MONTREAL — Forward Jonathan Bonneau scored the game-winner and goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard made 27 saves to post his first shutout of the season as ninth-ranked McGill blanked No.8-Carleton 2-0 in a crucial OUA East men’s hockey match-up between two of Canada’s elite teams before a raucous Winter Carnival crowd of 1,269 at McConnell Arena, Friday.
The Redmen, who improved to 13-0 lifetime in their version of the Winter Classic (see chart below), handed the Ravens their first shutout of the season, a tall order for anyone against the high-scoring Ravens, who entered the contest ranked sixth in the nation with 4.16 goals per game. It was also the fifth consecutive win for McGill in as many meetings in their heated rivalry with the Ravens, including three straight post-season victories last spring. The Redmen are now 27-20-1 lifetime against Carleton.
More importantly, the result knocked Carleton out of first place in the division, leaving both teams with identical 15-5-0 records, two points in arrears of division-leading UQTR (15-2-2). Should the teams end up tied in the standings, McGill holds the tie-breaker against the Ravens with a 2-0 record. The Redmen are 0-2 against UQTR and have one critical contest remaining against the Pats, in Trois-Rivieres on Jan. 28.
Bonneau, a native of Sherbrooke, Que., who transferred to McGill for a master’s degree last fall after playing for St. Thomas University in Fredericton, brought the crowd to its feet when he connected for his third of the season at 15:23 of the opening frame. He pounced on a rebound after freshman blueliner Dominic Poulin of Ancienne-Lorette, Que., one-timed a cross-ice feed from Etienne Boutet, a sophomore defenceman from St. Redempteur, Que.
That goal held up until the 6:03 mark of the final period when Bonneau set up Poulin who found Neil Prokup of Winnipeg to cap a nifty three-way passing play for the insurance marker with his fourth of the campaign.
“Joe Bonneau has been real good since the start of the semester,” said Kelly Nobes, who improved his CIS coaching record to 280-227-14 overall, including a 140-59-3 mark behind the Redmen bench. “He’s moving his feet well, creating chances with his speed and playing the whole 200 feet. It was good to see him get a big goal on a rebound tonight. I’m happy for him and if he keeps going like that, that’s a real plus for the team.”
The game featured a rare matchup between CIS goalies who both had a playing stint in the American Hockey League. Gervais-Chouinard, a native of Sherbrooke, who had a tryout with the Montreal Canadiens farm team in Hamilton, improved to 9-3-0 in OUA play. He currently leads the CIS in both goals-against average (1.76) and save percentage (.942).
Patrick Killeen, who had a stint with the Penguins farm team in Wilkes-Barre Scranton, took the loss between the pipes for Carleton, which had a 27-22 edge in shots.
“We were structurally sound tonight, especially in the third period, where we paid attention to small details,” added Nobes. “That’s important in tight games and I didn’t think we were as sound as we needed to be last weekend when we lost 2-1 at Waterloo. Obviously our penalty-killing unit was outstanding tonight. The boys paid the price when they needed to and we got some good goaltending from ‘Shewy’, when we needed it.”
Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power-play, although the Redmen essentially tallied both of their goals just as penalties had expired.McGill improved their penalty-killing success rate to.891, which leads the OUA and ranks second in the nation.
McGill (15-5-0) travels to Kingston on Saturday, where they will play winless RMC (0-16-3) at Constantine Arena in a 7 p.m. start. The game is slated to be webcast on OUA TV.
REDMEN RAP: Among the faces in the crowd was Chris Yzerman, a scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning and brother of Tampa’s general manager Steve Yzerman. It marked the second straight McGill home game that the Lightning had sent a scout as Michel Boucher was spotted at the UQTR game on Jan. 4. Tampa was the last NHL team to sign a player out of McGill, inking a deal with Maxime Langelier-Parent in 2012. He spent a couple of injury-plagued seasons with their AHL farm team in Syracuse and in the ECHL in Florida before signing this season to play with Nottingham of the British Elite League.
Carleton 0 at McGill 2
(Friday, January 16, 2015 – Management Winter Carnival Game at McConnell Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
Carleton 0-0-0 — 0
McGill 1-0-1 — 2
1, McGill, Jonathan Bonneau 3 (Poulin, Boutet), 15:23.
Penalties-Van Stralen Carl (interference), 1:10; Killeen Carl (roughing, served by Veenstra), 6:34; Van Stralen Carl (checking from behind, served by Pleckaitis; 10-minute misconduct), 13:23.
Penalties-Brunelle Mcg (slashing), 4:15; Van Stralen Carl (interference, served by Zion; 10-minute misconduct, game misconduct), 6:38; Levesque Mcg (dble minor for high sticking), 10:06; Bonneau Mcg (tripping), 14:50; Pleckaitis Carl (boarding), 16:28; Monast Mcg (roughing), 16:28.
2, McGill, Neal Prokop 4 (Poulin, Bonneau), 6:03.
Penalties-Laporte Mcg (tripping), 1:50; Bamford Carl (high sticking), 4:01; Hulton Carl (roughing), 11:29; Bonneau Mcg (roughing), 11:29.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Carleton 0 / 5;
McGill 0 / 5.
Carleton, Patrick Killeen (L, 9-2-0, 22 shots-20 saves; 57:50).
McGill, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 9-3-0, 27 shots-27 saves; SHO, 60:00).
Start: 7:04 PM
End: 9:26 PM
Referees-Alexandre Cote, Jason Pyke.
Linesmen-Maxime Mongeon, Maxime Lasalle.
|McGILL REDMEN HOCKEY WINTER CARNIVAL GAMES|