McGill’s McConnell Arena promises to be rocking this Saturday as both the hockey Redmen and Martlets face must-win games for their respective seasons to continue following tough losses last night. The Redmen lost to the Carlton Ravens 5-2 to fall behind 1-0 in the best-of-three OUA East men’s hockey finals. The Martlets fell 4-1 to the Montreal Carabins, knotting the best-of-three Quebec league championship at one game apiece. Puck drop for the Martlets is 2 p.m on Saturday and a near-capacity crowd is expected at McConnell Arena. That game will be followed at 7 p.m. by the Redmen-Carleton playoff matchup in another must-win affair for McGill. Advance tickets are available at the Redbird Sports Shop, located inside the Sir. Arthur Currie Gymnasium, at 475 Pine Avenue West. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Children 12-and-under are admitted free. Full stories from both games last night can be found below.
Carabins answer back, RSEQ final playoff series deadlocked at 1-1 as rivals grapple for Enos Cup
By Earl Zukerman
A late first-period goal by Maude Gelinas held up as the winner as the Montreal Carabins skated to a 4-1 home-ice victory over McGill, Thursday, to even their best-of-three Quebec league championship series at 1-1. The game was played before 1,224 at Arena CEPSUM, which was believed to be the largest crowd ever to witness a women’s university hockey game in Montreal.
It was the third straight win for the Carabins over McGill and the teams are now 3-3 against each other this season.
McGill outshot Montreal 29-23, including a 24-11 advantage over the final two periods, but never seemed to be in striking range of a victory, especially after failing to capitalize on a full 5-on-3 manpower advantage in the middle of a four-minute power-play early in the second period. The Martlets PP unit ended up 0-for-5, compared to the Carabins, who connected once on five chances.
“The (bad luck) on special teams was unbelievable,” said McGill head coach Peter Smith. “They had a 5-on-3 and I thought we did a great job on the kill but they scored on a strange play when a point shot deflected off (defenceman) Adrienne Crampton, went maybe five feet straight up in the air and land behind our goalie and into the net. Then we had a two-man advantage and played a classic 5-on-3 and had two glorious chances but just didn’t score and that’s the way the game went.
“We didn’t have a great start, got behind kind of early and couldn’t seem to build any momentum. The Carabins played with more urgency than we did. They were good and we weren’t as good as we could be. It will be interesting to see how out team responds on Saturday.”
Montreal led 2-0 after one period on goals by Laurence Beaulieu (power-play) at 8:50 and Gelinas at 18:45.
Kim Deschenes made it 3-0 at 12:23 of the middle period and Ariane Barker put the game out of reach at 14:12 of the final stanza before McGill sniper Leslie Oles, converted a pass from Katia Clement-Heydra for her third of the playoffs to snap a shutout bid by goaltender Elodie Rousseau-Sirois, who recorded 28 saves for the win.
Andrea Weckman, a fifth-year senior, had 19 saves on 23 shots and suffered her first career playoff loss for the Martlets, dropping to 4-1 lifetime in post-season play.
The tug-of-war for the league’s Dr. Ed Enos Cup will be resolved on Saturday afternoon at McConnell Arena starting at 2 p.m.
Ravens rally as Redmen fritter away two-goal lead in OUA East finals opener
By Earl Zukerman (McGill) & Michael Beasley (Carleton)
OTTAWA – The Carleton Ravens spotted McGill an early 2-0 lead, then roared back with five unanswered goals to defeat the Redmen 5-2 in the OUA East men’s hockey finals at the CU Icehouse, Thursday.
It snapped McGill’s seven-game win streak and put the Redmen behind the eight-ball in the best-of-three series.
McGill jumped out to an early 2-0 lead courtesy of two power play goals five minutes into the game to put the Ravens back on their heels. Carleton took a too-many-men penalty just 36 seconds after the opening faceoff and Patrick Delisle-Houde of Quebec City connected on the ensuing power-play at 2:20. The an interference infraction was called a few minutes later on Ravens forward Joe Pleckaitis. Nine seconds after the ensuing faceoff, David Rose of Longueuil, Que., gave the Redmen a 2-0 lead. Centre Cedric McNicoll drew assists on both Redmen goals.
But the Ravens did not fold, bend or crumple as Sean Bamford of Ottawa, sparked the Carleton comeback with a marker at 6:13 of the opening period to cut into McGill’s lead in half.
From there Carleton blitzed the McGill offensive zone scoring two more goals before the end of the period.
The Ravens tied the score when Michael Lomas of Burlington, Ont., registered a power play tally at 12:26 then took a 3-1 lead when Michael McNamee of Perth, Ont., netted his fourth goal of the playoffs at 16:30.
“Scoring two goals early in the game set us back a bit but we (Carleton) regained our composure and battled back,” said Marty Johnston, Ravens head coach. “We plan on enjoying tonight’s win but will refocus for Game 2 at McGill on Saturday. This series is a long way from being over. We know we’re up against a very good team and will have to be at our best in the next game.”
After a hard fought, intense, scoreless middle frame the Ravens struck again with the man advantage at 2:39 of the third as Jeffrey Hayes of Ottawa pounced on a loose puck at the side of the Redmen net to double Carleton’s lead to 4-2.
There were a few tense moments for the Ravens and their fans at the jam packed Ice House as time ticked down in the period as the Redmen pressed to tie the score.
The crowd drew silent when Carleton took a penalty with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, setting up a dramatic finish.
McGill pulled netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard to set up a 6-on-4 power play but the Ravens penalty kill withstood the onslaught until Carleton defenceman Tim Billingsley of Orleans, Ont., found the back of the empty McGill cage at 19:23 to seal the victory.
The Redmen went 2-for-5 on the power-play while Carleton finished off two of six opportunities.
Both teams had 32 shots apiece. Ravens goalie Francis Dupuis, also from Ottawa, made 30 saves for the win. Gervais-Chouinard was credited with 27 saves and was saddled with the first post-season blemish on his record, dropping to 4-1.
McGill will be looking to even the series on Saturday at McConnell Arena. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. If a third game is needed, it will be back in Ottawa on Sunday at 7 p.m.