The McGill Martlets (6-2-0) exploded for 38 shots on goal in an aggressive 3-1 victory against the visiting Carleton Ravens (2-6-1) on Friday night at McConnell Arena.
“I liked our game,” Martlet Head Coach Peter Smith said. “I thought we played fast, I thought we played with structure.”
The Martlets proved their worth at the top of the RSEQ standings against the lower-seeded Ravens. It was clear from the get-go that the home team had control of the game although only managing to capitalize on scoring opportunities on three occasions. McGill pressured Carleton in the attacking zone all game, dictating the pace of play and keeping the Ravens on their heels until the end of the match.
The first and second periods were mainly played in the Ravens’ end, as the Martlets held the opposition to a mere six shots in each period of play. There were some personal battles between and after the whistles with first-year forward Olivia Atkinson bringing a hard physical dimension to the game and demonstrating that the Martlets were willing to match the Ravens’ aggression. Atkinson’s physical prowess and second period goal solidified a well-rounded effort, particularly in the offensive zone. Martlet Captain Melodie Daoust led the squad with two assists.
“I expect us to come out hard,” Daoust said pre-game. “Bring a lot of pucks to the net and crash the net.”
Daoust was looking for her team to play a complete 60 minutes and enforce an aggressive offensive style of play. The Martlets managed to get away 10 shots on goal in the final five minutes of the third period, preventing the Ravens from pulling their goaltender for the extra skater. The strong finish to the game is a positive sign of strong performance for the Martlets as they wrap up their 2016 home schedule.
In the midst of a four-game winning streak, the Martlets lead all Canadian university teams in goal differentials, only giving up 14 goals through eight games. The Martlets rank sixth in the country with a .937 save percentage as netminder Tricia Deguire has been a force all season.
The Martlets will complete the first half of their 2016-2017 season with away games at Concordia on Dec. 2 and Ottawa on Dec. 4, where they will look to maintain their first place standing.
Quotable: “Overall, I thought it was a good game of hockey, I thought we moved the puck real well.” — Head Coach Peter Smith
Stat Corner: With two assists, Melodie Daoust now has ten points in her past six games.
Moment of the Game: After surrendering a powerplay goal in the third period, the Martlets bounced back with 10 minutes of offensive zone time, preventing the Ravens from completing the comeback.