Redmen-Mustangs: Preview for 101st Queen's Cup game
LONDON, Ont. - The men's hockey rivalry between the Western Mustangs and McGill Redmen will continue this weekend, as the two teams will do battle for the OUA Championship in the 101st Queen's Cup, to be held at Thompson Arena on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. The game is scheduled to be webcast live at www.ssncanada.ca/games/
Western Mustangs (21-4-3 in Regular Season) vs. McGill Redmen (22-4-2)
Saturday's contest will serve as a rematch between these two teams, who similarly met at Thompson Arena in last year's title game -- one in which the Redmen came away with a 6-2 win. That victory marked McGill's third Queen's Cup championship in the last four seasons. Their lone loss came at the hands of the Mustangs, who beat the Redmen 2-1 for the title in 2008-09.
Following up a 22-4-2 regular season, in which they finished one point ahead of the Mustangs for the best record in the OUA, the Redmen have gone a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs. Series sweeps against Queen's, Ottawa and UQTR have led McGill to the league championship once again, which they have captured 16 times in school history. The Redmen officially punched their ticket with a 5-4 win in overtime over UQTR last Saturday (March 3).
But the Mustangs have been equally impressive throughout their postseason run. Following series sweeps over the Laurier Golden Hawks and Brock Badgers in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Western men earned a hard-fought 2-1 series victory over the Windsor Lancers in the OUA West final last Sunday (March 4) with a 2-0 win in Game 3. That came after they had dropped the opener 4-3, and then rebounded for a 5-2 win on the road in Game 2. They'll be looking for their first title since that 2008-09 win over McGill and their fourth title overall (they also won in 2004-05 and 1994-95).
There's no shortage of offence on either of these teams, as witnessed by their combined 52 goals in the playoffs thus far.
Western's Keaton Turkiewicz leads the way, as the OUA West MVP and winner of the 2011-12 scoring title. He also tops all scorers in the postseason with 13 points. Kevin Baker is tied for third in points (10) and first in goals (6), while Steve Reese and OUA All-Rookie forward Zach Harnden have nine points apiece.
Evan Vossen leads McGill with 10 playoff points, while Andrew
Wright and Alex-Picard Hooper have eight apiece. In the regular
season, it was Marc-Andre Dorion who led the way with 39 points
(tops among all OUA defencemen), including an OUA-best 32 assists.
Francis Verreault-Paul, meanwhile, led the league with 21
But scoring may be a difficult task in this year's Queen's Cup, as both team's goalies head into Saturday's game playing well.
In fact, Western's Josh Unice and McGill's Hubert Morin may very well be the best goaltending duo in the league. Morin (13-4) was tops in the OUA during the regular season with a 2.04 GAA, while Unice (15-4) was second at 2.10. Unice had the league's best save percentage (.931), while Morin was fourth at .921. Both goalies had four shutouts during the year. Unice, who is coming off a playoff shutout, has the edge in the postseason with a league-best 2.01 GAA. Morin is fourth at 2.57.