For 43 consecutive games against RSEQ opponents, the CIS no. 1 ranked Martlet ice hockey team emerged victorious. Many of those wins have been blowouts, but on Friday the tables were turned as their streak was snapped by the no. 2 ranked Montreal Carabins in a 5-1 loss. Like most other Martlet games, the team snatched the lead early when Brittney Fouracres converted a power-play goal five minutes into the first period. However, by the end of the second frame, the Carabins had flipped the script and taken a 2-1 lead on the strength of their own special teams play. The final stanza featured three more goals to put the game out of reach. McGill dominated the shot total 34-21, but sophomore goaltender Taylor Hough was unable to replace standout fifth-year senior Andrea Weckman.
On Sunday, with Weckman back in net, the Martlets returned to form, blowing out the Concordia Stingers by a score of 6-2. Sophomore winger Gabrielle Davidson—who was uncharacteristically shut out against the Carabins—tallied a hat-trick, bringing her goal total to 28 and tying the CIS season record. Alternate captain, Katia Clement-Heydra chipped in with two assists to bring her points total to 39, third in the CIS. McGill’s final game of the regular season is a rematch against the Carabins. The game between the two powerhouse squads will be held at McConnell Arena on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Track and Field
The McGill track and field program made its way south of the border to The Armory in New York City, New York for the annual Armory Collegiate invitational meet. The meet brought together more than 100 universities and colleges from across North America with the Redmen and Martlets facing their stiffest test to date. Although no McGill athletes won medals, a few standouts emerged; Scott Hancock, a triple jumper and a hurdler, posted a mark of 14.16m in the triple jump to secure a spot at the CIS nationals. Hancock produced two more top 10 finishes at the meet, finishing eighth in both the 60m dash (8:42) and the 60m hurdles (8:48). The Redmen 4x200m relay team also fared well, finishing fourth with a time of 1:29.51. On the Martlets side, sophomore jumper Caroline Tanguay continued her excellent streak of performances with a 10th place finish in the high jump (1.69m). Also, sophomore long distance runner Alison Barwick finished eighth in the 3000m race (10:10.01). McGill’s athletes now return home for the Redmen Invitational to be held in the Tomlinson Field House on Saturday, Feb. 15.
The last time that the McGill Redmen (20-5-2) won 20 games in the OUA East and made it to the CIS Championships, they came home with a University Cup as national champions.
On Friday, McGill won their 20th game of the year in dominant fashion against the UOIT Ridgebacks (7-16-4) by a score of 9-2. Sophomore winger Patrick Delisle-Houde led the way with a hat-trick and two assists while David Rose added one goal and four assists, and linemate Cedric McNicoll chipped in with two goals and three assists. Rookie netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard parried away shots with ease, tallying 30 saves.
The Redmen goaltenders have had the luxury of playing behind the second most productive offence in the nation, easing their job and relaxing the pressure for a tandem that has proven to be one of the best in the OUA. Delisle-Houde now also leads McGill’s balanced attack— 10 players have at least 20 points—in scoring with 36 points, narrowly edging out McNicoll, who has 34, and blueliner Ryan McKiernan who has 33 points. McGill is currently first in the meat-grinder that is the OUA East, with 42 points in 27 games. The team has one game remaining, a home tilt against Nipissing on Feb. 14 at 7:00 p.m. in McConnell Arena.
At the start of this year there were doubts as to whether the McGill Redmen swimming team would be able to regroup after the loss of All-Canadian Steven Bielby. This past weekend at the RSEQ Championships in Sherbrooke, any shred of uncertainty that remained was erased. Senior sprinter Pierre-Alexandre Renaud snagged three golds and one silver medal, en route to being named Swimmer-of-the-Year, while three others were named to the All-Conference team. Renaud, a team captain, set an RSEQ record in the 200m butterfly (2:00.23) and also garnered gold medals in the 400m freestyle(3:55.24) and 4 x 200m freestyle relay (7:35.08).
On the Martlet side, the squad notched one gold, eight silvers, and nine bronze medals, giving the entire McGill program a combined 30 podium finishes. Katie Caldwell, last year’s Swimmer-of-the-Year as a rookie, captured the team’s sole gold medal in the 200 m IM(2:13.97). Most notable though was the fact that both the Redmen and the Martlets achieved their primary goal for the season, to finish second in the RSEQ.
Traditionally, swimming in Quebec is dominated by the Montreal Carabins, a program that hasn’t been unseated from the pinnacle since 1999. Following this weekend, McGill has qualified 20 swimmers for the CIS Championships to be held at the University of Toronto from Feb. 20 – 22. Look for Head Coach Peter Carpenter to push both teams to improve on their eighth place finishes from last year’s nationals.