The Martlets (12-4) ended an emotionally draining weekend by dominating the Carleton Ravens (3-12) 7-2. McGill responded to a 5-0 loss in its previous outing to the CIS No. 1 ranked Montréal Carabins with a complete performance. Junior forward Gabrielle Davidson, who has enjoyed success against the Ravens before, let fly a school-record 22 shots on goal on the way to her second hat trick against Carleton this season. She now has an impressive 15 goals in just 16 games.
The Martlets were able to bounce back from an uncharacteristic blowout loss in typical fashion with stout defence and a rabid offensive effort.
“I would not say that there were structural adjustments made to our game,” Martlets Head Coach Peter Smith said. “Before the game, we talked about things that we needed to do [differently] [….] Our defensive zone coverage was way better today; our offensive zone was terrific. [With 68] shots on goal, you cannot complain.”
At the end of the first period McGill had 17 shots on goal and Carleton had just two in total. McGill’s skating and passing game was excellent as always, with Davidson frequently gliding past the Ravens’ defenders. Nine minutes into the game, star forward Katia Clement-Heydra provided a neat assist to Davidson to tie things at 1-1. The Martlets dominated in the shot column and in the neutral zone.
The scoreboard, somehow, read 2-1 in favour of Carleton at the end of the frame, with sloppy defending by the home squad allowing the Ravens to make the most of their lone shots on net. McGill’s play appeared lethargic early on, as the players were perhaps still feeling the demoralizing effects from their 5-0 loss the day before. The Martlets were caught twice on turnovers, resulting in easy Carleton goals.
“I did not think we had great puck support,” Smith said. “We did not have great transition in the first period. I thought in the second period we had better support on the puck and better transition on the puck.”
The lethargy may have also been, in part, a result of Carleton’s game plan. The Ravens never committed too many players when they had the puck, while McGill’s forwards forechecked relentlessly.
The Ravens continued to frustrate McGill into the second period, but the Martlets didn’t appear panicked. McGill was rewarded with two goals in quick succession to bring the score to 3-2. The Martlets’ momentum continued into the third period, and four minutes into the final frame, Davidson cut through the Ravens’ defence to pot her second goal of the game. Three minutes later, forward Jordan McDonnell scored a stunner from the top Carleton’s zone to put McGill up 5-2.
5’3” forward Pamela Psihgios and Davidson each contributed another goal, capping off a four-goal third period to complete the rout.
The game, however, ended on an unfortunate note when Ravens’ player Laura-Marie Bianconi slammed Martlet defender Kelsie Moffat into the boards with just seconds left on the clock. The display was representative of Carleton’s frustration with the game’s outcome. McGill, however, was not without its own issues.
“I think that the players have a lot of regrets over the game [against the Carabins],” Smith said. “We made some mistakes that we do not normally make. We need to tighten that up. Overall the weekend was a good learning experience. Today we played a four-line game. We had everybody going. There were no passengers in the game today. That is what we need to have when we play against a team like Montreal.”
The Martlets will now have just under a week to rest before playing the Concordia Stingers (6-6-3) Feb. 7.