The puck drops on a new hockey season for both the Redmen and Martlets this weekend. The Martlets begin defence of their national title with a pair of home games against visiting York (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Windsor (Sunday at 2 p.m.). The team will be without its head coach and four top players for both games. Coach Peter Smith, goalie Charline Labonté, forward Anne-Sophie Bettez and rearguards Cathy Chartrand and Catherine Ward are at a national team training camp in Calgary. Longtime Assistant Coach Amey Doyle takes over behind the Martlets bench in Coach Smith’s absence.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, the defending Queen’s Cup champion Redmen take on St. Thomas at McConnell Arena in the first of two non-conference games against the visiting Tommies. With the Alouettes playing at Molson Stadium, Sunday’s game has been moved to the Maurice Richard Arena. Game time is 1:45 p.m.
In other varsity sports action, last weekend saw season-opening wins of the nail-biting variety by the field hockey Martlets (1-0 over Queen’s) and the lacrosse Redmen (9-8 over Queen’s). McGill forward Nick Moreau’s three goals and one assist helped earn him McGill male Athlete of the week honours. The Redmen face Trent at Forbes Field at 2 p.m. Saturday.
In rugby action, the Redmen thumped Bishop’s 50-22 at Molson Stadium while the Martlets hammered visiting Sherbrooke 55-0. McGill Fly-half Elissa Alarie tallied four tries in the game, giving her the Quebec University Rugby League scoring lead with 25 points. On Monday Alarie was named McGill’s female Athlete of the Week. In soccer action, the Martlets shut out the visiting UQAM Citadins 4-0. The Redmen were winners in their home opener, defeating UQAM 2-0 on goals by Sami Obaïd (3rd minute) and James Scholefield (63rd minute). Both teams face their crosstown rivals from Concordia at Molson Stadium Thursday Sept. 18.
On Friday, the football Redmen’s woes continued. Only 13 seconds away from snapping their long losing streak, the Redmen gave up a 12-yard touchdown run by Concordia RB Devon Mitchell to gave the visiting Stingers a 46-41 win at the 36th annual Shaughnessy Cup game.
Game of the Week: Fill ‘er up, football fans
McGill Athletics and Recreation has teamed up with the Redmen football squad to establish a new sporting event, one that will celebrate football and raise funds for student organizations and local minor football and cheerleading teams. Called “Fill the Stadium,” the event aims to pack fans into Molson Stadium by letting organizations sell tickets to a McGill-Bishop’s football game and keep part of the proceeds. The game takes place Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. Admission is free for children under 12 and members of minor football and cheerleading teams, $5 for students, and $10 for adults. A tailgate party gets things going at 4:30 p.m. in the McConnel Arena parking lot and a cheerleading show will take place at halftime. For more information, visit www.fillthestadium.com.