Gryphon hockey men take Seniors Night contest

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons celebrated their Seniors Night at the Gryphon Centre with a 6-2 victory over the York Lions in their final home game of the OUA men’s hockey league’s regular season.

“It was a great result for our seniors on Seniors Night,” Gryphon coach Shawn Camp said. “We got the result we wanted. We had a terrific first period, we were a bit undisciplined in the second period and came back in the third to finish the job the right way and that’s a great way to end the homestand for this part of the season.”

The Gryphs scored four times in a span of five minutes and two seconds to grab control early. York netted its first goal on a power play midway through the second period before the locals responded with two goals in just over a minute and a half late in the period. York completed the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the third.

“We have to be more disciplined for sure,” Camp said. “If we can do that, we’ll keep the momentum rather than give it back at times like we did with the penalties. Even though they didn’t score on a couple of them, we gave up momentum and we don’t want to do that. We’ll be more disciplined. We have to be in the playoffs because the little things become the big things then.”

The Gryphons honoured their seniors – Manny Gialedakis, Josh McFadden, Trevor Morbeck, Scott Simmonds, Tryg Strand and J.P. Villeneuve – before the game and their teammates knew it was up to them to help the seniors celebrate with a victory.

“We see the work that the seniors put in every day to our program,” goaltender Andrew Masters said. “We see them battling every day and we know they’ve been battling for much longer than we’ve been here so out of respect for them it was really big to try to put down a good effort on their night.”

Todd Winder led the Gryphs with a pair of goals while Zach McFadden, Strand, Simmonds and Villeneuve also scored. Cody Thompson had four assists while Winder had two and Josh McFadden, Simmonds, Max McCutcheon, Morbeck, Mathieu Henderson and Andres Kopstals had one apiece.

York’s goals were both special teams markers as Daniel Nikandrov had a power-play goal and Colton Vannucci had a shorthanded tally. Assists went to Scott Feser, Reid Jackman and Nick Zottl.

Masters had 27 saves in the game for the win while York starter Mack Shields was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots in the first 10:24 of the match. Alex Fotinos went the rest of the way and he made 19 saves.

Masters has been in net for the majority of the Gryphon games in the 2018 portion of their schedule. The game was the 11th consecutive match that he’s played in and the 10th of those that he started. He’s 9-2-0 in 2018.

“First of all, we’re playing better defensively,” he says of his success in the Gryphon net. “Second-half hockey has to be more defensive. We’re getting into the big games now, you can’t win 9-5 shootouts any more. The guys have been selling out in front of me and I’ve just been a happy benefactor of our good play.”

A Kitchener native, Masters played with the Georgetown Raiders of the Tier 2 Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2015-16 where he posted a 28-9-0 record. He was with the University of Miami (Ohio) Redhawks in 2016-17, but never saw any game action.

“It’s two very different brands of hockey,” he said of the difference between U Sports and NCAA hockey. “This league is really underrated on a grand scale. We saw when we went down there and we had some good results down in the States. It’s a totally underrated brand of hockey up here.”

The Gryphs had a loss and a tie in their two exhibition games against NCAA teams this season.

The Gryphs have already clinched a first-place finish in the West Division and have a single game to go in their regular season as they’re to play the Ryerson Rams at the Mattamy Athletics Centre in Toronto Friday. Game time is 7:15 p.m.

“It’s a nice feeling,” Camp said of not having to be fighting for a final position in the standings in their final regular-season games. “We’ve known for three games and that’s a real tribute to the guys. Credit to the guys because they’ve played so well all season, but we know the hard work is still ahead.”

The Gryphs are awaiting a playoff opponent. It’ll be whoever finishes eighth in the division and that will be decided this weekend between the Lakehead Thunderwolves or Windsor Lancers. Guelph doesn’t have a preference.

“It does not matter at all,” Camp said. “We’re just watching the scoreboard now and see who we get and see what happens. It’s going to be a great playoff series whoever we get, we know that.”

And they know the effort it’ll take to be successful in the playoffs.

“We just have to play the way we started the game (tonight),” Masters said. “We’ve got a lot of us who were on that Queen’s Cup team (in 2015) and we’ve got a lot of guys who have playoff experience here, there and everywhere. It’s just about doing the things we know we have to do just to win playoffs.”

 

Gryphons 6 Lions 2
First Period
1. Guelph, Z.McFadden (Thompson, Winder), 7:35
2. Guelph, Winder (J.McFadden, Thompson), 8:45
3. Guelph, Winder (Simmonds, Thompson), 10:24
4. Guelph, Strand (McCutcheon, Morbeck), 12:37
Penalty: Verrall York (hooking), 1:14.
Second Period
5. York, Nikandrov (Feser, Jackman), 9:16 pp
6. Guelph, Simmonds (Thompson, Winder), 17:40
7. Guelph, Villeneuve (Henderson, Kopstals), 19:29
Penalties: Z.McFadden Gue (head contact, head contact misconduct), 9:06; J.McFadden Gue (cross checking, slashing), 9:29; Vannucci York (unsportsmanlike conduct), Gialedakis Gue (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:17; Mi.Stevens Gue (head contact, head contact misconduct), 14:56; Jackman York (slashing), Ma.Stevens Gue (slashing), 17:40; Filice York (head contact, head contact misconduct), Winder Gue (slashing), 18:20.
Third Period
8. York, Vannucci (Zottl), 12:46 sh
Penalties: Sheppard York (slashing), Ma.Stevens Gue (slashing), Simmonds Gue (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:08; Jackman York (roughing), 10:32; Messenger York (tripping), 12:33; Feser York (roughing), 16:23; Verrall York (slashing), 17:30; Fotinos York (delay of game), 19:31.
Shots on Goal
York          9-13-7–29
Guelph     16-9-5–30
Goalies: Shields (L, 10:24, 8 shots-5 saves), Fotinos (49:36, 22 shots-19 saves), York; Masters (W, 29 shots-27 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): York 1-5; Guelph 0-6.
  • Guelph Sports Journal