ST. CATHARINES, ON - The Gryphons are moving on to the 2nd round of the OUA men's hockey playoffs.
Friday night in St. Catharines at the Seymour-Hannah Arena, the No. 4-seeded Guelph Gryphons won 4-3 in overtime over the No. 5-seeded Brock Badgers in Game 2 of their OUA West Quarter-final matchup. Rookie defenceman Josh McFadden scored twice on the night, including the OT-winner, to help the Gryphons sweep the best-of-three series 2-games-to-none.
"Tonight was a hard-earned, complete team effort," said Gryphons head coach Shawn Camp. "All four lines and all six 'D' played very well." Of those six defencemen, one in particular had a memorable night as first year blueliner Josh McFadden not only opened the scoring with a goal in the 1st period, he also ended the scoring with the game-winner in OT. The Guelph native and former member of the AHL's San Antonio Rampage (affiliate of Colorado Avalanche) took advantage of a failed clearing attempt by the Badgers and potted his second of the night from in close. The winning goal came just 1:56 into the extra frame. McFadden, who finished the regular season tied with teammate Mark Raycroft for the scoring lead amongst defencemen on the team with five goals, received high praise from his coach after the game. "Josh had an exceptional night, not just because of the goals, but because he played well in all zones of the ice," said Coach Camp. "He's a player who has great speed and who can handle the puck extremely well. It was great to see him rewarded like that at the end."
You could make the case the Gryphons deserved the reward. Guelph finished the night with 54 shots on net, compared to 37 by Brock. Although the Gryphons never trailed in this series, they were certainly forced to deal with a persistent Badgers team in Game 2. The Gryphons led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 on Friday night, only to see Brock come back and tie the score on three different occasions. All three Badger goals were scored by Andrew Radjenovic who finished the series with four goals in two games. Cody Thompson and Marc Stevens rounded out the goal scorers for the Gryphons, with Thompson scoring on a power play and Stevens scoring late in the 2nd period to put the Gryphs up 3-2. Both Thompson and Stevens finished with multi-point nights with a goal and an assist apiece.
U of G goalie Scott Stajcer turned away 34 of the 37 shots sent his way for the win, including several big saves during the 3rd period. The Gryphons penalty kill unit came up big on the night, holding Brock to 0-for-5 with the man advantage, including a successful kill during an extended 5-on-3 opportunity for the Badgers back in the 1st period.
The Gryphons now have to wait to see who their 2nd round opponent will be as the other three series in the OUA West will be wrapping up later this weekend. The Gryphons will enter their next series looking to make it three straight seasons that the team has advanced the OUA West Finals.
Source: Guelph Gryphons