MONTREAL — Leslie Oles of Beaconsfield, Que., scored the game-winner and set up two others as the McGill University women’s hockey team skated to a convincing 6-2 triumph over the Montreal Carabins in a much-anticipated playoff match-up between the top two ranked CIS teams in the nation, at McConnell Arena, Thursday.
The victory gave the defending national champs a 1-0 lead in the RSEQ best-of-three league championship series for the Dr. Ed Enos Cup. The Carabins now face elimination in Game 2 at CEPSUM Arena on Saturday in a game slated to be webcast live at 2 p.m. Should a deciding contest be required, it is scheduled for McConnell Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m.
It was eighth consecutive victory for the red hot Martlets — who are 3-0 in the playoffs — and their second straight over their bitter cross-town rivals from U de M, as McGill took a 4-3 lead in the season series, including a preseason win in overtime, and have a slight 24-23 advantage in goals scored. The Martlets are now 36-10 lifetime against the Carabins, including 18-5 at McConnell Arena and 11-4 in 15 post-season meetings.
McGill, which had a 34-26 edge in shots and never trailed, led 2-0 after the opening period and held a commanding 4-1 advantage after two. They were especially potent on special teams, going 2-for-4 on the power-play and erasing all four shorthanded situations.
Oles set up centre Gabrielle Davidson who redirected the pass to open the scoring at 3:31 and became only the fifth player in school history to reach the 100-goal plateau. The finance junior from Pte. Claire, Que., has a 100-67-167 record in 116 games overall for the Martlets.
(SEE ALL-TIME LIST OF McGILL SCORING LEADERS BELOW)
Later, Oles gave McGill a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, then set up defenceman Michelle Daigneault with a back-breaking power-play marker at 16:22 to make it 4-1 heading into the final frame, a goal which eventually sealed the fate of Carabins goaltender Elodie Rousseau-Sirois, a first-team all-star, who was beaten four times on just 28 shots and took the loss. She did not come out for the third period and was replaced by understudy Marie-Pier Chabot, who allowed two more goals on six shots.
“I try to play the same game throughout the year,” said Oles a four-time second-team all-star winger who has four goals and eight points in three playoff games. “Sometimes it’s going to work for you and others it’s not. There are games where I’ve had eight shots and not scored, then other games I had only a couple of shots and scored on both. It’s just a matter of being consistent. We’ve worked hard all year in practice and are peaking at the right time. I knew earlier this season when we weren’t so hot against that team that we would peak at the right time. So you just have to have confidence in your team and we have a good solid group this year.”
“I liked our game because our attack was spread throughout the lineup,” said Peter Smith, who was coaching in his 599th game overall behind the bench at McGill. “Not just the goals but our overall attack. If you’re going to be successful, that’s the kind of team that you need and that is what we have.”
Rounding out the scoring for McGill was team captain Katia Clement-Heydra, who struck for her league-leading sixth of the playoffs to make it 5-2 at 8:12 of the final stanza. Melodie Daoust collected an assist on that goal and has now racked up 14 points, including three goals, in six games since returning to the lineup after missing most of the season with an injury suffered in August.
Martlets goalie Brittany Smrke, a sophomore from Oakville, Ont., saved 24 of 26 shots for the win, improving her unblemished post-season record to 3-0 this season after not getting a playoff start during her freshman campaign.
Scoring for the Carabins was Audrey Gariepy in the first period and Marion Allemoz in the third.
“We wanted to play fast and I thought we accomplished that today,” added Smith. “Both our PP and PK units really clicked today. We’ve worked hard on the PK over the last little while because we had a few blips there. We’ve had some ups and downs with injuries among other things and it’s impressive to see how we’ve bounced back from those and used them as learning experiences. For our team, it really is a season-long preparation (for playoffs). We had a lot of young players placed in some prominent roles and they needed to learn. They’ve worked hard, learned and developed. Our team play has really come to the forefront in the last month and that’s what you want, to be playing your best hockey at this time of the year.”
Montreal 2 at McGill 6
(RSEQ Final, Game 1, Thursday, March 5, 2015 – McConnell Arena @ McGill)
GOALS BY PERIOD:
Montreal 0-1-1 — 2
McGill 2-2-2 — 6
Penalties-Bourdon Mtl (interference), 9:10; Lavoie Mcg (hooking), 14:53.
Penalties-Daoust Mcg (bodychecking), 7:34; Bourdon Mtl (bodychecking), 10:24; Lemieux Mtl (bodychecking), 14:36.
Penalties-Sutter Mcg (tripping), 4:12; Mantha Mtl (bodychecking), 9:02; Fouracres Mcg (delay of game), 14:55.
Shots on Goal-
Montreal 3-7-16 — 26.
Power Play Opportunities-
Montreal 0 / 4;
McGill 2 / 4.
Elodie Rousseau-Sirois (Start, L, 2-1-0, 28 shots-24 saves, 40:00);
Marie-Pier Chabot (ND, 6 shots-4 saves).
Brittany Smrke (W, 3-0-0, 26 shots-24 saves; 20:00).
Start: 7:00 PM
End: 8:55 PM
Linesmen-Joelle Champoux, Marie-Claude Belisle.
|McGILL MARTLETS ALL-TIME SCORING LEADERS (overall)|
|2007-12||Cathy Chartrand (D)||180||80||178||258||160|
|2006-09||Catherine Ward (D)||109||34||104||138||52|
ACTIVE PLAYERS IN BOLD
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