Gryphons blank Varsity Blues to grab playoff berth
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons took care of business on their first Business Night as they clinched a playoff berth in the OUA men’s hockey league with a 3-0 blanking of the Toronto Varsity Blues Thursday night at the Gryphon Centre.
With one game to go in their regular season, the Gryphs will finish anywhere from third to seventh in the West Division. Top eight qualify for the playoffs and the top four will get home-ice advantage in next week’s best-of-three divisional quarter-finals.
Thursday’s win was the fifth in seven games for the Gryphs.
The Gryphs scored once in each period and Andrew Masters turned aside 22 shots for the shutout, his first of the season and seconds in his two seasons with the Gryphs.
Cody Thompson, Scott Simmonds and Andres Kopstals with an empty-netter with six seconds to play connected for the goals for Guelph. Assists went to Ryan Valentini, Todd Winder and Connor Bramwell.
Alex Bishop was charged with the loss in the Toronto net. He made 27 saves.
The Gryphs outshot Toronto 30-22 and both teams were scoreless on four power plays.
The win leaves the Gryphs at 12-11-4-4 and the loss left the Varsity Blues in eighth in the division at 10-13-4-4 with one game to go.
The Gryphs are to wrap up their regular season Saturday night with a game against the Windsor Lancers (13-13-0-0) at the Gryphon Centre. The Lancers can finish anywhere from third to ninth in the division and could be Guelph’s divisional quarter-final opponents.
Game time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.
Gryphons 3 Varsity Blues 0
1. Guelph, Thompson (Valentini), 14:03
Penalties: Manchurek Tor (hooking), 11:47; Kopstals Gue (slashing), 17:35; Wallace Tor (high sticking), 19:16.
2. Guelph, Simmonds (Winder, Bramwell), 2:55
Penalties: Brand Tor (hooking), 13:32; Heffernan Tor (interference), 15:54.
3. Guelph, Kopstals (unassisted) 19:54 en
Penalties: Raycroft Gue (tripping), 3:02; Simmonds Gue (holding), 6:05; Lemcke Gue (cross checking), 18:01.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Bishop (L, 29 shots-27 saves), Toronto; Masters (W, 22 shots-22 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Toronto 0-4; Guelph 0-4.
- Guelph Sports Journal