McGill Redmen lacrosse (12-1) stormed Molson Stadium at their Oct. 28 game as they went head to head with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (4-9), battling for a qualifying berth at the 2017 Baggataway Cup. McGill ran away with the game after taking the first quarter 4-2, ending with a definitive 17-6 victory.
After losing to Ottawa in 2016 during a sudden death playoff, the Redmen have now defeated the Gee-Gees three times this year, increasing their scoring margin each game.
“It’s always tough to beat the same team three times,” Redmen Head Coach Tim Murdoch said. “It was a total team win, and I think that our bench depth was really on display tonight.”
The Redmen attack line rushed the ball up the field with increased intensity each time, and Ottawa could neither keep up with McGill’s rotations, nor protect their goal from an onslaught of flying shots.
“We have threats from all over the field,” Murdoch said. “We have a lot of depth, and that’s going to really serve us well in the playoffs.”
The Gee-Gees were seldom able to get the ball up into their offensive end, let alone generate scoring opportunities. Save for some brief moments during Ottawa’s last attempts to make a comeback, McGill fifth-year goalkeeper William Waesche easily blocked opposing shots and lobbed the ball up to the offense for swift transitions.
“In any great defence, it takes a lot of help from the offence to set the tone,” Waesche said. “I thought today was a very offence-led effort. As a goalie, I was really happy with being supported from the other side of the field.”
The Gee-Gees, after enduring numerous Redmen offensive blitzes, were visibly deflated. In their last breath, they managed to put up two final goals at the end of the third quarter. McGill then swept the fourth quarter with a 4-0 shutout.
“We played 80 minutes of team lacrosse and it’s the first time we did that all season,” Redmen first-year midfielder Gardie Herr said. “We didn’t have a lull after the half which usually happens to us. It’s just nice to go out there and win.”
It is still uncertain whom McGill will face in the first round of the Baggataway Cup, though it will likely be either the Queen’s Gaels or the Western Mustangs. Heading into the national playoffs—hosted in Kingston between Nov. 3 and 5—the Redmen will use the upcoming week to sharpen up and prepare to take another stab at the championship.
“We’re just focusing on bringing the intensity every day,” McGill first-year defenceman Oliver Bolsterli said. “And just getting better every day of the week so we’re ready to roll on Saturday.”
Moment of the Game
Immediately following a faceoff in the third quarter as Ottawa was deteriorating, first-year midfielder Gardie Herr was cornered by two Gee-Gees who proceeded to strike him in the face with their sticks, knocking him to the ground.
“It’s a great feeling [to go back]. There’s nothing better than playing for a championship.” – Bolsterli on getting back to the championships after last year’s upset.
Three Redmen—Liam MacDonald, Maxime Murdoch, and Goose Bolton—dominated the scoresheet, accounting for 11 of the team’s 17 goals.