Hockey, Martlets, Sports

Martlet hockey snags a narrow win over UdeM, remaining undefeated

On Nov. 14, the McGill women’s hockey team (6–0) played the Université de Montréal Carabins (1–2–1) in a suspenseful game of twists, turns, and occasional tussles. With a team composed of both rookies and veterans, the Martlets persevered into overtime despite an early goal by their opponents, ultimately emerging victorious with a 2-1 score. 

The game began with a rush of adrenaline. Within the first 15 seconds, the Martlets narrowly missed a goal, and instead turned the puck over to the Carabins, who scored a few seconds later. 

Throughout the first half of the game, the Martlets were strong on defence, successfully blocking nearly all shots on goal. However, they struggled to move the puck past the Carabins’ impenetrable defence and talented goalie, Aube Racine. The Carabins exercised more control over their passes, while the Martlets frequently lost possession.

Despite a slow start, the Martlets came into their own in the third period. Fifth-year team captain Jade Downie-Landry said she noticed the same shift. 

“I think we did a really good job at pushing the pace, especially in the third period,” Downie-Landry wrote to The McGill Tribune. “We were down by a goal but we simplified the game and got pucks to the net.”

The team’s strategy paid off. Halfway through the third period, Downie-Landry evened the score during a power play, with assists from forwards Christiana Colizza and Stephanie Desjardins.

Stakes were high in the final period, with the score at 1-1. Both teams saw newfound levels of assertion and aggression, and while overtime was almost certain, Martlets and Carabins alike were gunning for a last-second miracle goal. The Carabins’ offence was strong, but the Martlets’ defence was stronger, and they effectively kept their opponents at bay.

Despite two very close attempts on goal by the Carabins in overtime, the score remained tied and the teams went into a shootout after 20 minutes.

As the shootout began, you could hear a pin drop: Every fan was holding their breath. The first round saw misses for both teams, as did the second round. Finally, Downie-Landry buried her second goal for the team, clinching the win with a 2-1 finish.

After an extended break due to the pandemic, the women’s hockey team now has an exceptional roster with many first-year students. Despite their rookie status, every player on the team is learning and advancing quickly. 

Third-year forward Makenzie McCallum was quick to emphasize that she would not trade her teammates for anyone else. 

“I am proud of how far we have come this season,” said McCallum. “There are a lot of first-year players, [so] we had a lot of growing to do. We’re a young team with a lot of new players but our progress as a team has been amazing to watch and I can’t wait to see what else we’re capable of.”

Desjardins has high hopes for the season, noting how excited she is to see how the team will develop.

“Obviously, it is only the start of the season and we have a long way to go,” Desjardins said. “But so far, we are playing well. The girls are eager to learn, the energy is high, and that is what we need right now.”

The Martlets play their next game on Nov. 19 against the Concordia Stingers.

Moment of the game: After a two-period dry spell for the Martlets, Downie-Landry scored her first goal of the game, sending the team and crowd into an excited frenzy.

Quote: “I’m looking forward to each and every game I get to play with these girls. We have a great group and it makes coming to the rink the best part of my day.” – Third-year forward Makenzie McCallum

Stat Corner: The Martlets have won their last three games against the Carabins and have only lost one of their last 10 games against Montreal.

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