The No. 2 ranked Martlets (5-1-0) proved to be the stronger of two birds Friday night at McConnell Arena, defeating the Carleton Ravens (1-6-0) 6-2 in a performance that was even more commanding than the score line suggested. McGill outshot the Ravens 47-9 and improved to a lifetime 79-1-1 record against Carleton, winning each of the last 16 encounters.
The Martlets looked strong right from the start, denying the Ravens any real possession of the puck or open space to work with. The team showed impressive positioning and teamwork, pushing the Ravens into damage control mode throughout the first period. McGill managed 15 shots in the period while not giving the Ravens even a single effort on goal. Given the scale of the Martlets’ dominance, the score at the end of the first period was lacking, with just a single goal for the home team. A holding penalty by the Ravens midway through the first period set the stage for a rather chaotic goal a minute later, with a swarm of players from both teams in the crease, allowing fourth-year defenceman Kelsie Moffatt to smash in the puck. However, the Martlets seemed to lose some momentum in the final minutes, making careless passes and failing to convert a few scoring chances.
McGill came out roaring in the second period, taking just over a minute to score the first of four goals in the frame. A beautiful pass from Moffatt from mid-rink between two Raven defenders set up forward Leslie Oles for a strong shot into the upper left corner of the net. Both teams stepped up their play in the period, and the Ravens saw more possession, pushing the puck into the McGill zone. The Martlets were able to convert more of their scoring chances, including a Katia Clement-Heydra goal off a Gabrielle Davidson pass on a two-woman advantage, with Clement-Heydra returning the favour a minute-and-a-half later, assisting Davidson’s power play tally.
With the exception of a goal by Carleton nine minutes in, the second period was all McGill. The Martlets kept the Ravens flustered and spread out on offence and defence with overlapping runs, effective use of the wings, and good communication. McGill’s misdirection was so successful that, more than once, it prompted two Carleton players to skate into each other in confusion.
McGill continued to apply consistent pressure in the final period. Carleton struggled to contain the barrage of shots by the Martlets, but as the period wore on, the game finally turned more competitive, with the Ravens looking eager to finally lodge a reply to the embarrassment of the first two periods. The Ravens managed to assert themselves on offence a few times in the period, but mostly squandered what few chances they had with sloppy play, converting only once.
“We did a lot of good things in the game. I liked our work in the offensive zone, but I still didn’t think that we played the full 60 minutes,” Head Coach Peter Smith said. “We also had a lot of turnovers and missed passes in the first part of the game [that] I didn’t care for.”
With the win, McGill moves into first place in the RSEQ standings, just ahead of the No. 1 ranked Montréal Carabins (4-2). The Martlets have a chance to build on their lead in the standings this week as they travel to face Carabins at their home rink, Arena CEPSUM, Nov. 21.