Christopher Lalonde scored seventh-seeded McGill’s only goal in a 4-1 loss to St. Francis Xavier in the U Sports University Cup quarterfinals on March 17. The X-Men’s offence proved too persistent, outshooting the Redmen 35-22 and scoring two goals within 51 seconds into the third period to push the game out of reach.
The disappointing loss marked the end of the season for men’s hockey. McGill struggled out of the gates in 2016, splitting six wins and losses in their first 12 games. However, the team’s performance soon stabilized and they finished the season with a strong 29-14 record. Coach Kelly Nobes and his team carried this momentum into the postseason as they reached the OUA East finals and secured a wild-card spot in the U Sports tournament.
Nobes has his work cut out for him heading into next season, where he could lose up to eight players to graduation this year, including Mathieu Pompei and Patrick Delisle-Houde. Pompei led the team in points while Delisle-Houde, a two-year captain, scored a team-high 17 goals. On the bright side, the squad will not lose much of its supporting cast, so a successful 2017-2018 campaign is certainly within reach.
The McGill Martlets women’s hockey team suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the U Sports Gold Medal Game, falling 2-1 in double overtime against the sixth-seeded University of Alberta Pandas. The Pandas took a 1-0 lead into the third period, which would stand until fifth-year forward Mélodie Daoust scored a power-play goal with under five minutes to go.
Fatigue began to set in during the overtime periods, as the teams exchanged chances at both ends. McGill failed to capitalize on two minutes of 4-on-3 power-play in the second overtime. After over four periods, a deflection by Pandas’ defender Taylor Kezama scored on Martlets’ goalkeeper Tricia Deguire and gave Alberta their record eighth national championship. Daoust received player of the game honours for McGill, as well as being named to the tournament All-Star team with teammates Gabrielle Davidson and Emilia Cotter.
The Martlets entered the tournament as RSEQ champions and the fourth seed, taking on the fifth-seeded St. Francis Xavier X-Women in the first round. Down 1-0 early, fifth-year forward Gabrielle Davidson soon scored the first of her two goals on the night to tie things up. Freshman forward Jade Downie-Landry scored the eventual game winner in the second period while freshman netminder Tricia Deguire held down the fort the rest of the way as the Martlets moved on with a convincing 3-1 win.
In the semi-finals, the Martlets took on the top-seeded University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds. Once again, Davidson was the hero, scoring the only goal in the final minutes of the game, lifting McGill to a shocking 1-0 win over UBC. Deguire put together another solid performance in net, posting 17 saves in her shutout. In a game filled with penalties, the Martlets were able to successfully kill six Thunderbirds powerplays, but were unable to capitalize on any of their eight.
The Martlets finish their season with a 29-11-1 record. They are now four for eight in Championship game appearances.
With fifth years Davidson and Daoust graduating at the end of the year, Head Coach Peter Smith will look to sophmore forward Olivia Atkinson and netminder Deguire to continue to improve after their stellar seasons. With nine first year players on the team this season, McGill should be able to reload quickly and contend again next year as they try to make their fifth straight national finals. The experience at this year’s final should serve as