MONTREAL — Samuel Labrecque of Granby, Que., became the first McGill defenceman in 19 years to score three goals as the No.8-ranked Redmen continued their mastery over Queen’s with a 4-1 victory in OUA men’s hockey at McConnell Arena, Friday.
It marked McGill’s 27th consecutive conquest over the Gaels since their last loss 11 years ago, in a 5-2 setback on home ice, Feb. 6, 2004.The Redmen improved to 121-50-2 in 173 lifetime meetings with Queen’s since these teams first crossed paths way back in 1895.
Labrecque, a first-year transfer from the NCAA’s Clarkson University who now leads all CIS blueliners with nine goals in 22 games, became the first Redmen player to notch a regular-season hat-trick since Patrick Delisle-Houde in a 9-2 win over UOIT, Feb. 7, 2014. He is the team’s first rearguard to accomplish the rare feat since Nicolas Cantin tallied five power-play markers in a 14-0 whitewash over Queen’s on Oct. 19, 1996.
The victory was a key one for McGill, which improved to 17-5-0 and moved into a tie with idle UQTR (16-3-2) for first place in the OUA East.
After a scoreless opening period, which had the Gaels outshooting McGill 10-4, the Redmen exploded for four unanswered markers in the middle stanza. it took only 30 seconds for McGill to break the ice on a goal by Max Le Sieur, his seventh of the season.
Then it was the Labrecque show, with the 5-foot-8, 183-pound blueliner striking pay-dirt three times in less than eight minutes, at 10:35, 13:54 and 18:05. Defenceman Jean-Philippe Mathieu, who was making his first appearance of the season after suffering a freak eye injury — being struck on a fairway shot while playing golf in August — collected assists on all three Labrecque markers.
“It was definitely a great feeling to get my first hat-trick at the university level,” said Labrecque, who scored 17 markers in 93 games overall over his three seasons at Clarkson and already has nine in 26 contests overall for the Redmen. “I got to give credit to the guys for making great nice passes to get the puck to me, especially J.P… Even though it was our first time playing together, we had good chemistry, especially on the power-play.”
With just 3:31 remaining in the final period, Brett Foy of Niagara Falls, Ont., spoiled a shutout bid by McGill netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, who made 30 saves and improved to 10-3-0 between the pipes. He continues to lead all CIS goaltenders in both goals-against average (1.70) and save percentage (.944).
Kevin Bailie, a sophomore from Belleville, Ont., who was voted as the league’s goaltender of the year during his freshman campaign, started and was beaten four times on 20 shots before being yanked for the final period. He dropped to 7-13-0 this season after posting an 11-9-0 record last year. Chris Clarke, his understudy, kicked aside alll 10 shots faced in the final frame.
McGill, which bounced back for a 16-8 margin in shots in the second period, ending up with a 31-30 disadvantage when all was said and done.
Both teams went o-fer on the powerplay, with the Redmen going 0-for-6 and Queen’s 0-for-8. McGill has now erased 26 consecutive shorthanded sitiuations since allowing a PPG on an empty-netter against UQTR on Jan. 4. The Redmen lead the OUA and are ranked second in the nation with a 90.3 per cent PK rate, snuffing out 102 of 113 situations. Only Mount Royal College in Calgary has a better kill rate at 92.9.
The Gaels (9-12-1) return to action Tuesday night when they host the UOIT Ridgebacks (9-12-1). McGill (17-5-0) has only four games remaining before playoffs and will play a crucial game at Trois-Rivieres (16-3-2) on Wednesday. The Redmen lost 3-1 to the Pats in their only regular-season rendezvous a few weeks ago.
REDMEN RAP: David Rose, who shares the team lead in goals with 10, did not dress after suffering a lower-body injury at RMC last week… He is not expected back before playoffs… Assistant coach Chris LaPerle, who recently became a father for the second time, no doubt had a hard time concentrating on the game as his one-month old son Caleb was making his first appearance at McConnell Arena, all decked out in McGill gear… Also on hand was his three-year old daughter Victoria and his wife Ali Martin-Mayer, an assistant dean in the McGill faculty of law… Dr. Taro Kaibaro, a prominent neurosurgeon who skated for the Redmen from 1986 to 1990, is one of two physicians from the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix going to the NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 25 (ESPN, 8 pm EST) in Glendale, Arizona and the Super Bowl, also in Glendale next week (Feb. 1), but they’re being put to work… Kaibaro, who is originally from London, Ont., and earned his BSc from McGill in 1990, was selected by the NFL along with Dr. Javier Cardenas, to be on the sidelines to evaluate athletes’ symptoms and signs of concussion if they are injured. NFL guidelines require independent medical specialists to be on the sidelines at all games as a precaution. Barrow’s renowned neurological treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries got the NFL’s attention and led to their invitation into the NFL’s Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant program.
Queen’s 1 at McGill 4
(Friday, January 23, 2015 – McConnell Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
Queen’s 0-0-1 — 1
McGill 0-4-0 — 4
Penalties-Bureau Qns (slashing), 0:23; Le Sieur Mcg (roughing), 6:56; Bonneau Mcg (tripping), 9:16; Foy Qns (hooking), 13:14.
1, McGill, Max Le Sieur 7 (Vachon, Tardif-Richard), 0:30.
2, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 7 (Mathieu, Bonneau), 10:35.
3, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 8 (Mathieu, Delisle-Houde), 13:54.
4, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 9 (Mathieu, Vachon), 18:05.
Penalties-Vachon Mcg (holding), 7:05; Prokop Mcg (interference), 10:59; Corbeth Qns (hooking), 16:47; Bonneau Mcg (tripping), 17:51.
5, Queen’s, Brett Foy 3 (Downe, Ming), 16:29.
Penalties-Greenaway Qns (roughing), 1:03; Moore Qns (roughing, roughing), 1:03; Delisle-Houde Mcg (roughing), 1:03; Mathieu Mcg (roughing), 1:03; Prokop Mcg (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 2:25; Jackson Qns (roughing), 9:48; Barnard Mcg (roughing), 9:48; Langelier-Parent Mcg (hooking), 11:06; Laporte Mcg (cross checking), 11:45; Clements Qns (high sticking), 14:04; Foy Qns (cross checking), 18:04.
Shots on Goal-
Queen’s 12-8-11 — 31.
McGill 4-16-10 — 30.
Power Play Opportunities-
Queen’s 0 / 8;
McGill 0 / 6.
Kevin Bailie (Start, L, 7-13-0, 20 shots-16 saves; 40:00);
Chris Clarke (ND, 10 shots-10 saves; 20:00).
Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 10-3-0, 31 shots-30 saves; 60:00).
Start: 7:01 PM
End: 9:15 PM
Referees-Mathieu Binette, Alexandre Garon.
Linesmen-Guillaume Brunelle, Christopher Provost.