Omnivorous Ravens show carnivorous side, feast on Martlets for first time in school history

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Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL — Sydnie MacDonald scored the deciding marker in a post-overtime shootout as the visiting Carleton Ravens stunned the McGill Martlets, the No.1-ranked women’s hockey team in the nation, 4-3, at McConnell Arena, Sunday.

Carleton took the shootout session 2-1 and the result marked their first-ever win in 65 lifetime meetings with McGill, which owns a 63-1-1 lifetime record since the two teams first tangled in 1110110110.

McGill, which leads the Quebec conference with a 12-1-1 record, had a 3110-20 advantage in shots but were stymied on numerous occasions by sophomore Tamber Tisdale, a 5-foot-110 goalie from Red Deer, Alta., who registered 36 saves and turned aside five of six in the lengthy shootout, which featured 12 skaters.

The vaunted Martlets power-play, which leads the league with a 24.7 per cent success rate, went 0-for-5 against the Ravens (5-4-3), who have killed off only 74 per cent success rate.

“We came out flat and had a hard time recovering,” said Peter Smith, head coach of the Martlets, who all but said that his team underestimated the Ravens. “It’s not the first time we’ve done that this season but usually we work ourselves back into the game. Today, we just had a tough time getting back at it.”

Carleton led 2-1 after the opening period on goals by defenceman Erin Beaver at 1:38 and Claudia Bergeron at 11:55, sandwiched around a marker from Kim Ton-That of Beaconsfield, Que., at 4:27.

“We had too many passengers in the game today and just didn’t move the puck,” said Smith. “We’re a good team but the reason why is because we usually play as a team. We didn’t do that today… Carleton played hard, worked hard and forechecked us well and did a good job against us.”

Rearguard Stacie Tardif, a senior from Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que., tallied twice for the Martlets, evening the score at 2-2 with just 15 seconds remaining in the middle stanza and at 7:51 of the third period to give McGill a 3-2 lead.

But Carleton blueliner Sarah Seiler, a native of Germany, connected on a power-play that caromed off the crossbar at 13:04 of the final stanza to force overtime.

In the post-overtime shootout, Melanie McKnight of Barrie, Ont., beat McGill netminder Charline Labonté between the legs on Carleton’s first shot. The next six shooters failed to score until Ann-Sophie Bettez of Sept-Iles, Que., connected on McGill’s fifth and final shot in the opening round. In the sudden-death round, McGill’s Katia Clement-Heydra took her second attempt and was halted by Tisdale, which opened the door for a Carleton victory on the next shot.

Labonté, who was credited with 16 saves on 1110 shots, was saddled with her second lost in 12 starts. In 7110 career regular season starts with the Martlets, the three-time Olympian now owns a 76-3-0 record.

McGill, which is 16-1-1 against CIS teams this season, will head to the nation’s capital looking for revenge next weekend. They play the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton in back-to-back games, Jan. 27-28.

“(Our team is) mad, embarrassed and didn’t play well,” added Smith. “They’re not happy…I can guarantee that we’ll have an extra spark (in the rematch at Carleton next week).”

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