It’s rare for a freshman to crack Redmen basketball Head Coach Dave DeAveiro’s lineup—never mind become a starter. But Dele Ogundokun did just that while becoming a key component of a Redmen team that won its second consecutive RSEQ Championship and finished seventh at Nationals.
Ogundokun highlighted DeAveiro’s impressive recruiting class. Listed at 6’3”, Ogundokun was inserted into the starting lineup from the regular season tip-off. The decision paid off—the freshman guard poured in 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his RSEQ debut. Ogundokun continued to roll, hitting double figures in scoring in seven of his first 12 starts. Safe to say, DeAveiro trusted his rookie shooting guard, as Ogundukun finished only behind Redmen star Vincent Dufort in minutes, averaging 30.9 per game. He also impressed with his shooting range throughout the season, leading the team at a scorching 43.8 per cent from deep.
The freshman also played a significant role in the Redmen’s second consecutive RSEQ title bid. Ogundokun scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds against Laval in the semifinal, and then played a key 35 minutes in the RSEQ Championship.
For a player that was so instrumental in McGill’s conference success, Ogundokun was quiet during Nationals, scoring just seven points in the opener before being held scoreless in 19 minutes against Saskatchewan. The rookie will undoubtedly take his first CIS Championship performance as a learning experience. After seeing the enormous contributions he has made already for the program, the stage does not seem too bright for him.
With Simon Bibeau graduating, Ogundokun will have even more responsibility in the backcourt during his sophomore year. Alongside Vincent Dufort, the Redmen have a talented duo to make the RSEQ and CIS take notice next season.
At the 2014 CIS Swimming National Championships, Simone Cseplo, a freshman from Toronto, Ontario, helped break five school records while also earning McGill’s only medal of the year: a silver in the 50m backstroke (28.83). Following the tournament, Cseplo was named an All-Canadian, and was most recently named the MVP of the Martlet swimming team.
Cseplo, a psychology major, was a driving force behind the Martlets’ successes, swimming leadoff in the 4x100m freestyle (3:47.93), the 4x200m freestyle (8:12.04), and the 4x100m medley relay (4:13.81). Multiple golds in the regular season are just the start for the freshman, as she looks to have a promising career in her future as a Martlet. Look for Cseplo and Katie Caldwell—last year’s RSEQ Rookie-of-the-Year and Swimmer-of-the-Year—to form a formidable duo that pioneers a new generation of McGill swimming that challenges the Montreal Carabins for bragging rights in the conference.
Katia Clement-Heydra, a industrial relations senior, terrorized the hockey RSEQ and the rest of the CIS all year. She is no stranger to success—last season she finished second in the CIS scoring race and was a second team All-Canadian. The 24-year-old was directly involved in 49.4 per cent of the Martlets’ goals. She scored 13 goals in 20 games during the regular season, and assisted 27 more. Not only content with the RSEQ scoring title and being the second most prolific scorer in the nation, Clement-Heydra also claimed the Brodrick Trophy for Player-of-the-Year, becoming the fourth Martlet in history to do so. In addition, the senior centre merited RSEQ All-Conference and CIS All-Canadian honours, while also winning the RSEQ Player-of-the-Year—an impressive haul that adds to an already stocked trophy cabinet.
However, Clement-Heydra no doubt most relished co-captaining her team to the 2014 edition of the CIS National Championships. She validated her status as a big game performer, contributing four goals and three assists in the tournament. Her veteran presence and ability to come through in the clutch reassured the Martlets in a double-overtime victory over their fierce rivals, the Montreal Carabins.
Finally, Clement-Heydra’s phenomenal play also had an international flavour. She was the second highest scorer at the FISU Winter Universiade hockey tournament in Italy last December, and helped Canada win gold with her 18 points in seven games.
