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Gryphon hockey men rally to topple Western

GUELPH – After spotting the Western Mustangs a two-goal lead the Guelph Gryphons responded with four consecutive goals to claim a 5-3 victory in OUA men’s hockey play Saturday night at the Gryphon Centre.

“Hey, we were down 3-1 to Western and they’re a good team and they have a reputation and a history of closing out games when they have a lead like that,” Gryphon coach Shawn Camp said. “We had a bit of an emotional second period. After we were down, we got a little bit emotional as a team about that we weren’t going to accept this and we clawed our way back in.”


Guelph Gryphons 5 Western 3

Western led 3-1 four minutes into the second period after scoring three straight goals of their own, but the Gryphs pulled even on Ted Nichol’s shorthanded goal seven and a half minutes later and then claimed the win with two goals in the final two and a half minutes of the third.

“It was a good win,” coach Camp said. “We haven’t talked in terms of winning with our guys, we’ve talked more about early in the year just taking steps to be a better team so that we can compete with the top teams like Western, like Windsor — Waterloo’s really good. The division’s so tough. We talked about being a little better without the puck and against a team like Western that creates so much offence, just trying to limit some of their chances. Tonight we gave up a few, but we also did a better job of taking away some of their offensive opportunities. We’re taking little baby steps to get better as a team.”

Giordano Finoro fired home a pair of goals while Lucas Chiodo, Ted Nichol and Liam Ham had one goal apiece. Connor Bramwell assisted on four of the goals while Jaxon Camp had two assists and Ham, Jacob Winterton, Andrew Dodson and Nichol had one each.

Western’s goals were scored by Micheal Boushy, Stephen Desrocher and Reed Morison while assists were awarded to Cal Davis, Kyle Langdon, Franco Sproviero, Ethan Szypula, Desrocher and Austin Osmanski.

Western outshot the Gryphs 28-27. Colton Incze had the win for the Gryphs with 25 saves while Dylan Myskiw had 23 saves for Western.

Western went 1-4 on the power play while the Gryphs were scoreless on five power plays.

For Incze, the game was his regular-season debut and he had to play the entire game no matter what as the Gryphs didn’t have anyone suited up as a backup.

“We’ve had no healthy backups,” coach Camp said. “We had to be prepared if something happened to him because he was coming off injury that we would have someone else like a skater would have to change and put on goalie equipment and go in net. We had a couple of guys in mind, but thankfully we didn’t get to that.”

Incze, Brendan Cregan, Gabe Mollot-Hill and Cayden Overdevest each suited up for action in the preseason while Incze, Mollot-Hill and Tanner Wickware saw action during the regular season.

“All because of injury, we’ve had five different guys playing for us,” coach Camp said. “Fortunately, they’ve all been getting wins going back to the preseason. Colton Incze was the first one to be declared healthy enough to be able to play tonight so we only dressed one goalie and away we went.”

Cregan is back from the 2019-2020 OUA championship-winning team while the others are all newcomers. Incze played with the Brantford 99ers of the junior A Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2019-2020 after spending four seasons in the OHL.

Mollot-Hill transferred to Guelph after limited action in four seasons with Providence College in U.S. Hockey-East.

Overdevest, who was on an OFSAA-winning team at Holy Trinity four seasons ago, was playing in the U of G’s competitive non-contact intramural league.

Wickware is playing for the Cambridge RedHawks of the junior B Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and also played a game as a call-up with the OHL’s Barrie Colts. He had played with the junior B Guelph Hurricanes, now the RedHawks, before getting picked by the Guelph Storm in the OHL’s U18 draft in 2018. He played two games with the Storm in the 2019-2020 season.

“We’re seeing a lot of what our goalies can do,” coach Camp said. “We know that whenever everybody’s back and healthy, it’s going to be a real dogfight to establish who the leader will be there, but the good news is that they’re all good. We’ve been so fortunate that we have some depth in net so that we could weather this storm. Now we have a week off with no games next week so we have an opportunity to finally get some guys healthy.”

The Gryphs lead the Far West Division after playing each of their division once apiece. Guelph leads at 2-1-1 while the Windsor Lancers and Laurier Golden Hawks are both at 2-1-0, Western’s at 2-2-0 and Waterloo Warriors are at 0-3-1.

The Gryphs get 12 days to prepare for a home-and-home series with Waterloo. They’re to play the Warriors Nov. 25 at the Gryphon Centre at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 27 at Waterloo’s Columbia Ice Fields at 7 p.m.

In pre-COVID days when the Gryphs had more than a week off, they’d travel south of the border for a weekend of games against NCAA teams. No cross-border trips this season, though.

Between the cancelled 2020-2021 season and this season, the Gryphs had to call of games with Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State, Harvard, Dartmouth and RIT.

“We would be playing in the U.S. for sure and we had a bunch of games scheduled with American schools, but that’s all been pushed back a year,” coach Camp said. “All those games are put back for a year and hopefully we can get back to those kind of games next year again.”

 

  • Guelph Sports Journal