Hockey, Martlets, Sports

Martlets hockey home opener turns into a frustrating loss against UOttawa’s Gee-Gee’s

On Oct. 26, the Martlets’ hockey team (1–2) suffered a tough loss against the Ottawa Gee-Gees (2–1) in a penalty-filled home opener. 

The Martlets opened the game with a quick shot on goal, followed by forward India Benoit taking a tripping penalty to give the Gee-Gees their first powerplay of the game. The Gee-Gees broke through McGill’s defense in the second minute of play, and pulled off a shot on goal that was saved by goalie Sophie Lajeunesse. Coming out of the box, Benoit passed to forward Mika Chang before attempting a shot on goal. 

Eight minutes in, Ottawa took a tripping penalty to give McGill the advantage. McGill maintained good offensive motion that tested the Gee-Gees’ goalie. A sloppy line change from the Gee-Gees then led to a momentary five-on-zero advantage for the Martlets that excited the crowd. 

10 minutes into the first period, four Martlets and one Gee-Gee went down before Meganne Chailler came off in pain––she later returned to the ice. A minute later, Ottawa opened the scoring with the first goal of the game after careless defending from the Martlets left the Gee-Gees center alone in the slot. Despite their sloppy defense, they managed to get another solid shot on goal and Lajeunesse blocked an attempt from Ottawa in the last minute of play. Both teams matched in their high aggression, which the referees seemed hesitant to call in the first half of the period. The first period ended 1-0 for Ottawa, with eight shots on goal by the Gee-Gees and the Martlets close behind with seven. 

“We will need to be more disciplined and have less penalties,” Beniot told The Tribune.  “Playing on the PK [penalty kill] for a long time and getting momentum [created challenges for us].” 

Although McGill opened the second period strongly with a shot on goal, Ottawa turned the tide by denying the Martlets on a breakaway and pressuring them with two unsuccessful attempts. Following a head-contact call, forward Megan Kronwald was sent to the penalty box for four minutes. The Martlets finally found the back of the net after a misplay by Ottawa’s goaltender, but the goal was ultimately disallowed. The teams traded shots on goal in the last half of the second period. Tensions rose between the players in front of the Martlets net, which led to the referees reprimanding both teams. In the last minutes of the period, Ottawa attempted three more unsuccessful shots on goal, outshooting the Martlets 8-5. 

The Martlets started the third period by picking up another penalty, with forward Anika Cormier being sent to the box for tripping in the second minute of play. Ottawa managed two shots on goal during their power play before picking up a penalty of their own. In the seventh minute of the period, an Ottawa player was knocked to the ground in a multi-player collision and skated off the ice supported by her teammates. McGill defense Mia Giles picked up a penalty for body checking, followed closely by a penalty called on forward Syrine Kacem for holding. In an attempt to even the score, the Martlets pulled their goalie in the last minute of play, but their failed attempts to to put the puck in the back of the net allowed the Gee-Gees to score an empty-netter with eight seconds to go, ending the evening on a 2-0 loss for the Martlets. 

The Martlets (2–2) beat the Carleton Ravens (1–1) 1-0 on Oct. 28 and will play Bishop’s University on Nov. 3

Moment of the game: After deflecting a shot, the Ottawa goalie nudged the puck into the goal before the referees called offside and the goal was disallowed.

Quotable: “We play against Carleton next. We have practice Friday and we will do everything to prepare accordingly for this game and bounce back hard.”

–Forward India Benoit

Stat corner: The Martlets received two penalties for tripping, two for hooking and one penalty each for holding, head contact, and body checking. Four of these penalties occurred in the third period. 

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