WESTERN TOPS LAKEHEAD FOR TOP SPOT IN FAR WEST

The Western Mustangs visited Thunder Bay this weekend, coming away with two convincing victories over arch-rival Lakehead and first place in the OUA Far West division. The Mustangs, who were swept on their own ice by the Thunderwolves in January, repayed the favour, outscoring Lakehead 10-2 in the two wins.

Toronto needed overtime to defeat the charging RMC Paladins, 5-4, for first place in the OUA Mid East division. Kyle Martiniuk scored the game winner for the Blues, who, as division winners, earned a first round playoff bye.

With just over seven minutes remaining, Mathieu Leclerc snapped a 1-1 tie to give the ninth-ranked McGill Redmen a hard-earned 2-1 victory over No.7 Trois-Rivieres. The win clinched first place for McGill (17-6-1) - on the final day of the regular season - in the OUA Far East and gave them their first division pennant since 1946.


Toronto 5, RMC 4 OT


The University of Toronto Varsity Blues beat the RMC Paladins 5-4 in overtime to close out the regular season. It was a special evening for Ian Malcolm, Mike Nason, Jesse Rycroft, and Mike Hutchison, who were all honoured on graduation night for their contributions to the University of Toronto both academically and athletically. Captain Ian Malcolm reached a milestone, recording his 100th career goal in a Varsity Blues uniform and adding two helpers, while rookie Kyle Martiniuk picked up Blue of the game honours, scoring a huge overtime goal and adding one assist. Ryan Grinnell also turned in a solid performance making 28 saves on 32 shots, while also picking up an assist in his seventh victory of the season. The two teams exchanged goals in both the first and second period, with Scott and Ian Malcolm landing singles for the boys in blue, and Jesse Rycroft giving the Blues their third lead of the game as he opened the third period finishing off a neat little passing play with Ian Malcolm, tipping the return pass over the catcher of Paladins goaltender Blair Robertson. However, the RMC offense could not be silenced as Adrian Hartley tied the game at three on the powerplay, in the seventh minute of the period, and Brent Maurice put the Paladins ahead six minutes later. In overtime, a couple of early penalties to both teams would set each team to four players aside. The extra space would allow Kyle Martiniuk time to tee up a blast from the left point that would stun Robertson and beat him over the glove, off the cross bar and down, and cause an eruption of the Varsity Blues bench, as U of T would complete the comeback and take the season series 2-1.


Western 5, Lakehead 0


The Western Mustangs silenced a standing room only crowd of 3738 fans at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder bay as the Mustangs posted a convincing 5-0 win over the hometown Lakehead Thunderwolves. The win makes Saturday's rematch very crucial, as the winner of the game will capture the OUA Far West Division title and get a first round playoff bye. The win puts Western's record at 16-6-0-1 (21-11-0-1 overall) while Lakehead's record goes to 15-7-1 in OUA play (23-15-2-1 overall). The Mustangs generally had the edge in play and when Lakehead put on the pressure; Mike D'Alessandro stood tall in the Western goal to post the shutout. The Mustangs opened a 3-0 first period lead and the Wolves just couldn't seem to find the spark to get back in the game before their home crowd. Western outshot Lakehead 44-35 on the night. Mustang scoring came from Chris Rowan, Mike McKeown, Ryan Held, Ryan Hare, and Mike Rice.


York 3, Laurier 0


Anchored behind solid goaltending by Scott Della Vedova, the York Lions shutout the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks, 3-0. Della Vedova stopped all 37 shots on goal, while Shane Nash's first period marker stood up to be the winner as York finishes a top the Mid West Division for the ninth straight season. The game began with an intense pace, and was dominated by the Lions. Golden Hawks goaltender Justin Day made several key stops early in the period before being beaten by Nash on the short side at 13:34. Golden Hawks rookie Nick Vergeer had the best chance of the period for Laurier when he was sent in from the blue line on the power play but couldn't fight off the back check to get a decent shot on net.
Needing a regulation victory to capture the Mid West title, Laurier opened up in the third period. Their increased offensive surge left the Hawks vulnerable on defence, and Lions Mike McKenna capitalized with his fifth point of the season crashing through the crease. Matt Reynolds picked up his sixth point in three games against Laurier this year, as his late third period goal rounded out the scoring. Neither team connected with the man advantage, as York went 0-for-3 and the Golden Hawks finished 0-for-2.


OUA PLAYOFF FORMAT

EAST DIVISION (FAR EAST AND MID EAST)
As division winners, Toronto and McGill receive first-round byes. The next four teams with the best record are ranked accordingly:

1. McGill - 35 points * Division Winner
2. Toronto - 25 points * Division Winner
3. UQTR - 34 points
4. Concordia - 30 points
5. Ottawa - 29 points
6. RMC - 22 points

FIRST ROUND MATCH-UPS - Best of 3 series
#3 UQTR vs. #6 RMC
#4 Concordia vs. #5 Ottawa

WEST DIVISION (FAR WEST AND MID WEST)
As division winners, York and Western receive first round byes. The next four teams with the best record are ranked accordingly:

1. Western - 35 points * Division Winner
2. York - 30 points * Division Winner
3. Lakehead - 31 points
4. Waterloo - 29 points
5. Laurier - 26 points
6. Guelph - 21 points

FIRST ROUND MATCH-UPS - Best of 3 series
#3 Lakehead vs. #6 Guelph
#4 Waterloo vs. #5 WLU

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