Gryphon hockey men leave Lancers behind
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – There was going to be no stopping the Guelph Gryphons Sunday night at the Gryphon Centre.
The Gryphs struck for four goals in the opening period on their way to a 6-1 victory over the Windsor Lancers in the third and deciding game of their OUA men’s hockey league West Division quarter-final playoff Sunday night at the Gryphon Centre.
“We knew that coming in tonight we’d move our feet and get a good jump early,” Gryphon coach Shawn Camp said. “That’s what we usually do here. We got off to a great start and it set the tone for the game.”
The Gryphs led 4-0 after the first period and 6-0 after the second.
“We asked the guys to keep pushing and they did and we pushed the lead to six in the second,” Camp said. “Then we felt confident that we could handle it the rest of the way.”
“We did well tonight,” Gryphon captain Scott Simmonds said. “Both games previously we had to play against the lead when Windsor came out early and got one. Playing from behind is never fun, but tonight we got the lead and we never looked back.”
After being held away from the net in the cozy confines of the South Windsor Arena in a 4-3 loss Saturday night, things were different Sunday night at the Gryphon Centre.
“We didn’t get to the net near enough last night, which we did tonight,” Camp said. “We went from being a little bit perimeter last night to being much more at the net tonight and we got our result.”
“It was a long bus ride home and a little quiet,” Simmonds said. “The guys stayed composed. We were never worried. We were never getting on each other. We stuck together and as you saw tonight, we came out hard.”
Todd Winder had a pair of goals to finish the series with five goals and an assist.
“He’s a phenomenal rookie that’s just been dynamic from the very start of the season,” Camp said of Winder. “It’s great to see that he has not missed a beat as we’ve come into the playoffs. He’s just moving his feet all the time and he’s dangerous every shift.”
Mark Raycroft, Simmonds, Andres Kopstals and Cody Thompson added single goals while Josh McFadden assisted on four of the goals. Getting one assist each were Seth Swenson, Michael Stevens, Marc Stevens, Winder, Simmonds, Thompson, Tryg Strand and Trevor Morbeck.
Andrew Masters lost his bid for a shutout in the Guelph net when Jake Brown broke free to rifle home a power-play goal at 7:04 of the third period. Kody Gagnon assisted on the play.
Matt Badour was charged with the loss in the Windsor net. He made 29 saves. Badour, who had played one period the entire regular season, was called into duty when regular netminder Jonathan Reinhart took a puck to the head right after he lost his helmet during a play in the second period of the series opener Thursday at the Gryphon Centre. While he did return to play the third period that night, he was unavailable the rest of the series as his left eye was swollen shut after the game.
Sunday, the Gryphs outshot Windsor 19-9 in the first period on their way to a 35-29 advantage. The hosts also went 2-for-5 on their power play while the Lancers went 1-for-5.
The Gryphs had finished the regular season atop the West Division at 21-6-1 while Windsor was eighth at 10-11-7. However, Windsor had won both regular-season meetings with the Gryphs.
Guelph advances to the best-of-three divisional semifinals where they’ll battle the Brock Badgers. Brock finished fifth at 14-9-5 and swept the fourth-place Laurier Golden Hawks (15-10-3) in the divisional quarter-finals.
The Gryphs and Badgers know each other well as they met four times during the regular season and once in the preseason. Guelph won four of the five games, the loss coming Jan. 19 when the Gryphs were defeated 3-1 at the Seymour-Hannah Centre the night after their Frosty Mug victory over Laurier.
The Gryphs had previously won 5-3 in the preseason match and 3-2, 4-2 and 2-1 in regular-season tilts. Of the five games between the teams, only one was played at the Gryphon Centre.
“We’ll make sure we move our feet and we have to get to the net against Brock because (goaltender) Clint Windsor’s outstanding,” Camp said. “That will be our challenge.”
“We’re a pretty good match-up with them,” Simmonds said. “They beat us once this season. It’s going to be fun. We know we’ve had a bit of a rivalry with them all year and we’re just going to keep doing what we do.”
The divisional semifinal is expected to start Thursday at the Gryphon Centre.
Gryphons 6 Lancers 1
1. Guelph, Raycroft (Swenson, Mi.Stevens), 5:41
2. Guelph, Winder (J.McFadden, Ma.Stevens), 9:42 pp
3. Guelph, Simmonds (Winder, J.McFadden), 11:23
4. Guelph, Winder (Simmonds, Thompson), 17:29
Penalties: Swenson Gue (goaltender interference), 2:19; Strand Gue (roughing), 6:30; Feasey Wsr (slashing), 7:56; Blondeel Wsr (tripping), 14:00; Ma.Stevens Gue (roughing), 17:48.
5. Guelph, Kopstals (J.McFadden, Strand), 4:11
6. Guelph, Thompson (J.McFadden, Morbeck), 12:46 pp
Penalties: Beaudoin Wsr (spearing match penalty, game misconduct), 11:24; Dundas Wsr (checking from behind, checking from behind misconduct, abuse of officials), 19:12.
7. Windsor, Brown (Gagnon), 7:04 pp
Penalties: Henderson Gue (roughing), 0:47; Henderson Gue (roughing), 5:32.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Badour (L, 35 shots-29 saves), Windsor; Masters (W, 29 shots-28 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Windsor 1-5; Guelph 2-5.
- Guelph Sports Journal