OUA East Defenceman-of-the-Year, CIS Defenceman-of-the-Year, three-time Academic All-Canadian, and Richard W. Pound award-winner for proficiency and leadership are just some of the titles by which to call Redmen hockey’s Ryan McKiernan. The senior defenceman was an outstanding leader for the Redmen this season, and was an even better player on the ice. He led the squad in scoring with 37 points, a number that led all CIS defencemen—an astounding feat for a blueliner.
As one of the few veterans on the squad, the alternate captain was a pillar of consistency for the Redmen, either scoring or assisting on 26.7 per cent of all of the team’s goals, good for second on the OUA points list. On the ice, McKiernan is known for his ability to quarterback the power-play, while also being a key stopper on the penalty-killing squad—all these skills can be attributed to his smooth skating and exemplary puck-movement. He also made sure to set the tone physically without ending up in the penalty box, amassing only 22 penalty minutes the entire season.
Over his career, McKiernan, a native of White Plains, New York, has blossomed into the epitome of what a student-athlete should be. This season, his on-ice play took the rest of the OUA by storm, and he was central to McGill’s success.
The 2012-2013 season will go down as something of an anomaly in the history books for the McGill Redmen hockey program. For most teams a .600 winning percentage and an appearance in the playoffs would be nothing to scoff at. The Redmen aren’t most teams. Sandwiched around that season is the University Cup-winning team of 2011-2012 and this year’s squad, which won the OUA East, and was seconds away from playing in the title game at the CIS National Championships.
This season, the Redmen scored 38 more goals, notched 72 more assists, had a higher penalty kill and power play percentage, and a lower goals against average than the year before. The most telling statistic though is their winning percentage, a robust .750, which sits only one game lower than the historic 2011-2012 season. No matter how it’s put, the squad has improved monumentally from the previous season, silencing any doubters who thought that Head Coach Kelly Nobes had lost his magic touch in the process.
The main driving force behind the turnaround began squarely with two newcomers, forward Cedric McNicoll and netminder Jacob Gervais-Chouinard. Although they are technically CIS rookies, they brought with them a wealth of experience, having both previously played in the AHL. McNicoll led the team in goals this season and was second in assists while garnering an OUA East all-conference honour, while Gervais-Chouinard stonewalled opponents during the playoffs, including a 52-save performance in a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Alberta Golden Bears at the 2014 University Cup.
There was also considerable improvement from the returning group of sophomores, as four of the team’s top scorers were in their second year. With the performance that the Redmen had this year, and the bevy of players they have returning—only five players are in their fourth or fifth year of eligibility—it’s guaranteed that no one will be sleeping on them next year.
The Redmen captured their eighth consecutive RSEQ championship this season after defeating the Concordia Stingers 16-6 at Molson Stadium. This year was McGill’s thirteenth consecutive appearance in the championship match, continuing a decade-plus era of excellence.
McGill was far and away the best team in the conference this year, posting an average win margin of 16.9 points, including a 43-3 trouncing of Sherbrooke on Oct. 10, 2013. The Redmen finished the year atop the conference with a 7-1 regular season record, led by senior fullback Cameron Perrin. Perrin capped off the year with eight points in the team’s championship game after posting nine points in the semifinal game against the Montreal Carabins.
The team will lose seniors Perrin, Patrick Mulherin Greville, Marc Webster, Joshua Blair, and Noah Roberts to graduation, leaving a roster of rookies and sophomores to lead next season’s team. In order to build upon this season’s success, the team will need to rely upon McGill’s excellent coaching staff and use this year’s playoff experience to their advantage. Expect the Redmen to compete for the championship once again next season.
The McGill Martlet ice hockey team returned to glory this season, winning the team’s fourth CIS National Championship over the cross-town rival Montreal Carabins. The Martlets had been knocked out of championship contention in the past two seasons by the Carabins before taking home the trophy this year after a 5-4 regular season record against Montreal. Furthermore, McGill captured its tenth consecutive RSEQ title after finishing with an 18-2 conference record.
