Gryphon hockey men eliminated by York

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons saw their OUA men’s hockey season come to an end Thursday night at the Gryphon Centre when they suffered a 6-2 loss to the York Lions.

“That’s a good team and they play the same way for 60 minutes every game,” Gryphon coach Shawn Camp said of the Lions. “There’s no deviation from their game plan. We outshot them, but they outscored us. That was the bottom line.”

The win gave York a two-game sweep of their best-of-three West Division semifinal.

“Unfortunately again, we had a good first and fell down in the second period and let the game get away from us,” Camp said. “We had a good third and salvaged some pride, but at the end of the night, it wasn’t enough.”

After a scoreless first period, the Lions struck for five goals in the second and kept the Gryphs scoreless until Cody Thompson netted a power-play goal six and a half minutes into the third period.

Manny Gialedakis added Guelph’s second goal six minutes later, but York’s final goal was sandwiched between the two Gryphon goals.

Rob Lepine, Trevor Morbeck, Marc Stevens and Mark Raycroft each had an assist for Guelph.

Of York’s six goals, three came on the power play. The Gryphs were called for 36 minutes in penalties, including two 10-minute misconducts. They took three minor penalties, a double minor and the two misconducts in the final half of the second period and York responded with two of its power-play goals during that time.

The Lions had a pretty balanced attack during the match as 15 players picked up points. Greg Milner, Dexter Bricker, Steven Janes, Derek Sheppard, Daniel Nikandrov and Mitch VanTeeling each had a goal while Colton Vannucci had two assists and Bryce Milson, Nick Zottl, Nikandrov, Trevor Petersen, Tyler Mort, Scott Feser, Shayne Rover, Nathan Larson and Mihkel Poldma had one apiece.

The Gryphs outshot York 34-31 and went 1-for-5 on their power play while the Lions went 3-for-7.

Scott Stajcer was charged with the loss in the Guelph net while Scott Shields picked up the win for the Lions.

York advances to play the winner of the other West semifinal in the division final. The Windsor Lancers defeated the Ryerson Rams 4-2 in the opening game of the other best-of-three West semifinal Wednesday night. Game 2 is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. It’ll be the site of Game 3 Sunday night if it’s needed.

For the Gryphs, they’ll be looking to replace several graduating players in time for the 2017-18 campaign.

“We have to get some scoring up front for sure,” Camp said. “We need a few defencemen as well and we need a couple of goalies, so we’ve got lots of shopping to do.”

The Gryphs know they’ll lose six players to graduation – goaltenders Stajcer and Keith Hamilton, defencemen Mac Nichol, Pete Soligo and Thomas Kohler and forward Lepine.

The Gryphs complete the season with a 17-14-1 record in OUA regular-season and playoff action. They were also 2-4-0 in preseason and exhibition games.

“We’re proud of our guys,” Camp said. “They had a good run this year, but just came up a bit short of where we wanted to be. We’ll be back at it again next year with a great nucleus.”