LONDON, Ont. - The No. 6 nationally-ranked Western Mustangs all-rookie line of Aaron Snow, Keaton Turkiewicz and Kevin Baker combined for seven points in a 4-1 series-clinching win over the Guelph Gryphons at Thompson Arena on Feb. 22.

With the win, Western advances to play in the best-of-three OUA West semi-final against York. Game 1 is Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Ice Gardens, while Game 2 is back at Thompson Arena on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. No. 10 Lakehead will play No. 3 Laurier in the other OUA West semi-final

The team that had scored first had lost both previous games in the series, but Western scored first and never trailed to win the best-of-three OUA West quarter-final series 2-1.

The Mustangs opened the scoring as Snow (Windsor, Ont.) scored from a seemingly impossible angle. A shot from Turkiewicz (Brantford, Ont.) hit Guelph goalie Adam Jennings (Calgary, Alta.) then the post, and the rebound fell to the side of the net where Snow managed to score despite having almost no angle as a left-handed shooter to the right of the goalie.

His shot snuck high and far side on Jennings just over five minutes into the game to give Western the early 1-0 lead.

Defenceman Adam Nemeth (London, Ont.) had a wide open net on a one-timer, but instead of roofing the puck he shot right at Jennings. The Guelph netminder slid across and the rebound fell in a sea of skates and was eventually cleared out of the Gryphons' zone.

Guelph's Darryl Munch (East St. Paul, Man.) tied the game, doing his best Laidlaw garbage man impersonation, jamming away at a loose puck at the side of the net after a Mustangs giveaway in their own zone with just over a minute remaining in the period.

The poor defensive zone effort allowed Guelph to get a shot on Topping who couldn't keep the puck covered at the side of the net.

The opening period was very physical, and referee Ray McManus decided to, as the cliché goes, let the teams play.

To start the second, Jennings had to be big making two outstanding saves.

Mustangs captain Sal Peralta (Leamington, Ont.) had the best chance, catching up to a clearing attempt and going in on a breakaway which he lifted at the last minute. But Jennings was patient and make the save on his stick side to keep the game tied.

Topping was steady through the game and had 19 saves through two periods and much better rebound control than the previous two playoff games he started.

Western's offence was patient, and it resulted in two second-period goals.

Turkiewicz had a great chance to make it 2-1, streaking in on a transition play, but Jennings managed to twist his body around to make the save and keep the game tied with a shot that nearly snuck between Jennings' arm and torso.

Just over a minute later, defenceman Ryan Martinelli (London, Ont.) took a shot from just inside the blue-line and it deflected off Kevin Baker (Georgetown, Ont.) and then off the post.

The play went back into the Western zone, and clearing the puck out, Snow was hammered into the boards near the Guelph bench.

But his clearing pass found the stick of Baker who came in and went high glove side with a perfect shot to make it 2-1 with 8:15 left in the second.

The Mustangs nearly took a 3-1 lead when a Chris Petrow (Haliburton, Ont.) shot deflected off Martens and then off the post on the power play. But later in the man-advantage, Martens made a play worthy of most highlight-of-the-night reels.

After making a great play to gain the offensive zone, Martens' shot from a bad angle missed the net to the left of Jennings. But the puck rolled off a bounce off the end boards and Martens put his stick behind the goal line and scooped the puck around in one motion into the top left corner past a helpless Jennings.

Western carried the 3-1 lead into the third period.

Snow scored his second of the game taking a great pass from Turkiewicz and converting on a one-timer for the 4-1 lead.

Turkiewicz gained the line with great finesse and agility. He had both Baker and Snow open, then centred a pass to a streaking Snow who went between the legs of Jennings for the goal with 7:18 left in the third period.

Topping made 31 saves for the win and was steady and consistent for the win. Jennings had 31 saves for the loss.

