RSEQ Week 1 Overview

Concordia splits, Montreal dominates, and Daoust reaches a milestone

RSEQ opened its regular season this weekend, with the Concordia Stingers hosting Ottawa on Friday and Montreal on Sunday. McGill and Carleton, which have not yet begun conference play, wrapped up their preseason schedules against NCAA competition.

Friday, Oct. 14: Ottawa 5 at Concordia 4 (SO)

Concordia came away with a 5-4 shootout win over the Gee-Gees in the season debut, with sophomore Claudia Dubois netting a second-period powerplay goal and the shootout winner.

The high-scoring affair became a battle of the goaltenders in the shootout, when Katherine Purchase stoned all five Gee-Gee shooters to earn her team the win.

A diversity of scorers and lots of freshman involvement were positive take-aways for both sides, as seven of eight regulation goals came from different players. Three rookie skaters tallied their first career goals, including Marie-Pascale Bernier and Stephanie Lalancette for the Stingers and Ottawa’s Mélissa Grégoire.

Maude Levesque-Ryan made 17 saves on 21 shots from open play for the Gee-Gees, while Purchase stopped 19 of 23 for the home side.

Ottawa took four penalties in the opening period, and discipline proved to be a potential red flag as the Stingers were able to capitalize on three of seven powerplay opportunities. Concordia killed three of four penalties taken.

Sunday, Oct. 16: Montreal 5 at Concordia 1

The defending national champions wasted no time getting on the scoresheet, as sophomore Catherine Dubois opened the scoring 4:10 into the game. Fellow second-year Alexandra Labelle added one of her own at 12:44 then followed it up with another less than four minutes later, leading the Stingers to pull goaltender Katherine Purchase, who allowed three goals on 13 shots in 16:03.

Concordia rookie Audrey Belzile put her team on the board with her first career goal, a powerplay marker at 4:46 of the third after a scoreless middle frame.

Freshman Annie Germain also tallied her career first, netting the Carabins’ fourth of the evening at 5:22. Labelle, who tied for third in conference scoring in her rookie campaign last year, added one more with the skater advantage with 6:17 remaining to record a hat trick in the victory.

Four Montreal rookies got involved in the scoring, which bodes well for their chances at a repeat title. In addition to Germain, who had a goal and an assist, first year players Logane Rhéaume, Estelle Duvin, and Valérie Drouin each notched their first point.

Marie-Pier Chabot, who was named tournament MVP at last year’s national championship, stopped 27 of 28 pucks for the win. Concordia back-up Briar Bache, who entered the game in relief, made 12 saves on 14 shots in 43:57.

The Carabins were perfect on their only power play opportunity, while Concordia capitalized on one of two chances.

Exhibition Action: McGill strong against NCAA, Carleton falls to Cornell

Olympic champion Mélodie Daoust scored her 100th career CIS goal (including exhibition and postseason contests) in just her 113th appearance on Friday as the Martlets shut out Harvard 3-0 in their first-ever win against the Crimson.

McGill narrowly fell 1-0 to Yale on Saturday thanks largely to a hot goalie, then tied Dartmouth 2-2 on Sunday in its third game of a jam-packed road trip. The young Martlets went 3-1-1 against NCAA teams in the preseason, including victories against St. Lawrence, Vermont, and Harvard.

Though McGill’s overall preseason record is 5-6-1, it improved from a slow 0-4 start to finish 5-2-1 in its final eight contests.

Carleton, which finished the past three seasons at the bottom of the RSEQ ranks, closed its preseason against Cornell on Friday. The Big Red came out in force and toppled the Ravens 10-0, including five powerplay markers and three shorties. Five of Cornell’s eight goal-scorers have spent time with their respective national team programs, so it’s no shock that they overpowered a weak Carleton squad.

Ravens starter Katelyn Steele made 25 saves on 30 shots in 29:37 before being swapped out for Jennifer Walker, who stopped 15 of 20 in 30:23. The tandem combined for 40 saves on a massive 50 shots.

Carleton took eight penalties and killed off only three, and failed to capitalize on their own opportunities, instead allowing the Big Red to score shorthanded on three of four Ravens powerplays.

Next Week in RSEQ:

Friday, Oct. 21:

McGill (6) at Montreal (1), 7:30 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)

Saturday, Oct. 22:

Carleton at Ottawa, 2 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)

Sunday, Oct. 23:

Montreal (1) at Carleton, 3 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)

Concordia at McGill (6), 3 p.m. (FREE LIVE STREAM)