Varsity Roundup: March 1-10 

While some McGillians jumped on a plane for a beach vacation, headed home, or found a way to make a stay-cation work in Montreal for reading week, the Redbirds and Martlets remained hard at work. 

On Friday, