CIS women's hockey roundup: Mcgill captures 6th consecutive RSEQ title; Queen's takes OUA title after magical run
Photo credit Ian McAlpine, Queen's / Andrew Dobrowolsky, McGill
|AUS round robin 3|
|Saint Mary's||3||St. Thomas||7||Final||Boxscore|
|AUS round robin 4|
|Finale RSEQ - Match 2|
MONTREAL - Ann-Sophie Bettez and Katia Clement-Heydra each scored and added three assists as No.1-ranked McGill cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Montreal Carabins before 443 fans at CEPSUM Arena, Friday, to capture their sixth consecutive Ed Enos trophy as champions of the Quebec university women's hockey league.
Caroline Hill, a fifth-year senior from Dorval, Que., and veteran Jordanna Peroff of Keswick, Ont., added two goals apiece for the Martlets, who won for the 105th consecutive time against a QUHL opponent, including a 15-0 record against the Carabins.
McGill advances to the CIS national championship tourney, for the ninth straight season and for the 12th time in 14 years, in Waterloo, Ont., March 9-13.
McGill, which outshot Montreal 39-19, including a 16-6 margin in the opening period, spotted the Carabins with a 1-0 lead on Cassandra Dupuis's power-play marker at 9:16 of the first, then roared back with eight unanswered goals.
"It's kind of funny but that goal kind of served as a slap in the face for us," said Peter Smith, in his 11th season as head coach of the Martlets. "Although we started out with four good shifts, we weren't sharp for about a seven-minute period and kind of lost our focus for a few minutes. After they scored to take the lead, we turned it up a notch and really used our speed to take control of the game."
Peroff replied on a power-play at 15:11, followed by goals from Lisa Zane of Mississauga at 17:46 and Kim Ton-That of Beaconsfield, Que., at 19:59, which sent the Martlets into the dressing room with a 3-1 lead and essentially deflated Montreal of any hope.
Clement-Heydra, a freshman from St. Bruno de Montarville, Que., made it 4-1 at 4:47 of the middle stanza and from that point forward, the rout was officially on.
Bettez, a native of Sept-Iles, Que., put the Martlets in front 5-1 at 13:50 and McGill stepped on the gas in the final period, with Peroff's second of the soiree, followed by a pair of goals from Hill.
McGill ended up going 3-for-6 with the man-advantage and upped their potent post-season power-play to a lofty 30 per cent, connecting on six of 20 opportunities.
Goaltender Charline Labonté, a senior from Boisbriand, Que., made 18 saves for the victory, improving her record to 27-1-0 on the season overall. In four playoff starts, the 5-foot-9 puck-stopper has a 4-0 record with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .977 save percentage.
Carabins netminder Rachel Ouellette, a freshman from Pte. Claire, Que., made 31 saves and took the loss.
McGill will depart Tuesday for the Nationals, rolling on all cylinders, with a 30-0 record against CIS teams this season, including a 4-0 playoff record.
MARTLET MURMURS: A boisterous busload of fans from "Red Thunder", the McGill Athletics fan club, was on hand and made it seem as if the Martlets were playing in front of a home crowd... After the game, Coach Smith invited them onto the ice to pose for a team photo with the Martlets... The only dark cloud lurking over the McGill victory was the potential loss of Lainie Smith, a third-year forward from Aurora, Ont., who is no relation to the head coach... Smith, who scored four goals in 20 regular-season contests, suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury after a heavy collision with the boards... She will be re-examined by the team's medical staff on Saturday and her playing status is unknown for the CIS tourney... Linemates Bettez and Clement-Heydra tied for the Quebec conference playoff scoring title with identical 2-7-9 records in four games... Hill, the third member of the team's top trio, finished third with seven points, including a conference-leading four goals.
Source: McGill Sports Info
|Guelph||2||Queen's||3||Final - OT||Boxscore|
|OUA final - Game 2|
|KINGSTON, Ont. – After 32 long years, the OUA
Women's Hockey Championship is headed back to Queen's as the No. 10
Gaels swept their best-of-three series against the No. 8 Guelph
Gryphons with a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night at the Kingston
Rookie defenceman Kelly Eustace of Oakville, Ont., scored the game winner with less than a second remaining in overtime on a goal that can only be described as shocking.
