Gryphon hockey men drop series opener to Laurier
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons find themselves staring at elimination after dropping the opening game of their OUA men’s hockey league best-of-three West Division quarter-final 3-1 to the Laurier Golden Hawks Thursday night at the Gryphon Centre.
The game was scoreless until its midway point when Gio Finoro tallied for the hosts with Luke Kutkevicius setting up the goal.
Laurier, though, was ahead six and a half minutes later after netting a pair of goals 48 seconds apart. The Golden Hawks completed the scoring in the middle stages of the third.
Neil Aird, Matt McJannet and Ethan Wiseman scored once each for Laurier while assists went to Jeremy Pullara, Chayse Herrfort, Danny Hanlon and Anthony Conti.
Laurier outshot the Gryphs 26-25 and the Gryphs didn’t score on the game’s only power play.
Brendan Cregan was charged with the loss in the Guelph net. He had 23 saves while Matt Williams had 24 for Laurier.
Second game of the series is set for Saturday at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Game time is 7:07 p.m.
If the Gryphs win that game, the third and deciding game of the series is to go Sunday night at the Gryphon Centre.
Guelph finished third in the West Division at 17-6-4-1 while Laurier was sixth at 13-12-2-1. The teams split their regular-season games, the Golden Hawks winning 4-2 at Waterloo Oct. 26 and the Gryphs winning 4-3 in the Frosty Mug game Jan. 23 at the Sleeman Centre.
The Gryphs lost the opening game of both last year’s best-of-three West Division final and the 2016 West Division final, both against the Western Mustangs, before rallying to win both series 2-1.
The local squad also lost the opening game of both of the first two series of the 2015 playoffs. They rallied to oust the Waterloo Warriors in the West quarter-finals and the Toronto Varsity Blues in the West semifinals on their way to winning the OUA Queen’s Cup championship.
If Game 3 is needed Sunday at the Gryphon Centre, it’s to go at 7:30 p.m.
Golden Hawks 3 Gryphons 1
- Guelph Sports Journal