Redmen and Martlets prevail in semis over Ottawa

Ryan Reisert / McGill Tribune
Ryan Reisert / McGill Tribune

The Redmen and Martlets were in playoff mode during reading week as both teams began their respective quests for their league championships.

The Redmen began playoffs with a semifinal best-of-three matchup against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. The first game began with a scare as Ottawa scored two goals within the first four minutes on their first two shots. McGill held a 7-3 advantage in shots in the first twenty minutes, but Ottawa goalie Russel Abbott kept his team in control of the lead. 

Ottawa tallied just 13 seconds into the second period when Alexandre Touchette scored Ottawa’s third unanswered goal, and his fifth of the season. That goal proved to be the motivation the Redmen needed as McGill’s Hubert Morin was perfect in nets from there on out while Marc-Andre Daneau and Nicholas Therrien scored to bring the Redmen within one goal at the end of the frame. 

The Redmen lived up to their full potential in the third period, peppering Ottawa’s goaltender with 13 shots, with goals from Hugo Laporte, Maxime Langelier-Parent, and Vincent Bourgeois giving McGill a 5-3 win over the Gee-Gees. In the end, five different skaters scored for the Redmen, who were missing three regulars due to injury.

McGill seemed to have learned their lesson after the first game and came out of the gate strong for game two. Evan Hossen scored the first goal of the game just a minute  before the end of a very physical and undisciplined first period.

The Redmen put on a clinic in the second period as Nicolas Therrien, Marc-Andre Daneau, Nicolas Biniek, and Max Langelier-Parent each scored for McGill, ending the period with a 5-1 lead. The Gee-Gees attempted a comeback in the third with two goals, but it was too little too late, and the Redmen prevailed to sweep the series 2-0. The Redmen now set their sights on UQTR in the OUA East finals.  

The Martlets were also paired up against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, and opened their Quebec semi-final best-of-three on Wednesday night. They too were successful in advancing, winning their series 2-1.

Game one, however, ended in a shocking 2-0 Gee-Gees victory, ending their 33-game losing streak against McGill. The Martlets put pressure on Ottawa goaltender Stephanie Mercier throughout the game with a variety of scoring chances, but they couldn’t find the back of the net as Mercier saved all 37 shots she faced. 

Ottawa’s Elarie Leclair scored a powerplay goal with just under two minutes to play in the third period to break the tie and send the game into a frenzy. McGill tried to answer with a last offensive push, but it was to no avail, and the Gee-Gees added an empty-netter to cap off the upset.

The Martlets entered game two trying to stave off elimination and came out with an extremely strong effort. They prevailed in a lopsided 8-0 affair, with offensive output from all four lines and a standout performance from goaltender Charline Labonte

The Gee-Gees played a particularly undisciplined game and McGill tallied goals on half of their ten penalties. Senior Jordana Peroff played an excellent game both offensively and defensively, scoring two goals and adding two assists. McGill dominated throughout, taking 43 shots on Mercier who was unable to contain the lethal Martlet offence

The win placed McGill and Ottawa in an elimination game for the right to move on to the RSEQ finals. McGill responded with another dominating effort, claiming the series 9-1 and putting aside any notion that the team was not ready to compete like their first game of the series suggested. Peroff added two more goals, while first-year Melodie Daoust continued her strong rookie year with two goals and two assists on the afternoon. 

After a 1-1 tie in the middle of the first, McGill’s offence exploded with three more goals before the end of the frame, and continued the onslaught by scoring three more to lead 7-1 heading into the third. The Gee-Gees played another undisciplined game, committing nine penalties.

The two closing games reassured the Martlets’ first-place standing in the conference, and will now look to defend their RSEQ title against the second-place Montreal Carabins on Feb.29. 

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