Exhibition: Top-ranked Martlets topple No.2 Laurier in epic battle
MONTREAL - Ann-Sophie Bettez of Sept-Iles, Que., scored twice and added an assist as McGill outlasted the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 5-4 in a post-overtime shootout to win an epic clash of the titans and capture the first annual Martlet Holiday Invitational hockey tournament before 400 at McConnell Arena, Friday.
In a see-saw thriller that featured that featured five lead changes, the No.1-ranked Martlets improved to 14-1-0 against CIS opponents after goals from Katia Clement-Heydra of St. Bruno, Que., and Jordanna Peroff of Keswick, Ont., to win the shootout 2-0.
No.2-ranked WLU, which played a relentless and much more physical style than McGill, had a slight 34-33 edge in shots.
"It was a great preparation game for us to know where we stand," said McGill rearguard and team captain Cathy Chartrand of Lac Nominingue, Que. "We always learn from playing teams of that calibre. This tournament featured the top teams in the country and it was a lot of fun to play them this week to (gauge) where we stood."
Bettez, who had been kept off the scoresheet for the first two games of the tourney, opened the scoring on a power-play midway through the opening period. The fifth-year sniper also set up Clement-Heydra's PP marker which put McGill ahead 3-2 at 14:40 of the middle stanza; she then gave the Martlets their third lead, 4-3, at 8:59 of the final period.
But the Hawks kept clawing back.
They had rallied from the early 1-0 deficit to go ahead 2-1 on goals by Heather Fortuna of Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto native Andrea Shapero. McGill countered with back-to-back markers from Chartrand and Clement-Heydra but Laurier made it 3-3 when Caitlin Muirhead of Waterloo connected at 14:59 of the middle session. After Bettez tallied to give her side a 4-3 advantage, defender Alicia Martin of Etobicoke, Ont., evened things up again on a power-play midway through the final period to force overtime.
Charline Labonte of Boisbriand, Que., registered 30 saves in regulation and stoned the Hawks on all four of their shootout attempts. She was credited with the victory, improving to 13-3-0 in 16 starts overall. Hawks netminder Erika Thunder, a freshman from Buffalo Point, Man., kicked out 28 of 32 shots but was beaten twice on four shootout attempts and took the loss.
McGill went 3-for-8 on the power-play, while Laurier connected on 1-of-3 opportunities.
"We had No.1 playing against No.2 and it was supposed to be a close game," said McGill head coach Peter Smith. "I didn't like the four goals against but it was a good win for us. However there was also a lesson to be learned there. We made too many mistakes in our zone and got to stay on our guard a little better than we did."
It was a rough affair, with plethora of body contact and featuring 11 minor penalties, eight to Laurier, called by veteran referee Gabrielle Ariane-Lortie.
"I thought that the refereeing was very good throughout the tourney and all coaches from the other teams made similar comments to me," said Smith about the officiating, which has long been a hot topic of conversation in women's hockey. "They let us play and that's the way the game should be played, as long as nobody's getting hurt or taking advantage of the situation."
The two teams gave everything they had and left a vocal crowd anticipating a potential rendezvous in the CIS championship gold medal game at Edmonton, March 8-11.
"It was pretty exciting, a back-and-forth game that gave us a little taste of what to expect for playoffs and the Nationals," said Leslie Oles, the tourney MVP from Beaconsfield, Que., who collected a pair of assists and won the tourney scoring crown with seven points, including three goals in three contests. "We've played a lot of games against NCAA teams this season but this was probably the fastest and most physical one that we've played all year."
Oles, one of four Martlets named to the all-tourney team, was joined by goaltender Charline Labonte (two shutouts and 4 goals against in three games), plus blueliners Cathy Chartrand (2-2-4) and Brittney Fouracres (2-2-4), an engineering freshman from Calgary, who produced the most spectacular defensive play of the tourney. Her perfectly-timed dive from behind saved a golden scoring opportunity when she knocked the puck away from WLU's Brittany Crago, who had been sprung free on a long breakaway after her slashing penalty expired at 1:10 of the third period.
