On Sept. 13, Martlet hockey (1–0) opened its season against Moncton’s Aigles Bleues (0–1) with a decisive 4–1 victory. The Martlets hoped to set the tone for the rest of the season and are now looking to carry this game’s winning energy forward.
“It was a great game to get our cohesion going on the ice,” fourth-year forward Lea Dumais said. “We had a lot of energy.”
McGill came out strong: Third-year forward Kellyane Lecours opened the scoring just five minutes into the game with a wrap-around goal assisted by third-year centre Marika Labrecque. Less than a minute later though, Moncton answered with a goal of their own. That would be the only one of the Bleues’ 12 shots that got past first-year goaltender Andrea Lacroix Le Gall.
The Martlets dominated the game throughout the second period, putting pressure on the Moncton defence all period long. Just under 15 minutes into the period, after several quality chances, McGill took the lead again with a goal from Dumais, assisted by fourth-year centre Jade Downie-Landry and first-year forward Anna MacCara.
The home side was off to another quick start in the third period with a goal from Downie-Landry, assisted by MacCara and fifth-year defenceman Kate Devries four minutes in. Back-and-forth play ensued, until Moncton was called for a delay of game penalty halfway through the period. The Martlets took full advantage of the powerplay with a goal from Labrecque, assisted by Downie-Landry and Dumais.
The first game of the season was a chance for the team to see how they play together and set a benchmark for what’s working and what still needs to be improved. With this dominant performance, the Martlets are hopeful for the season to come.
“It was good for our first game of the season; we had some good energy,” third-year defenceman Samantha McCluskey said. “We just [have to] build on it.”
Fourth-year centre Nicole Howlett echoed this optimistic sentiment.
“We just have to keep the energy [of the first game going] against Guelph because that’s a bigger game,” Howlett said.
As to what still needs improvement, the general consensus seemed to be in the defensive zone.
“We’ve been focusing on our D-zone a lot because that’s how we create our O-zone,” said Dumais. “[We need to] focus on the little things [like communication and] playing a disciplined game.”
The Martlets finished the weekend with a 3–0 win against Guelph. The team plays next on Sept. 20 in Toronto against Queen’s University.
Moment of the Game:
Third-year forward Kellyane Lecours put McGill ahead five minutes into the game with a wrap-around, Bobby Orr-esque goal off the assist from third-year centre Marika Labrecque.
“This team has a lot of potential. We already have a lot of cohesion, a lot of support from everyone on the team including the coaches, so we’re really excited to keep moving forward in the season and creating something special” – Fourth-year forward Lea Dumais on how she thinks the upcoming season will go.
McGill remains undefeated against Moncton with their all-time record coming to 8–0–0. They have outscored Moncton 45–5 since their first meeting 12 years ago.