Samuel Labrecque became the first McGill defenceman in two decades to tally a hat-trick since Nicolas Cantin scored five against Queen

MONTREAL — The McGill University men’s hockey team are ranked No.6 in the CIS Top 10 poll and have shifted their focus on renewing a long-standing and bitter rivalry with fifth-seeded Queen’s for the OUA East Division best-of-three semifinals.

The McGill-Queen’s series is the third oldest on-going hockey rivalry in North America since the two archrivals first hooked up way back in 1895. The only older rivalries on record are Queen’s-RMC (1886) and McGill-RMC (1892).

The semifinal series is scheduled to open at McConnell Arena (3883 University) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. McGill will make the trek to the Kingston Memorial Centre for Game 2 on Friday night. If a rubber match is needed, it is slated for 7 p.m. on Sunday night back at McConnell Arena.

Tickets for McGill’s home games are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Children under 12 are admitted free. They will be sold at the door, beginning 90 minutes before game time. Advance tickets can be purchased in the Redbird Sports Shop at the Currie Gym

Information for the game in Kingston is available here: TICKETS

McGill, the top seed in the division, are hot having won 10 of their last 11 games, while fifth-seeded Queen’s have won seven of their last nine. Both squads won their quarter-final series the hard way, after dropping the opener, After losing 2-1 at home to Laurentian, the Gaels made the lengthy trek to Sudbury, where they prevailed 3-1 and 2-1 in overtime. McGill suffered a 6-4 loss on home ice against Concordia but bounced back with 5-0 and 6-3 victories.

During the regular season, McGill (21-5-0) swept both meetings against the Gaels (13-12-1), winning 4-3 in Kingston in the OUA opener (Oct. 10) and 4-1 at McConnell Arena (Jan. 23). In the opener, defenceman Samuel Labrecque tallied the game-winner with only 14 seconds left in the third period. In the last meeting, Labrecque struck for a natural hat-trick in a six-minute span during the second period, including the game-winner agains.

“They’ve got a young group with some good speed and a very good goaltender who was the CIS goalie of the year last season,” said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes, who owns a 28-9-0 post-season record over his five seasons behind the Redmen bench. “They’ve played us very tight over the last few years and I expect that they will be a tough challenge.”

The Redmen are 121-50-2 in 173 lifetime meetings with Queen’s and have won 27 consecutive victories over the Gaels since their last loss 11 years ago, in a 5-2 setback on home ice, Feb. 6, 2004.  But each the last eight match-ups have been decided by two goals or less and six of them were one-goal games.

This will mark only the fourth time that these teams have crossed paths in post-season action, where McGill is 4-1 lifetime in games played and have won the last two series after suffering their only playoff loss to the Gaels over a century ago. Queen’s won the first rendezvous an 8-2 in a sudden-death final, played in Ottawa on March 7, 1910. More recently, McGill swept the series in both 2008 and 2012.
In the 2008 OUA East semifinals, McGill prevailed with a 6-1 victory in Kingston and a 2-0 shutout in Montreal. In the 2012 OUA East quarter-finals, the Redmen swept the series 3-2 at home and 5-1 on the road, en route to registering a 9-1 record in post-season play and their first-ever CIS national championship.

WED: GAME 1 WEBCAST with Live stats.
FRI: GAME 2 WEBCAST with Live stats.
SUN: GAME 3 WEBCAST (if nec,) with Live stats.

Earl Zukerman
McGill Sports Info Office