Led by the power trio of Katia Clement-Heydra, Leslie Oles, and Gabrielle Davidson, the Martlets also recorded many individual records. Beyond being named Tournament MVP in the championship series against Montreal, Davidson was the nation’s top goal-scorer with 28 goals, as well as third-overall in points scored, with 40. Senior goalie Andrea Weckman also topped the country’s leaderboards, posting the CIS top win percentage of .917. Weckman’s 1.25 goals against average (GAA) was fourth in the nation.
The Martlets’ dominance this year should continue in the seasons to come. Although the team is losing key seniors Weckman, Michelle Daigneault, Chelsey Saunders, and Darragh Hamilton to graduation, McGill has incredible depth moving forward. Sophomore goalie Taylor Hough was spectacular in the playoffs, entering the starting lineup for the Martlets in the team’s championship victory. In addition, Olympic gold-medalist Melodie Daoust will be returning to the team, adding her stick to an already talented Martlet squad. Look for McGill to continue dominating the women’s ice hockey scene in the years to come.
Losing two thirds of his 2012-2013 RSEQ Championship team—including three of his five starters—was just another challenge for Redmen Basketball Head Coach David DeAveiro. DeAveiro started the 2013-2014 season with a squad made up of almost entirely freshmen. The 48-year-old coach not only led his team to a perfect record at home, but led his young squad past the Bishop’s Gaiters to clinch his second consecutive RSEQ Championship in only his fourth year at the helm.
The Redmen consistently found themselves at the bottom of the RSEQ conference before the Ottawa native came to McGill in May 2009. With DeAveiro behind the bench, the 2009-2010 season began a new era of McGill basketball. In March 2013, the Redmen captured the school’s first RSEQ Championship since 1986, with a narrow 77-74 victory over the Bishop’s Gaiters.
This season, the Redmen led the conference in scoring, and DeAveiro stressed the importance of ball movement and playing as a team. His young team responded accordingly with the highest assist average in the country. Despite McGill’s undersized roster, DeAveiro emphasized rebounding, resulting in the Redmen leading the country on the glass with just over 44 rebounds a game. However, it was on the defensive side of the ball where DeAveiro’s exceptional coaching really presented itself. He made sure the entire team—including the numerous newcomers—bought into his rigorous defensive system by preaching communication, trust, and accountability. The Redmen boasted one of the country’s stingiest defences, allowing just over 62 points per game by suffocating opposing offences using a pressure man-to-man scheme.
The future looks bright for McGill basketball with DeAveiro leading the way, as the team expects to return all but one player on their 2014 RSEQ Championship squad. As long as the players continue to buy into DeAveiro’s system, McGill can expect to boast one of the country’s top basketball programs.
The 43-year-old Matthew Stephens led the Martlet rugby team to its first ever RSEQ Championship over the Concordia Stingers in his first year as head coach. A year removed from a heartbreaking semifinal loss to the Stingers, the reeling Martlets cast out for a coach who could bring the experience and work ethic necessary to win. The team found its answer in Stephens.
A native of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Stephens has been coaching since 1992 — and his achievements speak for themselves. After guiding the Quebec national women’s team to two National Championships, Stephens went on to serve as the assistant head coach of the Canadian national senior women’s team from 2003-2006, helping the squad to an impressive fourth-place finish in the 2006 World Cup.
There was no questioning the talent of the Martlet squad coming into the season. Despite its disappointing finish, the team posted the best point differential in the league in 2012, with the majority of the roster set to return. After failing to put a single point on the board in the first exhibition match of the season, Stephens preached hard work and patience, slowly instilling his brand of rugby into the team: a free-flowing style of play designed to take advantage of the strength, speed, and skill of its backline.
The results were immediate; the Martlets opened the regular season with a convincing 41-12 win over Sherbrooke. After a close loss to Concordia in the Drummond Cup, the Martlets rattled off a six-game winning streak—including a 109-5 blowout over Bishop’s—en route to capturing the RSEQ title. Despite finishing just short of the podium at the CIS tournament, the Martlets have established themselves as a rising force in the province. With Stephens at the helm, the future looks bright for Martlet rugby.