The 2017-18 season came to a halt for the University of Ottawa men’s hockey team as they fell 6-3 to the McGill Redmen in the deciding game of their second round playoff series on Sunday night in Montreal.
“Well I thought the better team won tonight,” Head Coach Patrick Grandmaître said following the game. “I said it after game two, we needed to be perfect to beat this team in the playoffs. I don’t think we played a perfect game. They brought another level, and we didn’t.”
McGill jumped out to an early lead when Max Daigle tapped a puck home just five minutes into the game. The Redmen doubled up their lead midway through the second period on a scramble in front of the goal.
The Gee-Gees quickly replied, with Mathieu Newcomb finding a loose puck at the side of the net and scoring his first of the playoffs.
The goal did little to deter McGill’s momentum however, as they tallied a goal of their own just seconds later to restore the two goal lead.
With Ottawa pressuring as soon as the third period opened, McGill capitalized and buried a goal two minutes into the frame to generate a commanding three goal lead.
Kevin Domingue used his speed to create a breakaway opportunity, but was hauled down, resulting in a penalty shot. While he wasn’t able to score on the penalty shot, he immediately collected the puck off the subsequent face-off and buried it to pull the Gee-Gees back within two goals.
Following a too-many-men call against Ottawa, McGill immediately dialled-in a goal just eight seconds into the man advantage.
Connor Sills scored with thirty seconds remaining in the game, but a empty netter from McGill clinched the victory for the home team.
“I think we saw in this series, to be able to go far in the playoffs, we need to be on our game the whole time,” Grandmaître said. “It’s a reminder we need to play our best all the time, we can’t take any games off. Tonight wasn't our best night.”
While the evening marked a disappointing end to a Gee-Gees season that seemed destined for a deep playoff run, there’s still an overwhelming amount of positives to take away from the season.
Grandmaître cited the second half of the season, which saw the Garnet and Grey go 8-3-1 heading into playoffs.
“We really took off right after Christmas and we kept it going through the end of the year and the playoffs,” he said. “We pushed McGill, game two was right there for us. We had the lead and it was tied heading into the third period.”
“If you asked me two years ago if I’d have that opportunity in year two, I would’ve said you’re crazy. We’ll learn from it and grow as a team.”