous night while the Redmen were skating to a 5-2 road victory at Guelph. “Our D stepped up and had a good game, Dodd’s made some great saves when he needed to, and special teams came through and played a big role.”
After a scoreless opening period, Kyle De Coste jumped out of the penalty box to score what proved to be the game-winner at at 7:45 of the middle stanza. He picked up the puck at centre ice right behind the McGill defence, missed his initial shot but eventually scored on the play, converting a pass from Adam McKee with a one-timer into the top right corner.
Stefan Salituro made it 2-0 at 5:36 of the final stanza and McKee added an empty-netter at 18:10.
“Despite this loss, we’re really pleased with our team’s performance over a tough four-game stretch, winning three of them without Kelly behind the bench,” added Urquhart, who teamed up with Chris LaPerle — in his fifth-year with the staff but first season behind the bench — and guided the Redmen to three wins in four outings. “The guys showed a lot of character and maturity to play at the level that they did. They were all class acts and we thanked them in the room after the game for playing so well. They were true professionals, which made it (an easy transition) for us behind the bench.”
Western, which improved to 6-3-0, sit third in the 10-team OUA West Division, while the Redmen are third in the nine-team OUA East at 7-3-0. McGill sits two points in arrears of division-leading UQTR (8-1-0) and Carleton (8-2-0).
The Mustangs will be back in action next weekend, when they host Laurentian and Nipissing, Nov. 14-15.
McGill, in the midst of playing six of eight games on the road, continues their marathon tour of Ontario. After recent stops in North Bay (Oct. 24), Sudbury (Oct. 25), Guelph (Nov. 7) and London (Nov. 8), they will travel to Windsor (Nov. 14) and Thunder Bay (Nov. 15) before returning to the friendly confines of McConnell Arena for a five-game homestand, beginning with Ryerson (Nov. 21) and Toronto (Nov. 22).
REDMEN RAP: Kelly Nobes, who guided Team Canada’s black squad to a 1-3 record at the U-17 tourney will rejoin the Redmen this week… The Team Canada Red and White squads also posted similiar 1-3 records at the event… Among the faces in the crowd who dropped by to visit with the coaching staff was Paul Grech, a helicopter pilot in the Nortwest Territories and a native of London, who suited up 143 times as a left-winger for McGill from 1987 to 1991…
McGill 0 at Western 3 (ENG)
(Saturday, November 8, 2014 – Thompson Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 0-0-0 — 0
Western 0-1-2 — 3
Penalties-Warnaar Wes (hooking), 12:13; Salituro Wes (checking from behind, 10-minute misconduct), 14:38; De Coste Wes (cross checking), 17:35; Brunelle Mcg (roughing), 17:50; Boutet Mcg (holding), 18:25.
1, Western, Kyle De Coste 3 (McKee), 7:45.
Penalties-Le Sieur Mcg (boarding), 1:53; De Coste Wes (tripping), 5:35; Rose Mcg (boarding), 14:53.
2, Western, Stefan Salituro 4 (Marantz, Furlong), 5:36.
3, Western, Adam McKee 1 (Reese), 18:10 (ENG).
Penalties-Brunelle Mcg (tripping), 5:56; Marantz Wes (inter. on goaltender), 10:50; Micallef Wes (interference), 19:24.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 11-14-13 — 38.
Western 12-18-7 — 37.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 0 / 7;
Western 0 / 4.
McGill, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (L, 4-2-0, 36 shots-34 saves; 59:28).
Western, Greg Dodds (W, 6-2-0, 38 shots-38 saves; 60:00).
Start: 7:06 PM
End: 9:06 PM
Referees-Chris Thornton, Chris Fraumeni.
Linesmen-Josh Ackworth, Michael Daltrey.
1. WES – 31 Greg Dodds
2. WES – 16 Adam McKee
3. WES – 73 Kyle De Coste