MONTREAL — Marc-Olivier Vachon of Thetford Mines, Que., tallied twice to blow out the candles on the 138th anniversary of the first organized hockey game at McGill, guiding the Redmen to a 4-1 victory over the University of Ontario Institute of Technology at McConnell Arena, Saturday.
It capped an old birthday party, one which marked the 138th anniversary of McGill’s first-ever game eons ago, a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Victorias on Jan. 31, 1877.
The result, McGill’s seventh in eight lifetime meetings against the Oshawa-based UOIT Ridgebacks, kept McGill atop the OUA East standings at 19-5-0 with two games remaining. Carleton (19-5-0) and UQTR (18-4-2) are in hot pursuit but the Redmen hold the all-important tie-breaker over both, with a two-game sweep over the Ravens and more wins than the Patriotes.
For Vachon, it was the fifth career multi-goal game of his career. He had five shots on net and was 12-4-2 on faceoffs.
“Vachon is a great leader for us and he’s been dynamite in the faceoff circle, not just tonight but since the Christmas break,” said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. “He got a couple of goals tonight and has been a big part of our success this year. The focus tonight was on having a shot mentality and getting pucks to the net. His first goal was a good dot lane drive and he got a rebound. His second goal was a result of putting a shot towards the net and I think it deflected off one of their defencemen.”
Other marksmen for McGill included Jonathan Bonneau (4th) with the game-winner and defenceman Samuel Labrecque who tallied his 10th of the season, which leads all CIS rearguards. Labrecque is only the sixth defenceman in McGill history to score 10 or more goals in regular-season play, joining an elite group that includes Gilles Hudon (15 in 24 games, 1981-82), Bryan Larkin (14 in 26 games, 1988-89), Nicolas Cantin (11 in 26 games, 1996-97), David Bahl (10 in 26 games, 1999-00) and Ryan McKiernan (13 in 28 games, 2013-14).
James Woodcroft tallied the lone Ridgebacks goal, on the power-play, spoiling Jacob Gervais-Chouinard‘s bid for a shutout with just six seconds remaining in the third period. The second-year McGill netminder owns a 12-3-0 record and now leads all CIS goalies with a stingy ,946 save percentage. He is also tied for first in goals-against average at 1:67..
McGill had a 51-31 edge in shots, including 21-8 margin in the first stanza. UOIT goalie Colin Dzijacky made 47 saves in a losing cause as his record dropped to 2-7-0.
The Ridgebacks (9-15-1) will play their regular season finale at Concordia (8-16-0) on Super Bowl Sunday at 2 p.m. The Redmen (19-5-0) will close out their OUA schedule at with the Ronald Corey Cup game at Concordia on Feb. 6 (7:30 p.m.) and a home game against the RMC Paladins (0-20-3) on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
REDMEN RAP: A reminder to look for former Redmen forward Dr. Taro Kaibaro on the sidelines at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, A prominent neurosurgeon who skated for the Redmen from 1986 to 1990, Kaibaro is one of two physicians from the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix who will be on the sidelines to evaluate athletes’ symptoms and signs of concussion as per NFL guidelines. Originally from London, Ont., Kaibaro earned his BSc from McGill in 1990.
UOIT 1 at McGill 4
(Saturday, January 31, 2015 – McConnell Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
UOIT 0-0-1 — 1
McGill 1-1-2 — 4
1, McGill, Marc-Olivier Vachon 4 (Monast, Le Sieur), 0:45.
2, McGill, Jonathan Bonneau 4 (Antonelli, Pompei), 1:39.
Penalties-Antonelli Mcg (tripping), 1:59; Levesque Mcg (tripping), 2:32; Stoughton Uoit (tripping), 5:18; Bennett Uoit (hooking), 7:47; Pasztor Uoit (cross checking), 8:49; Boutet Mcg (boarding), 18:27; Stoughton Uoit (roughing), 19:24; Wise Uoit (slashing), 19:52.
Penalties-Derlis Uoit (tripping), 3:00; Bonneau Mcg (interference), 4:40; Pasztor Uoit (elbowing), 10:38; Boutet Mcg (high sticking), 18:04.
Shots on Goal-
UOIT 8-13-10 — 31.
McGill 21-10-20 — 51.
Power Play Opportunities-
UOIT 1 / 5;
McGill 1 / 7.
UOIT, Colin Dzijacky (L, 2-7-0, 51 shots-47 saves; 60:00).
McGill, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 12-3-0, 31 shots-30 saves; 60:00).
Start: 7:02 PM
End: 9:11 PM
Referees-Guillaume Labonté, Nicolas Comtois.
Linesmen-Guillaume Brunelle, Pierre-Luc Huot.