Ryan Green, a third-year forward from Essex, Ont., scored the tying goal with 61 seconds left in regulation and added the overtime winner at 14:49 as the Windsor Lancers pulled off a miraculous comeback to edge McGill 2-1 in the OUA men’s hockey bronze medal game before a capacity crowd of 600 at South Windsor Arena, Saturday.
The result qualified the Lancers for a wild-card berth at the CIS Final Eight national championship in Halifax, March 12-15, while abruptly ending McGill’s season.
McGill had a 41-39 edge in shots and the better scoring chances through most of the scoreless first two periods.
The Redmen finally got the upper hand at 1:37 of the third stanza when centre Guillaume Langelier-Parent, a civil engineering senior from Lery, Que., finally broke the ice by converting a pass from Neal Prokop.
Redmen netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, who led the CIS in both goals-against average and save percentage, appeared headed for his second shutout in eight playoff starts. But that all changed in the dying minutes of regulation play when Windsor pulled goaltender Peter Van Buskirk at 18:36 and just 23 seconds later Green deflected a point-shot from defenceman Julian Luciani into the net to force overtime.
In the extra session, Luciani found Green again along the right side and the 6-foot-3, 215 pound forward fired a high shot from the right faceoff circle that appeared to handcuff Gervais-Chouinard, who had 37 saves as his playoff record evened out at 4-4..
McGill was 0-for-6 on the power-play, including two chances in overtime. Van Buskirk made 40 saves for the victory, improving to 5-3 in the post-season. The Lancers were 0-for-4 on their man-advantage situations.
The Redmen finished their 139th season with a 29-13-0 record overall, including a 21-5-0 first-place finish in the OUA East… The team was ravaged by injuries in the second semester, losing six players for the remainder of the season, including four regulars. Among those who were unable to complete the season were defencemen Jean-Philippe Mathieu and Dominic Poulin, along with forwards Marc-Olivier Vachon, Simon Tardif-Richard, Alexis Millette and Alexandre Tremblay… The team expects to lose seven seniors to graduation, including forwards Cedric McNicoll, Neal Prokop, Guillaume Langelier-Parent, Marc-Olivier Vachon and team captain Benoit Levesque. Expected losses on the blueline are Hugo Laporte and Guillaume Monast.