TORONTO, Ont. (from Guelph Gryphons) – The playoffs are less than a week away for the No. 7-ranked Guelph Gryphons men’s hockey team. And they will be entering the postseason in fine form.
Friday night in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Gryphons used a four-goal third period to blow past the Ryerson Rams 6-2. It marked the second straight night the Gryphons exploded for six goals after winning by an identical 6-2 score line over York on Thursday night in Guelph.
Todd Winder (Uxbridge, Ont.) and Cody Thompson (Mississauga, Ont.) each scored twice as the Gryphons closed out their regular season schedule with their 21st win of the season. The Gryphons (21-6-1) will enter the OUA playoffs as the top-seed in the OUA West but will need to wait until Saturday night to see who their first-round opponent will be.
Friday night’s game between the OUA West-leading Gryphons and the second-place Ryerson Rams marked the two team’s second meeting in less than a week. After the Rams edged the Gryphs 5-4 back on February 3, the Gryphons wasted no time building up an early lead in the rematch.
Gryphons third-year winger Thompson scored 38 seconds into the opening period, and followed that up with another goal just over a minute later. Thompson’s third multi-goal game of the season came one night after a four-point night versus York (four assists). Thompson would also later add an assist to finish with a three-point night on Friday.
Despite the early hole, the host Rams would battle back to tie the game at 2-2, setting the stage for an explosive third period by the Gryphons. Rookie sensation Winder would give the Gryphons a 3-2 with a power play goal just over two minutes into the final period. Veteran defenceman Josh McFadden (Guelph, Ont.) helped set up the goal by jumping into the rush and making a great pass to set up Winder for his team-leading 17th of the season.
After Trevor Morbeck banged home a rebound to make it 4-2 Guelph, Winder would strike again, this time undressing Ryerson goalie Taylor Dupuis on a breakaway for his second of the night and 18th on the season. Winder’s 18 goals puts him just one off the U SPORTS leading goal scorers (four players tied at 19). Captain Scott Simmonds would cap off the scoring after converting on a penalty shot for his 12th of the season.
First-year goalie Andrew Masters made 28 saves for his 13th win of the season. The Kitchener-native made several huge saves at the end of the second and beginning of the third periods to keep the game knotted at 2-2.
The Gryphons will host either the Windsor Lancers or Toronto Varsity Blues in the opening round of the playoffs (best-of-three series), which will get underway on Thursday at the Gryphon Centre.