Athletes of the week
This is Labrecque’s second Tribune Athlete-of-the-Week honour, and deservedly so. The freshman defenceman has been a revelation this season and has been on fire of late, scoring seven goals in his past five games. Labrecque scored the game-winning goals in both of McGill’s weekend games. On Friday, the freshman from Granby, QC silenced the opposing Concordia crowd at Ed Meagher Arena in the annual Corey Cup game when he slotted in the puck during double overtime. On Saturday against RMC, Labrecque took a pass from centre Marc-Olivier Vachon and scored with ease. Following in the footsteps of last year’s CIS Defenceman-of-the-Year Ryan McKiernan, Labrecque has been a force to deal with on the blueline and gives the Redmen an added dimension moving forward in the playoffs.
Kiss-Rusk, a junior centre from Beaconsfield, QC, was dominant in the paint for the Martlets in their two weekend victories against the Concordia Stingers. Kiss-Rusk, who stands at 6’4”, is the tallest member of the Martlets and showed an innate ability to take over the game in both contests, averaging 17 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. She has displayed flashes of potential throughout her career at McGill, but has put together three straight games with double figure points and near-double figure rebounds. If she is able to continue on this trajectory, the Martlets should have no problem securing the RSEQ and will bring an unparalleled size advantage to the CIS National Championships, which may just result in a gold medal.
Beyond the box score
The Redmen (8-4) split a pair of games against the Concordia Stingers (6-6) this past weekend. After coming from behind to take the first game by a score of 65-60 at home, the Redmen lost an ugly one on the road 51-44. While the Redmen dropped two of their past three games, the emergence of sophomore shooting guard Regis Ivaniukas has added a new dimension to the team’s offence. Ivaniukas scored a career-high 16 points off the bench to lead the thrilling comeback victory on Thursday night. Former starting point guard Ave Bross also had a great shooting night, coming off the bench to score 10 points. It was a different story on Saturday night. While Ivaniukas delivered once again with 12 points, the starting five went ice-cold for the Redmen. Captain Vincent Dufort and guard Dele Ogundukun shot 0-17 on the night, and turnovers plagued McGill all game. McGill will look to get back to its winning ways against Bishop’s (6-6) next weekend.
Although the no. 9 CIS-ranked Martlets (11-8) entered the weekend with a legitimate chance to make the RSEQ playoffs, they lost both matchups, first to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or 2-3 (12-6) at home on senior night on Thursday and then to straight sets against Laval in Quebec City on Saturday. The weekend mired an otherwise successful season for the Martlets in which they were a challenger throughout the season in the grueling four-team RSEQ. McGill will be losing a lot of talent to graduation this spring as Marie-Christine Lapointe, Virginie Hebert, Marie-Pier Durivage, and Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin, will all be graduating. Fortunately for the Martlets though, they have a seasoned head coach in Rachèle Beliveau, who will be tasked with reshaping the Martlet squad for next season. If Beliveau’s past record is any indication, the program will undoubtedly be able to bounce back.
Redmen and Martlet Swimming
On the first day of the RSEQ Championships the Redmen 4x50m freestyle relay was sensational with a time of 1:31.96, which won gold and set new RSEQ and McGill records. The Redmen relayers also picked up a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay, while the Martlets notched a silver medal in the 800m freestyle, 4x50m freestyle relay, and the 4x100m medley relay. The Martlets set a tean record in the 4x100m medley relay (4:12.54), On the weekend, the women were led by team captain Katie Caldwell. The junior from White Rock, BC led by example despite being hampered by a knee injury, leading the Martlets with three silver medals and two bronzes. On the Redmen side, Michael Luck—a senior from Beaconsfield, QC—led the squad with three gold medals, one silver medal, and two bronze medals. On the weekend, the Redmen finished third behind Montreal and Laval, while the Martlets finished in second. Eighteen swimmers will be flying to Victoria, BC to compete in the National Championships from Feb. 19-21.
By the numbers
8 – The Redmen hockey team’s winning streak going into the playoffs.
1:31.96 – The record-setting, gold medal-winning time for McGill’s 4×50 relay team at the RSEQ swimming Championships. The team was composed of Gabriel Fortin, Luke Robert, Marc-Andre Benoit, and Michael Luck.
1,001 – Games coached by Martlet volleyball Head Coach Rachèle Beliveau over 24 seasons.