Considering the schools are separated by approximately ten hours of highway, one wouldn’t expect bad blood to exist between Windsor and UQTR. However, with the Patriotes visiting the #7 Lancers for back-to-back games, penalties ruled the weekend double feature.
The Lancers were coming into the weekend having not lost since opening night, and looking to keep their spot atop the OUA West division. The Patriotes, meanwhile, were on a five-game winning streak of their own, and hungry to capture their first road win of the season.
The fireworks started early, with three players off to the box just 34 seconds in. Windsor quickly took three straight penalties in the first, managing to kill off all three, before UQTR made three straight trips of their own. It was the Patriotes who jumped out on the offensive, though, as Thomas Martin scored his first goal of the season on the penalty kill. The Pats took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission, following a period that saw ten minor penalties and a misconduct.
Things improved in the second – briefly. Kenny Bradford scored a powerplay marker for the Lancers to tie things up just 3:12 into the second, before Anthony Verret set up Antoine Quevillon to regain the UQTR lead just seventeen seconds later.
That was the opening of the floodgates. Martin scored his second shorthanded marker of the game just four minutes later, and Jason Rajotte extended the lead to 4-1 at the end of the period to give the Pats a comfortable lead heading into the third.
With the game looking pretty well out of reach, things got out of hand quick.
Windsor’s Derek Lanoue picked up a game misconduct just over two minutes into the third, and five ten-minute misconducts followed over the rest of the frame. In total, the teams picked up 114 combined penalties, with Windsor taking 70 of those alone on 15 infractions.
Martin completed his hat trick on the powerplay in the final two minutes, while Rajotte added insult to injury, burying his second of the game on the man advantage with 33 seconds left, to give the Pats a whopping 6-1 victory.
Marc-Antoine Gelinas stood on his head for UQTR, stopping 37 of 38 shots, while Parker Van Buskirk still picked up 40 saves despite giving up six goals. Windsor’s powerplay faltered miserably, converting on just one of nine chances, while the Pats didn’t fare much better, going 2-for-8.
Grudge match exactly that
The stage was set for an all-out melee as the two teams met again on Saturday night.
Kenny Bradford launched the Lancers into an early lead though, as he blasted home the first goal of the game just over a minute into the contest.
The two teams fell into old habits at that point, as they traded trips to the penalty box. The Patriotes were able to convert on the man advantage first, as Kevin Robert nodded things up.
Under a minute later, Julian Luciani was fed by defenceman Paul Bezzo to extend the lead back to a goal, which the Lancers took into the first intermission despite being outshot 13-10. Again, penalties ruled the period as the teams combined for eight in the opening frame alone.
Windsor upped the ante in the second period, and Richard Cameron extended the lead to two goals just under five minutes in. Despite an onslaught by the Lancers that saw them outshoot the Pats 16-12 in the frame, it was UQTR’s Felix Plouffe narrowing the lead down to one on an unassisted marker midway through the period. Matt Beaudoin reinstated the two-goal lead with just over two minutes left, though, which was all the Lancers would need.
The Pats gained momentum early in the final frame, as Marc-Olivier Mimar scored just 28 seconds in. Unfortunately, Windsor wouldn’t let up and as the third period regressed back into the brawling type of attitude that dominated the previous night, the one-goal lead stood until Bradford notched the Lancers fifth with less than thirty seconds to go.
It was a valiant losing effort for Gelinas, who started back-to-back nights, and made 21 saves in the third period, alone. He stopped 43 of 48 shots, while Van Buskirk also started the second game for Windsor, and faced 40 shots, allowing only three goals.
This time around it was UQTR’s power play that faltered, converting just one of six opportunities, as the Lancers racked up thirty-six penalty minutes.
With the weekend split, UQTR slid into a tie for the third spot in the OUA East with a 7-4-0 record, while Windsor sit tied with Lakehead (who have a game in hand) atop the OUA with 18 points and a 9-2-0 record.
Tune in again next week, when we follow the Lancers on the road as they travel to Kingston to face the last remaining team to not lose in regulation, the 6-0-5 Queen’s Golden Gaels, in another weekend doubleheader.