With three one-goal games, including one decided by a shoot-out, the Quebec conference has proven that while it’s always been highly competitive, this year’s teams have reached an impressive level of parity-- without anyone getting substantially worse. The Montreal Carabins squeaked past Carleton 2-1 with a last-minute goal on Friday, while McGill topped Concordia by the same score on Saturday. Ottawa edged the Ravens 4-3 in a shoot-out on Monday, so though the standings remain stable, the games on the ice are getting tighter and tighter.
Friday, Nov. 18: Carleton 1 at Montreal 2
Jessica Cormier’s goal in the dying seconds proved to be the difference as the Carabins defeated Carleton 2-1 on Friday.
Freshman Annie Germain opened the scoring for Montreal at 2:12 of the second after a goal-less first period. Kaylie Welk tied it up for the Ravens 6:56 into the third, and the contest seemed destined for overtime until Cormier got open in the slot and put the game to rest with just 17 seconds remaining.
Katelyn Steele stopped 32 of 34 shots for Carleton, while Marie-Pier Chabot was beaten once on 21 shots to earn the win.
Both teams took two penalties, but were perfect on the kill.
After topping Montreal 3-2 in a shocking upset early in the season, the Ravens have proven that their victory against the defending national champions wasn’t a fluke.
Saturday, Nov. 19: McGill 2 at Concordia 1
Marie-Philip Lavoie scored the game-winner as McGill defeated Concordia 2-1 on Saturday.
Nicole Howlett opened the scoring for the Martlets at 7:36 of the first period, on a feed by freshman Jade Downie-Landry. Team captain Mélodie Daoust then set up Lavoie on the eventual winner, at 7:35 of the middle frame.
Keriann Schofield got one back for the Stingers 17 seconds into the third, but the visitors survived Concordia’s dominant final period to claim the win.
McGill goaltender Tricia Deguire made 23 saves on 24 shots in the win, while Katherine Purchase stopped 20 of 22 for the hosts.
Both teams were perfect on the penalty kill, with McGill shutting down six Montreal power plays and the Stingers negating five Martlets chances.
Both meetings between the archrivals thus far have been one-goal games -- something that only happened once last season. Though Concordia and Carleton remain bottom-dwellers in the standings, both underdogs have proven highly competitive on the ice.
Sunday, Nov. 20: Carleton 3 at Ottawa 4 (SO)
Carleton freshman Delaney Ross scored twice to force overtime as Ottawa defeated the Ravens 4-3 in a shoot-out on Sunday.
The visitors got off to a strong start with two goals in the final five minutes of the opening period, but Ottawa scored three in a row before Ross forced overtime.
Ross and teammate Kaylie Welk gave Carleton the early 2-0 lead. Vickie Lemire, Roxanne Rioux, and Shanie Deschatelets put the Gee-Gees ahead 3-2, until Ross tallied a shorty to put her team back in it with just 1:36 left in regulation.
With no resolution after the extra session the teams turned to a shoot-out, where both goalies stood tall to stone the initial five shooters. It took until Ottawa’s sixth shooter, Roxanne Rioux, to put the puck in the net and decide a winner.
Rookie Ravens back-up Summer Roberts made 39 saves on 42 shots in the loss.
Ottawa’s Maude Levesque-Ryan stopped nine of 11 shots in the first 20:16 before being replaced by Sarah-Maude Labrecque, who saved 13 of 14 pucks in relief.
Carleton was 0-for-5 on the power play but did manage a shorty. Ottawa had one power-play goal with the skater advantage, but also gave one up.
With 20 players in only their first or second year, the young Ravens have already shown tremendous improvement from last season. Though they have struggled to find consistency in a tough RSEQ conference, the early part of the 2016-17 campaign has featured wins against nationally-ranked Montreal and McGill, along with a tight battle with league-leading Ottawa, showing that Carleton can perform against top teams.
Ottawa (5-1-1) remains at the top of the league standings with 11 points, while McGill (5-2-0) and Montreal (5-4-0) follow with 10 apiece, though the Martlets have two games in hand. Carleton (2-5-1) sits fourth with five points, while Concordia (2-5-0) rounds out the rankings with four points.
Next Week in RSEQ:
Friday, Nov. 25:
Ottawa at Montreal (5), 7 p.m.
Carleton at McGill (6), 7 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)
Sunday, Nov. 27:
Concordia at Ottawa, 2 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)