The second week of the RSEQ season saw McGill and Carleton enter into league play, and both made statements in their opening weekend. The Martlets — who feature 10 rookies this year — dominated the defending-champion Carabins 5-1 on Friday, then defeated Concordia 2-1 on Sunday. Carleton fell 7-4 to Ottawa on Saturday, but the Ravens regrouped and pulled out a stunning 3-2 victory over No.1-ranked Montreal on Sunday.
Friday, Oct. 21: McGill 5 at Montreal 1
The Carabins held a pre-game ceremony to celebrate last season’s success and raise their CIS Championship banner on Friday, but the festivities were cut short when McGill dominated the middle frame on both the shot clock and the scoreboard, holding a 22-8 shooting advantage and finishing the period with a 3-1 lead.
All five Martlets tallies came from different players, including the first career regular-season goals for freshmen Jade Downie-Landry and Sidonie Chard.
Sophomore Alexandra Labelle netted the only goal for the Carabins, a power-play marker in the second period that briefly tied the game at 1-1.
Rookie Martlets goaltender Tricia Deguire made 22 saves on 23 shots to earn her first RSEQ win in her debut appearance. Marie-Pier Chabot stopped 32 of 37 for Montreal.
McGill was 1-for-5 on the powerplay, while the Carabins went 1-for-4.
The young Martlets were expected to face some growing pains this season as they replace their largest-ever graduating class, but the strong start — combined with a solid preseason performance — suggests that they are already prepared to compete at a high level.
Saturday, Oct. 22: Carleton 4 at Ottawa 7
Mélodie Bouchard collected five points as the Gee-Gees topped Carleton on Saturday. The stand-out sophomore tied the game at 2-2 in the high-scoring first period — which ended with Ottawa ahead 4-2 — then notched what proved to be the game-winner midway through the second, both on the powerplay. She also added three assists and springboarded to an early lead in the RSEQ scoring race, with seven points in just two contests.
Marimée Godbout-Parent and Roxanne Rioux each scored a trio of points for Ottawa, with Godbout-Parent notching two goals and an assist and Rioux recording three helpers.
Sophomores Shannon Pearson and Hannah Dinovitzer and freshmen Delaney Ross and Katia Boulianne scored for the Ravens. Despite the loss, getting four goals from young players bodes well for a Carleton team that has struggled offensively in recent years.
Gee-Gees netminder Émilie Bouchard stopped 24 of 28 shots for the win. Katelyn Steele made 30 saves on 37 shots in the loss.
Ottawa was 3-for-7 on the powerplay, while Carleton not only went 0-for-7, but also gave up a shorty. Special teams proved an issue for the Ravens in the preseason as well, and will be crucial to improving their record this year.
Sunday, Oct. 23: Montreal 2 at Carleton 3
Katelyn Steele lived up to her name on Sunday, making a massive 47 saves on 49 shots to earn Carleton its first win of the season, against none other than the defending national champions. It was the Ravens’ first win against Montreal since 2012.
Sophomore Jenna Mitchell opened the scoring for Carleton with the only goal of the first period, before Maude Laramée and Jessica Cormier gave the Carabins a 2-1 lead in the second. Montreal played a dominant middle frame with a 28-2 advantage in shots, but Steele survived the onslaught to keep her team in the match.
Katia Boulianne tied the game on the power play just 25 seconds into the third, and an individual effort from Tawnya Guindon with just under five minutes remaining secured the unlikely victory for the underdogs.
Carleton killed all six penalties taken and was 1-for-6 on the powerplay, fostering hope that some of its special teams woes may be in the past.
Carabins netminder Marie-Pier Chabot made 13 saves on 16 shots in the loss. The 2016 CIS Championship MVP put up two uncharacteristic performances this weekend, which might be cause for concern— though the entire roster will have to step up if they wish to defend their national title. Montreal’s offence did dominate the game despite the scoreline, however, offering an improvement on Friday’s loss to McGill.
Sunday, Oct. 23: Concordia 1 at McGill 2
Rookie goalie Tricia Deguire stopped 29 shots as McGill topped the Stingers 2-1 on Sunday. The 19-year-old starter holds an impressive .962 save percentage over two games played.
Freshman Sidonie Chard scored less than three minutes into the game to put the Martlets ahead, and team captain Mélodie Daoust doubled the advantage in the middle frame, assisted by Marie-Philip Lavoie.
Defender Marie-Joelle Allard brought Concordia within one on the powerplay halfway through the third, but the Stingers couldn’t tie it up and McGill improved to 2-0 on the season.
Katherine Purchase made 22 saves on 24 shots for the visitors.
Concordia was 1-for-6 on the powerplay, while McGill failed to capitalize on seven chances.
Daoust, who has been named to Canada’s roster for the Four Nations Cup next week, left the game in the final minutes after sustaining what commentators described as an apparent lower-body injury. She returned to the ice after the final whistle, but her status remains to be seen.
Next Week in RSEQ:
Friday, Oct. 28:
Carleton at Montreal (3), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29:
McGill (5) at Ottawa, 2 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)
Sunday, Oct. 30:
Concordia at Montreal (3), 2 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)