MONTREAL — Defenceman Samuel Labrecque of Granby, Que., tallied two late goals, including the game-winner in double overtime as No.6 ranked McGill rallied for a 4-3 victory over Concordia at the Ed Meagher Arena, Friday, to claim the 28th annual Corey Cup game, symbolic of local college hockey supremacy.
McGill improved to 16-7-3 in Cup play since it was first donated in 1988 by Ronald Corey, then president of the Montreal Canadiens. The Redmen are now 91-94-14 in 199 lifetime meetings against the Stingers, after starting out with a woeful 1-36-1 record in the first 38 confrontations in a heated rivalry that began in 1975.
“I thought we did a lot of things right tonight,” said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. “We had a couple of unfortunate breakdowns on our PK unit which cost us two goals against but we created a ton of Grade A scoring opportunities. Concordia played well and their goaltender had a real good game. All things considered, it was quite an entertaining Corey Cup.”
The Redmen, who had a huge 51-36 advantage in shots, had a hard time solving Concordia netminder Robin Billingham who made 47 saves in a losing cause as his record tumbled to 8-15.
Labrecque, a shifty, 5-foot-8, 183-pounder who also hit two goal-posts in the game, has quickly established himself as a clutch player. With the goalie pulled in the final minute, he knotted the score at 3-3 and only 27 seconds remaining in regulation. Then the 22-year-old economics major struck for his team-leading fifth game-winner of the season at 8:38 of overtime, giving him 12 goals in 25 games, tops among all CIS rearguards and three shy of the McGill single-season record for blueliners set by Gilles Hudon in 24 games during the 1981-82 season.
“Sam’s been good all year for us and is dangerous on the power-play and in those late-game situations, like the 3-on-3s and the 4-on-4s that we had in overtime tonight” said Nobes. “He executes well in those type of situations. He’s got a good shot and he gets himself into the right place for good scoring opportunities.”
The Stingers jumped into a 2-0 lead on a pair of first-period power-play markers by Scott Oke. McGill rallied with a pair of early goals in the second stanza from Jonathan Bonneau and Patrick Delisle-Houde (who also assisted on both the tying and winning goal). But the Stingers regained the lead only 37 seconds later when Domenic Beauchemin connected for his 12th.
McGill goalie Jacob Gervais-Chouinard registered 33 saves for the win, improving to 13-3 on the campaign. His stingy goals-against average of 1.74 slipped to No.2 in the nation but he still leads the CIS with a save-percentage of .944.
The normally potent Redmen special teams unit took a bit of a hit, with the power-play going 1-for-10, largely due to Billingham’s performance between the pipes. The PK unit, which entered the game as the most efficient one in the 19-team OUA, allowed a pair of goals on five shorthanded situations and is now operating at a third-best 88.2 per cent efficiency.
McGill, which improved to 20-5-0, can still finish first, second or third, but would clinch the OUA East pennant with a victory over winless Royal Military College (0-21-3) on Saturday night at McConnell Arena (7 p.m.) in the final game before playoffs.
McGill is in a heated race with Carleton (20-5-0) and UQTR (18-4-2) but owns the tie-breakers over both teams.
If McGill finishes first, they will meet the eighth-place Stingers (8-17-1) in the OUA East best-of-three quarter-finals, slated to begin on Wednesday (Feb.11). Should the Redmen finish second, they would open the playoffs in Oshawa against UOIT. If McGill finishes third, they will either host Queen’s or travel to North Bay, Ont., in an opener against Nipissing.
REDMEN RAP: McGill has reached the 20-win plateau in regular season play for the fifth time in six years and the sixth time in school history… The five losses is the team’s fewest since going 24-4-0 in 2010-11… The 50 goals-against in 25 games is the team’s best defensive record in a decade since allowing only 29 in 24 games in 2005-06.
|OUA EAST||GP||W||L||OTL||Win %||Streak||GF||GA||PTS|
McGill 4 at Concordia 3 (2OT)
(Friday, February 6, 2015 – Ed Meagher Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 0-2-1-0-1 — 4
Concordia 2-1-0-0-0 — 3
1, Concordia, Scott Oke 9 (Bernard, Hinse), 7:45 (PP).
2, Concordia, Scott Oke 10 (Beauchemin, Bourret), 13:42 (PP).
Penalties-Kabbaj Con (cross checking), 2:21; Levesque Mcg (boarding), 7:25; Delisle-Houde Mcg (slashing), 8:06; Houde-Caron Con (tripping), 8:56; Prokop Mcg (holding opp. stick), 10:16; Hinse Con (boarding), 10:36; Antonelli Mcg (inter. on goaltender), 12:57; Kabbaj Con (cross checking), 14:53; Blunden Con (slashing), 20:00.
Penalties-Beauchemin Con (hooking), 5:47; MacDonald Con (interference), 13:45; Blunden Con (cross checking), 14:50.
6, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 11 (Delisle-Houde, Vachon), 19:33.
Penalties-Antonelli Mcg (slashing), 0:37; Bernard Con (slashing), 0:37; Hudon Con (elbowing), 2:24; Levesque Mcg (slashing), 10:43; Antonelli Mcg (roughing), 14:12; Hudon Con (high sticking, dble minor), 14:12.
1st OVERTIME (5 mins, 4-on-4):
2nd OVERTIME (5 mins, 3-on-3):
7, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 12 (Delisle-Houde, McNicoll), 3:38.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 16-15-12-2-6 — 51.
Concordia 8-14-9-3-2 — 36.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 1 / 10;
Concordia 2 / 5.
McGill, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 13-3-0, 36 shots-33 saves; 67:53).
Concordia, Robin Billingham (L, 8-15-0, 51 shots-47 saves; 68:38).
Start: 7:35 PM
End: 10:00 PM
Referees-Alexandre Cote, Jason Pyke.
Linesmen-Maxime Mongeon, Benoit Sansoucy.