MONTREAL — David Rose made a triumphant return to the lineup with a three-point soiree while his linemates Jonathan Brunelle and Cedric McNicoll tallied five points apiece as No.6 ranked McGill skated to a 5-0 whitewash at Concordia’s Ed Meagher Arena, Friday, to even their best-of-three OUA East quarter-final series at 1-1.
The third and deciding game is slated for McConnell Arena on Sunday at 7 p.m. and a capacity crowd is expected.
The Redmen, who led 1-0 after one period and 4-0 after two, had a 48-32 edge in shots as goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard made 32 saves to register his third career goose-egg in 56 games overall. It was only the fifth shutout in McGill playoff history, a span of 160 post-season contests dating all the way back to 1910. The team’s last playoff whitewash was seven years ago, a 39-save performance by Mathieu Poitras in a 3-0 CIS tournament win at Moncton on March 23, 2008.
Rose, who returned to action after missing six games with a lower-body injury, collected one goal and a pair of assists, to spark the high-scoring McGill trio.
Brunelle, who had eight shots on net, potted a pair (including the winner at the 51-second mark of the first period) and set up three others while McNicoll scored once and added four helpers. It was the most assists in a playoff contest by a McGill player since Feb. 18, 2011 when both Alex Picard-Hooper (1-4-5) and Marc-Andre Dorion (0-4-0) accomplished that feat in a 10-5 win at Ottawa.
“Not only is Rosie a good player on the ice but his enthousiasm and positive attitude off the ice is a big plus for our team,” said McNicoll, a third-year management student from Boucherville, Que., who in his final year of eligibity after playing three pro seasons in the AHL and ECHL. “We’ve been struggling to score first lately and he helped us get that first goal in the first minute tonight. We were perhaps a bit nervous facing elimination but we were more anxious than anything just to get on the ice and do something because we knew that we didn’t play our best game in the series opener.”
Lost in the shuffle a near-perfect performance by the Redmen was rearguard Samuel Labrecque, who was the only other player to be involved in the scoring, with a goal and one assist. The first-year transfer from Clarkson University led all CIS defencemen with 13 goals in 26 games. He now has found the back of the net three times in the playoffs and 10 times in his last seven outings, giving him 16 markers in 32 games overall. The team’s single-season best for blueliners is 22 goals by Gilles Hudon in 40 contests during the 1981-82 season.
In a hard-hitting affair, Concordia drew 31 of 39 penalty minutes called and the Redmen took full advantage, going 2-for-6 on the power-play while killing off a pair of shorthanded situations. Stingers defenceman Gabriel Bourret was ejected at 14:41 of the second period after being assessed a major for boarding against McGill rookie forward Simon Tardif-Richard. Although the play appeared more severe than the checking-to-the head major and one-game suspension assessed to McGill’s Patrick Delisle-Houde in Game 1 of the series, boarding penalties are not accompanied by an automatic one-game suspension.
Sunday night’s rubber match at McConnell is scheduled to be streamed live on the SSN Canada network.
REDMEN RAP: Blair Mackasey, director of player personnel for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, was scouting the game… Among the other faces in the crowd were three former Redmen who skated for the team more than three decades ago: Ken Covo (1976-81), Paul Barber (1981-86) and John Harris (1984-87)…The Stingers have a record of 95-92-14 in 201 lifetime meetings against the Redmen dating back to when the series started 1975 but McGill owns a 14-11 playoff record against Concordia… McGill has captured seven of the previous 10 series…The Redmen have taken the last two playoff confrontations, in 2014 and 2007… Concordia hasn’t beaten McGill in the post-season since 2001… Other match-ups occurred in 2000 (McGill won), 1998 (ConU won). 1995 (McGill), 1993 (McGill), 1989 (McGill), 1988 (McGill), 1979 (ConU) and 1977 (ConU).
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McGill 5 at Concordia 0
(Friday, February 13, 2015 – Ed Meagher Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 1-3-1 — 5
Concordia 0-0-0 — 0
1, McGill, Jonathan Brunelle 1 (Rose, McNicoll), 0:51.
Penalties-Oke Con (roughing), 3:48; Houde-Caron Con (closing hand on puck), 4:36; Antonelli Mcg (slashing), 7:49; Boudreau Con (hooking), 7:49.
Penalties-Barriault Con (tripping), 5:39; Le Sieur Mcg (hooking), 5:50; Bourret Con (major-boarding; game misconduct), 14:41.
5, McGill, Samuel Labrecque 3 (McNicoll, Brunelle), 7:04 (PP).
Penalties-McNicoll Mcg (hooking), 3:30; Rose Mcg (roughing), 3:30; Houde-Caron Con (roughing), 3:30; Samoluk Con (hooking), 6:33; Barriault Con (interference), 7:59; Houde-Caron Con (roughing), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 13-18-17 — 48.
Concordia 10-8-14 — 32.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 2 / 6;
Concordia 0 / 2.
Jacob Gervais-Chouinard (W, 1-1, 32 shots-32 saves; SHO; 60:00).
Robin Billingham (L, 1-1-0, 36 shots-31 saves; 52:56);
Alexandre St-Arnaud (ND, 12 shots-12 saves; 7:04).
Start: 7:35 PM
End: 9:50 PM
Referees-Jonathan Alarie, Olivier Gouin.
Linesmen-Nicolas Piche, Jean-Francois Losier.