Athletes of the week
Birthday boy Labrecque scored two goals in 17 seconds to propel McGill to the OUA East finals on Friday. Labrecque was the key figure in McGill’s 2-0 sweep of Queens; in the series opener, he assisted both of McGill’s goals in their 2-1 victory. Labrecque doesn’t only show up on his birthday—he has been an offensive force this entire season. He leads all OUA players in playoff goals with five in as many matchups. He also scored 13 goals in the regular season, the most of any defenceman in the CIS. He is also only five goals away from the record for most goals in a season by a McGill defenceman and three away from holding the record for the most game winners in a season by a defenceman, all as a freshman.
Centre Alex Kiss-Rusk continued her front court dominance this week with strong performances against the Concordia Stingers and the UQÀM Citadins. She recorded 11 boards and 13 points against the Stingers on Saturday, two days after going 100 per cent from the free throw line on her way to a team-high 15 points, six boards, and three blocks against UQÀM. Her play was a big part of the Martlets out-rebounding their opponents by a lopsided 113 to 64. With the 6’4” Psychology major in the low post, McGill should feel confident matching up against any team in the playoffs.
Beyond the box score
McGill (16-4) came back swinging in the third period against the Ottawa Gee Gees on Friday to win 3-1 and crush the Gee Gees’ dream of ending their 43-game losing streak to the Martlets. With the win and a Carabins loss in overtime against Concordia, McGill also secured the RSEQ division title. As a result, McGill will face Ottawa for the second straight year in the best-of-three RSEQ semifinals. Alexandria Serpico scored the game-winning goal three minutes into the third period, and Melodie Daoust continued her fine form as she slotted McGill’s 7th shorthanded goal this season to put the game out of reach with 29 seconds left to play. Brittney Fouracres also contributed a goal to the winning effort. McGill demonstrated its offensive dominance in outshooting the Gee Gees 46-9. The Martlets will undoubtedly be confident going into their matchup against Ottawa. They finished the season on a five-game winning streak, in which they avenged their ignominious 0-5 loss to the Montreal Carabins by defeating them 6-3.
By defeating Concordia (6-9) 65-53 on Saturday, the Martlets extended their conference record to 14-1 just two days after clinching the RSEQ regular season title for the fifth year in a row. Fourteen regular season games is the most a Martlet squad has won during Coach Thorne’s tenure.
Forwards Mariam Sylla and Alex Kiss-Rusk continued their dominant play with routine double doubles. Both pulled down 11 rebounds apiece, while Sylla dropped 20 points and Kiss-Rusk tallied 13 points. The team out-rebounded the Stingers 39-21 on the back of these performances. Starting point guard Dianna Ros moved the ball effectively with six assists. McGill also improved its shooting performance from Thursday shooting 44.3 per cent from the field while holding the Stingers to 32.2 per cent. McGill will finish the season against Laval on Thursday, Feb. 27. The team will face either Concordia or Laval in the RSEQ semifinals based on the outcome of the final week of the regular season.
By the numbers
5 – The number of goals the McGill Redmen scored in their OUA East semifinal sweep of Queen’s, and the number of goals that defenceman Samuel Labreque has scored in the playoffs so far.
9 – The number of personal bests recorded by the McGill University swim team at the CIS Championships at the University of Victoria this weekend.
71 – The number of rebounds the Martlet basketball squad pulled down against the UQÀM Citadins. They added 42 more against Concordia on Saturay.