With time winding down in the first overtime period, Eustace picked up a loose puck at the red line and fired the puck towards the net. Guelph goaltender Danielle Skoufranis of Thornhill, Ont., was caught out of position and was helpless to do anything as the puck slid into the empty net with less than a second on the clock to give Queen's their first championship victory since 1978-79.
"I was just trying to dump it in and it happened to be on net," said an elated Eustace. "We knew we had to get shots...I guess it just happened to be the right one. It was amazing!"
The goal was Eustace's first of the playoffs and first in her career with the Gaels.
The game started off in the exact same fashion as Queen's previous five playoff games as the opposition was able to get on the board first. Just six minutes into the opening period, Kaitlyn Mora of Guelph, Ont., pushed a loose puck past Queen's goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher of Stittville, Ont., to give the visitors a lead.
Late in the frame, the Gaels were penalized for hooking and although Guelph couldn't score before the period was out, they took advantage of the fresh ice early in the second. Off a face-off to the right of Dodd-Moher, Jenna Lanzarotta of Mississauga, Ont., fired a shot high over the shoulder of the Gaels goalie to stretch the lead to two and silence the home crowd of more than 600 fans.
Down two goals for the first time during their playoff run, Head Coach Matt Holmberg said he knew he didn't need to give his team a pep talk to get them back in the game. "You know what's amazing about this team, I didn't have to tell them too much," said the second year head coach. "I knew the girls were still motivated and believed in each other. We rode that."
With the bench still upbeat, the Gaels veterans stepped up to get them back in the contest. Late in the second period, Kelsey Thomson of Martintown, Ont., skated over the blueline and wristed a shot up over the shoulder of Skoufranis to cut the Guelph lead to one heading into the third.
Queen's carried the momentum from the goal with them into the third and needed just seven minutes to tie the game up. Off a shot on goal from Elizabeth Kench of Gananoque, Ont., Game 1 hero Morgan McHaffie of Guelph, Ont., found a loose puck and flipped it over a sprawling Skoufranis for her third goal of the playoffs.
With the game tied up and the crowd behind them, the Gaels pushed for the game winner in front of the home town fans but the Guelph defence stood tall with excellent position in the lanes and some strong shot blocking.
At the other end, the Gryphons had their fair share of chances to end the contest themselves but Dodd-Moher once again came up big for Queen's, turning aside more than one excellent opportunity for the Guelph forwards.
With the two teams deadlocked at two, the game headed into overtime, the fifth straight game that the Gaels have gone to extra time.
In the extra frame, fatigue began to slip into the play of both teams as a couple of soft passes and clearing attempts lead to opportunities for both clubs. Queen's seemed to carry the majority of the play, buoyed by a boisterous home crowd and late in the game, they would once again find a way to win.
After the a close chance in front by Gaels forward Kristin Smith of Toronto, the Gryphons dumped the puck out to the neutral zone where the Gaels forced a turnover. The puck eventually fell to Eustace who shot it into the Guelph net to send the Gaels bench into a frenzy.
"It's just proof about shots on net," said assistant captain Becky Conroy of Pembroke, Ont. "I stepped back out of the play because I was thinking 'let's play it safe'. We can't score at this point, we might as well chip it in. That puck trickled in, it was awesome. Just fire it on net and anything can happen."
Dodd-Moher finished the game with 25 saves to earn the victory between the pipes and finishes the OUA playoffs with a remarkable 0.75 GAA and a 0.971SV%. Skoufranis turned aside 25 of 28 shots in a losing effort for Guelph.
The only player in the game to finish with multiple points was Kench, who picked up assists on each of the Gaels first two goals.
The Gaels will now head to their first CIS Championship tournament next week, hosted by one of the teams they eliminated from the playoffs, the Laurier Golden Hawks.
When asked what his team needs to do to be successful at their first national championship, Coach Holmberg commented, "just playing the way we play and believing in ourselves. We've beaten some very good teams and earned it."
The tournament, which begins as a six team round robin format, will kick off Thursday March 10, 2011 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreational Complex in Waterloo.
NOTES: This was the first time in 11 games that the Gaels have allowed their opposition to score more than one goal...Queen's never held a lead during their entire OUA playoff run, having come back from early deficit's in each of their five victories...the Gaels have won 11 consecutive games heading into the CIS Championship...all five of the Gaels wins during the 2010-11 playoff run have come against nationally-ranked opponents...Queen's has now played 13 periods of overtime hockey during their playoff run...seven of the eight games played during the OUA women's hockey playoffs were decided in overtime.
Source: Queen's Sports Info