WINDSOR, Ont. — Patrick Delisle-Houde of Quebec City scored the game-winner at 4:21 of the final period as McGill rallied to upend the No.3-ranked Windsor Lancers 2-1 in an OUA men’s hockey thriller at South Windsor Arena in a rare Friday matinee.
It was the first loss of the season for the Lancers, who lead the OUA West Division with an 11-1 record. McGill, which sits third in the OUA East with an 8-3 mark, improved to 8-7 in 15 lifetime meetings with the Lancers since they first crossed paths in 1985 and this was the first Redmen road win at Windsor since a 3-2 decision on Jan. 14, 1989.
In an ironic twist, the teams combined for 100 minutes in penalties, including 62 to McGill, for a special mid-day community outreach event promoted as “Lancers Against Bullying’. The event drew a standing-room sellout crowd of 750 students from the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. The game was also billed as a re-match of last year’s Queen’s Cup championship game, in which Windsor withstood a late Redmen rally to win 3-2. The prestigious Cup, which dates back to 1902-03, was on display at the rink.
“I’m happy with the way we battled tonight,” said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes, whose normally structured and fast-skating squad had to adapt to a chippy, physical style of game and a plethora of penalties, playing 15 minutes and 50 seconds shorthanded. “Especially our penalty-kill unit which was outstanding tonight and we found a way to win a tough game on the road.”
The Redmen killed off eight of nine shorthanded situations and came within one second of being perfect on a 5-on-3 disadvantage. The Lancers broke the ice when Julian Luciani scored his first goal of the season at 10:44 of the opening frame. With a two-man advantage, Luciani blasted a decisive shot from the point on passes from Kyle Hope and Matt Beaudoin.
McGill evened up the score at 3:16 of the second period on a superb individual effort by Mathieu Pompei, a third-year centre from Laval, Que., who converted a pass from rookie Alexis Millette for his third of the season.
“It was a good solo effort from Pomps,” said Nobes. “He came in wide and held onto the puck, went across the middle with one guy hooking him and another guy holding him, He was slashed a few times but kept hanging on, cut across the goalie and put it into the open net. It was a beauty and he had a real good game today.”
With 15:39 remaining in the final stanza, Delisle-Houde struck for the decisive goal, his fourth of the season, redirecting a blueline shot from Etienne Boutet, who wired a feed from defence partner Guillaume Monast.
“It was great net-front presence by ‘PDH’,” explained Nobes, referring to his veteran left-winger, a third-year science major who now has 24 career goals in 64 regular-season games. “We talked about getting to the front of the net and PDH did that throughout the game. The puck went across from D-to-D and Boutet fired a great shot that went through and PDH got his stick on it because he was positioned in front of the net.”
Windsor swarmed the McGill net a number of times over the remainder of the game but goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard denied the Blue & Gold any opportunity to tie the score, registering 32 saves for the victory and improving his won-loss record to 5-2.
Lancer goaltender Parker Van Buskirk made 18 saves and saw his record tumble to 9-1.
Windsor is on a bye next week and returns to action on Nov. 22 when they travel to Oshawa to take on the UOIT Ridgebacks for a pair of weekend games.McGill, however, continues their nightmarish road trip.
The unique 12:45 pm start time came about following the year-long suspension of the University of Ottawa men’s hockey program. As a result, McGill, which was originally slated to play back-to-back games in Thunder Bay was required to alter their travel plans to include a game in Windsor on Friday, followed by one in Thunder Bay, Saturday (7:30 pm) to take on the Lakehead Thunderwolves. So immediately after the win over Windsor, the Redmen bussed to Toronto, where they have booked an early flight to Thunder Bay on Saturday.
“We’ve had to go through a lot of adversity with a difficult and challenging schedule this year,” admitted Nobes, whose squad has seven instances where they have to play the back-end of a two-game weekend against a fresh team because of the scheduling gap when Ottawa pulled out of the league.”It’s making us battle-hard and we relish the opportunity for this adversity. It’s good to see the guys battle through it today. I liked our adaptability in the game and was obviously pleased with the outcome.”
This will be the final lengthy trip for the road-weary Redmen prior to playoffs and by the time they return to McConnell Arena to unload their equipment on Sunday, they will have travelled 13,210 kilometres over 21 days since their first preseason road trip on Sept. 19. To put this into historical perspective, way back in 1905, the Dawson City Nuggets travelled a combined 12,800 km in a round-trip from the Yukon to Ottawa and back — albeit via dogsled, boat and train — to challenge for the Stanley Cup, where they were routed 9-2 and 23-2 by the Silver Seven. The final connection between the two road warriors was that P.D. Ross, a prominent McGill graduate and future inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, was the trustee of the Cup and presented it to the Ottawa squad after the final game.
McGill Sports Info Office
McGill 2 at Windsor 1
(Friday, November 14, 2014 – South Windsor Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 0-1-1 — 2
Windsor 1-0-0 — 1
1, Windsor, Julian Luciani 1 (Beaudoin, Hope), 10:44 (PP).
Penalties-Laporte Mcg (roughing after the whistle), 0:42; Beaudoin Wsr (dble minor; slashing, roughing after the whistle), 0:42; Pompei Mcg (roughing after the whistle), 5:04; Delisle-Houde Mcg (roughing), 8:45; McNicoll Mcg (slashing), 8:45; Mcg Bench (served by Millette), 8:45; Rose Mcg (10-minute misconduct, game misconduct for disputing call), 8:45; Green Wsr (roughing), 8:45; Green Wsr (tripping), 12:55; Langelier-Parent Mcg (10-minute misconduct), 15:07; Beaudoin Wsr (10-minute misconduct), 15:07; Green Wsr (roughing), 15:07; Le Sieur Mcg (cross checking), 17:50.
2, McGill, Mathieu Pompei 3 (Millette), 3:16.
Penalties-Monast Mcg (interference), 3:39; Bonneau Mcg (inter. on goaltender), 8:06; Lambert-Lemay Mcg (checking from behind minor, 10-minute misconduct), 9:43; Palmer Wsr (hooking), 9:46; McG Bench (too many men, served by Bonneau), 11:34; Wsr Bench (Game Misc. to Asst. Coach John Nelson; served by Quakenbush), 19:21.
3, McGill, Patrick Delisle-Houde 4 (Boutet, Monast), 4:21.
Penalties-Vachon Mcg (slashing), 8:06; Wsr Bench (too many men, served by Quakenbush), 17:35; Pommells Wsr (cross checking), 18:43.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 7-7-6 — 20.
Windsor 13-9-10 — 32.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 0 / 7;
Windsor 1 / 9.
McGill 15 / 62;
Windsor 11 / 38.
McGill, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 5-2, 32 shots-31 saves; 60:00).
Windsor, Parker Van Buskirk (L, 9-1, 20 shots-18 saves; 60:00).
Start: 1:00 PM
End: 3:00 PM
Referees– (not available).
Linesmen-AJ DeSantis & (not available) .