Source: Mustangs Athletics

Photo Credit: Craig Glover

Carleton wins best-of-three series 2-1

MONTREAL, Que. - The Carleton Ravens men's hockey team defeated the Concordia Stingers 3-2 in Game 3 of the best-of-three OUA East quarter-final at Ed Meagher Arena in Montreal, Que. The Ravens will now face No. 5 UQTR in a best-of-3 OUA East semi-final series.

After a scoreless first period in which the Stingers outshot the Ravens 9-6, Concordia was first to get on the scoreboard with a goal from Marc-André Rizk (Montreal, Que.) at 2:07 in the second period. The Ravens would respond just one minute later with a power play goal by Derek Wells (Alymer, Que.) at 3:09. Assists on the tying goal were credited to Chris Boudeau-Mifflen (Ottawa, Ont.) and Ryan Berard (Niagara Falls, Ont.).

Less than two minutes later, Carleton's Francis Walker (St. Eustache, Que.) would score the go-ahead goal for the 2-1 lead past Stinger goaltender Maxime Joyal (Chateauguay, Que.). The goal came at 4:52 on a feed from Ryan Medel (Ruthven, Ont.). The home team responded with a power play goal of their own at 8:47 when Stingers captain Simon-Pierre Sauvé (Chateauguay, Que.) beat Raven goaltender Alex Archibald (Ottawa, Ont.) to level the game at 2-2.

In the third period the Ravens came out strong and made an impact when second-year forward Andrew Self (Peterborough, Ont.) put Carleton up 3-2 at 3:33 on a pass from Shane Bakker (Navan, Ont.). The Ravens fought for the remainder of the period to close out a 3-2 victory over the Concordia Stingers to win series.

Carleton will now play away at UQTR on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before returning home to the Carleton University Ice House on Friday at 7 p.m. for Game. 2. If needed, Game 3 will be played at UQTR on Sun., Mar. 1.

Source: Ravens Athletics

McGill wins best-of-three series 2-1

MONTREAL, Que. – First-period goals by defenceman Ben Gazdic and freshman Alexandre Picard-Hooper held up as the McGill Redmen skated to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees to capture the rubber match of their OUA East semi-final series at McConnell Arena on Sunday.

Gazdic, a third-year rearguard from Toronto, Ont., struck pay dirt with a blue line blast on the power play at 11:23, on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Guillaume Doucet (Montreal, Que.) and Simon Marcotte-Légaré (Longueuil, Que.).

Some six minutes later, Picard-Hooper, a native of Boucherville, Que., who led all OUA freshmen in scoring during the regular season, converted a pass from rookie Marc-Andre Daneau (Aston Jonction, Que.) to give the Redmen a 2-0 lead.

Despite the low score, the Redmen held a 45-27 edge in shots, including a stunning 24-11 margin in the second period, but were stoned time and time again by goaltender Riley Whitlock, a sophomore from Calgary, Alta., who registered 90 saves in the final two games of the series.

Mathieu Methot, a high-scoring freshman from Ottawa, Ont., gave the Gee-Gees some life when he connected on a power play midway through the middle period but an under-manned McGill defence took over and with the help of netminder Kevin Desfossés (Beauport, Que.), played kitty-bar-the-door the rest of the way.

"We did a helluva job on the penalty-kill tonight," said relieved McGill head coach Martin Raymond, whose troops snuffed out 8-of-9 shorthanded situations handed out by referee Mathieu Cote. "There were a lot of penalties called tonight, some were well-deserved, others were not."

McGill, which has a 10-2 post-season record dating back to last year, the will open a best-of-three semi-final series against the Toronto Varsity Blues, who had a first-round playoff bye after winning the OUA Mid-East Division with a 14-11-1-2 record. The Redmen split their two-game series with Toronto, losing 6-3 at home (Nov. 21) and winning 5-4 in an overtime shootout at Varsity Arena (Nov. 28). Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday at McConnell Arena, with Games 2 and 3 tentatively slated for Toronto over the weekend.

Source: Redmen Athletics