OTTAWA — When freshman Marie-Philip Lavoie scored early in the third period to give No.1-ranked McGill a three-goal lead, nobody imagined that it would end up as the game-winner, but a feverish last-minute comeback by the Ottawa Gee-Gees made Poulin the unsuspecting hero as the Martlets hung on for a 4-3 victory in women’s hockey action at the uOttawa Sports Complex, Sunday.
Trailing 4-1 in the final minute of play, the Gee-Gees pulled the goalie and scored twice to make for a frantic finish. Vickie Lemaire squeaked a rebound through at 19:14 and Carol-Ann Upshall added another with just nine seconds remaining.
“It could have gone either way,” said Ottawa head coach Yannick Evola, whose troops were outshot 35-18. “We had many scoring chances.”
McGill led 1-0 after the opening period and 3-1 after two but had a difficult time putting pucks past Gee-Gees netminder Stéphanie Mercier, a 5-foot-5 senior from Smooth Rock Falls, Ont., who was credited with 31 saves.
“We had all kinds of chances but you have to give credit to their goalie who played very well,” said Peter Smith, head coach at McGill. “We played a pretty good game but we didn’t manage the puck particularly well in the last two minutes. It seemed like we were looking for another goal instead of taking care of business in our end. Those are things that a young team needs to get better at and we will improve there.”
The Martlets’ blazing speed and puck possession was on display early as they hemmed the Gee-Gees in their own end for most of the first period. An aggressive forecheck led to several Gee-Gee turnovers, but several high-quality saves by Mercier kept the Martlets off the scoreboard. They finally broke the goose-egg with 79 seconds left in the opening period, when Gabrielle Davidson snuck in alone and chipped the puck off the right post and into the net to put the Marlets up 1-0.
The Gee-Gees were not without their own scoring chances, but McGill goaltender Taylor Hough came up strong, stopping all six shots she faced in the period.
Claudia Phillion tied the score at 1-1 early in the second period. Skating across the blueline, Phillion fired a quick wrist shot over Hough’s glove that appeared to hit the back cross bar. Initially waved off, the referees convened and eventually award the goal to Phillion, her first as a member of the Gee-Gees.
The Martlets answered back only 93 seconds later, when Adrienne Crampton buried a one-timer off a feed from Emily Davies, to restore the one-goal lead. McGill captain Katia Clement-Heydra made it 3-1 on a shorthanded breakaway at 8:11 of the middle period, which set the stage for Lavoie, who finished on a backdoor pass from Brittney Fouracres at 4:30 of the final period.
Ottawa, which dropped to 1-2-0, will travel to Montréal on Saturday, Nov. 1 for a rematch against the undefeated Martlets (2-0-0) at McConnell Arena. Puck drop is at 3 p.m.
Earl Zukerman (McGill) & Jennifer Elliott (Ottawa)
McGill 4 at Ottawa 3
(Sunday, October 26, 2014 – uOttawa Sports Complex @ Ottawa)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
McGill 1-2-1 — 4
Ottawa 0-1-2 — 3
1, McGill, Gabrielle Davidson 2 (Clement-Heydra, Lavoie), 18:41.
Penalties-Upshall Ott (hooking), 6:47; St-Laurent Ott (boarding), 19:45.
Penalties-Pohlod Mcg (bodychecking), 7:36; Upshall Ott (roughing), 8:11; Levesque Ott (interference), 17:20.
5, McGill, Marie-Philip Lavoie 1 (Moffatt, Oles), 4:30.
6, Ottawa, Vickie Lemire 1 (Morissette), 19:14.
7, Ottawa, Carol-Ann Upshall 2 (Pauck-Therrien), 19:51.
Penalties-Chown Ott (tripping), 6:30; Davidson Mcg (slashing), 6:58; Houle Ott (bodychecking), 8:14; Crampton Mcg (tripping), 9:04; Pohlod Mcg (bodychecking), 15:17.
Shots on Goal-
McGill 13-13-9 — 35.
Ottawa 6-6-6 — 18.
Power Play Opportunities-
McGill 0 / 6;
Ottawa 0 / 4.
McGill, Taylor Hough (W, 1-0-0, 18 shots-15 saves; 60:00).
Ottawa, Stéphanie Mercier (L, 0-1-0, 35 shots-31 saves; 59:45).
Start: 2:02 PM
End: 4:03 PM
Linesmen-Chelsea Barrr, Brandy Dewar.