Rounding out the all-tourney squad were Laurier forwards Caitlin Muirhead (2-1-3) and Heather Fortuna (2-0-2).
The Martlets improved to 16-5-1 overall, including a 2-5-1 mark against NCAA opponents. McGill is off until Jan. 7, when they play an exhibition game against Yale in New Haven, Conn. The Martlets resume regular season action the following week when they travel across town to meet Concordia, followed by a home game against the Montreal Carabins, Jan. 13-14, respectively.
Laurier, which dropped to 18-5-0 overall (including three overtime losses), will host Windsor and play at Western, Jan. 6-7.
Laurier 4 at McGill 5 (OTS: 2-0)
(Friday, December 30, 2011 - McConnell Arena)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
WLU 1-2-1-0 -- 4
McGill 1-2-1-2 (1) -- 5
1, McGill, Ann-Sophie Bettez (L. Oles, M. Daigneault), 10:44 (PP).
2, WLU, Heather Fortuna (D. Im), 17:43.
Skeats WLU (bodychecking), 7:03;
Shirriff WLU (bodychecking), 9:09;
Pohlod MCG (tripping), 14:57.
3, WLU, Andrea Shapero (C. Muirhead, B. Crago), 1:36.
4, McGill, Cathy Chartrand (B. Fouracres), 3:44 (PP).
5, McGill, Katia Clement-Heydra (G. Ferrari, A.S. Bettez), 14:40 (PP).
6, WLU, Caitlin Muirhead (A. Rainsberry), 14:59.
Brooker WLU (hooking), 2:16;
Connelly WLU (delay of game), 11:43;
Daigneault MCG (interference), 12:05;
Hurrell WLU (tripping), 13:43;
Crago WLU (slashing), 19:10.
7, McGill, Ann-Sophie Bettez (L. Oles, M. Daigneault), 8:59.
8, WLU, Alicia Martin (unassisted), 11:06 (PP).
Brooker WLU (tripping), 4:57;
Chartrand MCG (delay of game), 9:11;
Lester WLU (delay of game), 15:18.
OVERTIME (5 mins):
WLU 0 (K.Shirriff NG, B.Crago NG, T.Freiburger NG, L.Brooker NG),
McGill 2 (L.Oles NG, Katia Clement-Heydra (GOAL), Jordanna Peroff (GOAL), A.S. Bettez NG).
Shots on Goal-
WLU 10-12-11-1-0 -- 34.
McGill 9-13-6-4-1 -- 33.
Power Play Opportunities-
WLU 1 / 3;
McGill 3 / 8.
WLU, Erika Thunder (L, 32 shots-28 saves; 65:00).
McGill, Charline Labonte (W, 34 shots-30 saves; 65:00).
Linesmen-Joelle Champoux, Pascal Ouimet.
Start: 4:00 PM
End: 6:12 PM
1. MCG - 24 Ann-Sophie Bettez
2. MCG - 19 Katia Clement-Heydra
3. WLU - 12 Caitlin Muirhead
Results of Martlet Invitational Hockey Tournament
Wednesday, Dec. 28
GAME 1: Laurier 4, Manitoba 2
GAME 2: McGill 4, St. FX 0
Thursday, Dec. 29
GAME 3: Laurier 3, St. FX 1
GAME 4: McGill 3, Manitoba 0
Friday, Dec. 30
GAME 5: Manitoba 4, St. FX, 2
GAME 6: McGill 5, Laurier 4 (OTS, 2-0)
1. McGill (3-0-0 12GF 4GA)
2. Laurier (2-1-0 11GF 8GA)
3. Manitoba (1-2-0 6GF 9GA)
4. St. FX (0-3-0 3GF 11GA)
GOAL: Charline Labonte, McGill
DEFENCE: Cathy Chartrand, McGill
DEFENCE: Brittney Fouracres, McGill
FORWARD: Leslie Oles, McGill
FORWARD: Caitlin Muirhead, Laurier
FORWARD: Heather Fortuna, Laurier
TOUNAMENT MVP: Leslie Oles, McGill
McGill Sports Info