(Photo of Maxime Langelier-Parent by Derek
MONTREAL - The No.2-ranked McGill men's hockey team spotted Ottawa a 3-0 lead but rallied with five unanswered goals for a 5-3 victory over the Gee-Gees in their OUA East semifinal opener at McConnell Arena, Wednesday.
For the second straight playoff game, five different players scored for the Redmen, who were missing three regulars. It marked McGill's 17th straight win over Ottawa, improving their lifetime record to 94-77-10 against the Gee-Gees.
"It was a great win tonight, with a number of key guys missing from our lineup," said McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. "We're getting goals from different places, especially three from defencemen tonight. We're finding different ways to win and that's outstanding."
Maxime Langelier-Parent, a senior from Léry, Que., tallied the game-winner at 9:35 of the final period. It was the eighth career winning goal for the speedy, 6-foot-2, 225-pound centre who has been scrutinized by a number of NHL scouts this season. He leads the Redmen in post-season scoring with a 3-2-5 record in three games.
Matthieu Methot, Maxime Chamberland and Alexandre Touchette all scored for the Gee-Gees, who led 3-0 before the game was 21 minutes old.
Forward Marc-André Daneau of Daveluyville, Que., sparked the Redmen comeback midway through the middle period when he converted a three-way passing play with linemates Benoit Lévesque and Langelier-Parent.
Just 91 seconds later, defenceman Nicolas Therrien's wrist shot from the blueline eluded Gee-Gees goaltender Russell Abbott, narrowing the gap to 3-2.
McGill tied the game in the final stanza when Hugo Laporte, a rookie rearguard from Ste. Julie, Que., scored at 2:09.
After Langelier-Parent's go-ahead marker, Vincent Bourgeois, a blueliner from Rosemere, Que., iced the contest with an empty-netter at 19:20.
McGill had a 28-20 edge in shots, including a bizarre 7-3 margin in the opening stanza but went into the intermission trailing 2-0. The Redmen went 0-for-3 on the power-play and killed off both shorthanded situations.
Hubert Morin, a senior from St. Georges de Beauce, Que., collected the win between the pipes for McGill, improving to 3-0 in the playoffs and 19-5 lifetime in post-season play.
"Full credit to the Gee-Gees for the way they played us but they were very opportunistic, getting two goals on just three shots in the first period," said Nobes. "I'm not happy about the way the game started, being down 3-0 in our own barn, but we showed a lot of character coming back and we'll be better on Friday."
McGill can clinch the best-of-three series in Game 2 on Friday in Ottawa at 7 p.m. If a deciding game is needed, it is scheduled to be played at McConnell Arena on Sunday at 7 p.m.
REDMEN RAP: McGill improved to 899-888-127 lifetime in 1,914 games overall against Canadian university opponents dating all the way back to 1886... Sniper Francis Verreault-Paul (21 goals in 23 games) sat out the first of an automatic two-game suspension incurred for a fighting major last week... Other missing regulars included injured forward Marc-Olivier Vachon (5 goals) and defenceman Ben Morse (2 goals)...The Redmen have outscored opponents 13-6 in three playoff games... Ten different players have tallied thus far, including five defencemen!.. Among the faces in the crowd was Mario DeBenedictis, one of the all-time Redmen greats, who skated for McGill from 1986 to 1989, then went on to a lengthy and prolific pro career in Europe. He is currently a manager with Transcontinental, Inc., one of the world-wide giants in the printing industry.
OUA EAST BEST-OF-THREE SEMIFINAL (Game 1)
Ottawa 3 at McGill 5 (ENG)
(Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - McConnell Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD
Ottawa 2-1-0 -- 3
McGill 0-2-3 -- 5
1, Ottawa, Matthieu Methot 4 (S.Blunden, L.O.Blain), 1:59.
2, Ottawa, Maxime Chamberland 1 (G.Donovan), 3:29.
Foucher Ott (hooking), 6:22;
Drager Ott (hooking), 10:15;
Laporte Mcg (holding), 14:04.
3, Ottawa, Alexandre Touchette 5 (M.Chamberland, G.Donovan), 0:13.
4, McGill, Marc-Andre Daneau 2 (B.Levesque, M.Langelier-Parent), 9:20.
5, McGill, Nicolas Therrien 1 (M.A.Dorion, C.Longpre-Poirier), 10:51.
Wright Mcg (roughing), 12:22.
6, McGill, Hugo Laporte 1 (A.Picard-Hooper, A.Wright), 2:09.
7, McGill, Maxime Langelier-Parent 2 9:35.
8, McGill, Vincent Bourgeois 1 (unassisted), 19:20 (EN).
Jalbert Ott (roughing), 10:13;
Boisvert Mcg (slashing), 10:13;
Leduc Ott (cross checking), 11:24.
Shots on Goal-
Ottawa 3-8-9 -- 20.
McGill 7-8-13 -- 28.
Power Play Opportunities-
Ottawa 0 / 2;
McGill 0 / 3.
Ottawa 4 / 8;
McGill 3 / 6.
Ottawa, Russell Abbott (L, 2-1, 27 shots-23 saves, 58:57).
McGill, Hubert Morin (W, 3-0, 20 shots-17 saves).
Start: 7:02 PM
End: 9:11 PM
Linesmen-Pierre-Luc Huot, Alexandre Dubuc.
MOLSON CUP THREE STARS
1. MCG - 16 Max Langelier-Parent
2. MCG - 15 Marc-Andre Daneau
3. OTT - 17 Guillaume Donovan
McGill Athletics & Recreation
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