KINGSTON, Ont. — Jonathan Brunelle broke a 3-3 tie with the game-winning goal on a power-play at 7:06 of the final period and added an assist as No.9-ranked McGill squeaked by Royal Military College 4-3 in OUA men’s hockey at Constantine Arena, Saturday.
McGill, which recently clinched a playoff berth for the 11th consecutive season, upped their current win streak to three. They also claimed victory over the Paladins for the 18th straight meeting — dating back to the last loss, a 2-1 decision in Kingston on Jan. 26, 2008 — and improved to 59-8-4 lifetime versus RMC since these rivals began playing each other way back in 1892. It is the second-oldest hockey rivalry in North America (see list below).
McGill jumped into a 3-0 lead on a first-period goal by Mathieu Pompei, plus second-period markers from Simon Tardif-Richard and Cedric McNicoll, whose shorthanded tally was his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
But the Paladins, coached by McGill hockey grad Adam Shell (BCom ’03) — who once patrolled the Redmen blueline and also served with the team as an assistant coach — rallied to tie the score at 3-3 before the middle stanza was over on a goal by Eric Louis-Seize and a pair of markers by Brett Pinder.
The game was eerily similiar to the first meeting between these teams last fall, a 4-3 preseason victory for McGill at McConnell Arena on Sept. 12. In that contest, the Redmen also led 3-0 before RMC roared back to tie it at 3-3, only to see their comeback fall short when Jonathan Bonneau tallied a power-play marker with 5:38 remaining in the final stanza.
“Full marks to Sheller and his team,” said Kelly Nobes, who made five lineup changes after an emotional, hard-earned 2-0 shutout over Carleton the previous night, while RMC had a travel day after a 5-4 overtime loss in Sudbury on Thursday. “They played a really good game. They worked, created chances and outplayed us in the first period. They came back from a 3-0 deficit in the second and their goaltender gave them some big saves, especially in the third period.”
McGill did have a whopping 57-37 edge in shots on net, including a 25-11 margin in the final frame. Karel St-Laurent collected 34 saves for the win, improving to 7-2 on the season. Evan Deviller, his counterpart at the other end of the ice, made 53 saves in a losing cause.
The Redmen will have another challenging day ahead of them as only eight hours after returning to Montreal, they have to be on the ice at 10 am at the Bell Centre on Sunday. They were invited by the Montreal Canadiens to participate in a skills competition just prior to the annual Provigo Canadiens Fan Practice.
McGill improved to 16-5-0 and remains tied with Carleton (16-5-0). Both sit two points behind UQTR (16-2-2), which leads the OUA East with a game in hand. With five left to play on McGill’s 26-game schedule (shortened by two with the withdrawal of the Ottawa Gee-Gees), the Redmen will host Queen’s on Jan. 23 before heading to Trois-Rivieres for a huge showdown with the Patriotes on Jan. 28.
REDMEN RAP: Centre David Rose, who shares the team lead in goals with 10, did not return to the game after being helped off the ice during an awkward collision at the RMC bench in the first period… The McGill lineup featured five new players from the previous night, with five veterans getting a rest day, including team captain Benoit Levesque, forward Max Le Sieur and goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, plus defencemen Vincent Barnard, Etienne Boutet and Guillaume Monast… Inserted into the lineup was the aforementioned St-Laurent, plus rearguards Francis Lambert-Lemay, Alex Chenevert and Jan Kaminsky, as well as forwards Pietro Antonelli and Alexandre Lemieux.
OLDEST HOCKEY RIVALRIES IN NORTH AMERICA:
Mar. 10, 1886: Queen’s 1, Royal Military College 0
Feb. 27, 1892: McGill 5, Royal Military College 1
Feb. 2, 1895: Queen’s 6, McGill 5
Feb. 8, 1895: Queen’s 19, Toronto 3
Feb. 1, 1896: Yale 2, John’s Hopkins 2
Jan. 19, 1898: Brown 6, Harvard 0
Feb. 20, 1899: McGill 8, Toronto 4
Feb. 26, 1900: Yale 5, Harvard 4
OLDEST NHL RIVALRY: 1917 (Dec. 26): Toronto Maple Leafs 7, Montreal Canadiens 5
McGill 4 at RMC 3
(Saturday, January 17, 2015 – Constantine Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 1-2-1 — 4
RMC 0-3-0 — 3
1, McGill, Mathieu Pompei 4 (Lemieux), 16:03.
Penalties-Lambert-Lemay McG (cross checking), 12:45; Boudreau RMC (kneeing), 18:47.
2, McGill, Simon Tardif-Richard 6 (Vachon, Brunelle), 3:43.
3, McGill, Cedric McNicoll 10 (unassisted), 8:03 (SH).
4, RMC, Eric Louis-Seize 9 (Quinlin, Domenico), 8:45.
5, RMC, Brett Pinder 3 (Bouchard, McDonald), 15:58.
6, RMC, Brett Pinder 4 (Livingston), 19:23.
Penalties-Chenevert McG (cross checking), 6:40; Thouin RMC (interference), 9:37; Labrecque McG (tripping), 10:23.
7, McGill, Jonathan Brunelle 8 (Kaminsky), 7:36 (PP).
Penalties-Orbinski RMC (elbowing), 5:46; Langelier-Parent McG (hooking), 18:22; Bench, RMC (too many men, served by Boudreau), 19:53.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 14-18-25 — 57.
RMC 14-12-11 — 37.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 1 / 3;
RMC 0 / 4 (plus 1 SHG against).
McGill, Karel St-Laurent (W, 7-2-0, 37 shots-34 saves; 60:00).
RMC, Evan Deviller (L, 0-13-0, 57 shots-53 saves; 59:00).
Start: 7:05 PM
End: 9:14 PM
Referees-Shane Wannamaker, Ron Stakes.
Linesmen-Marco McCrae, Chris Buxton.
Athletics & Recreation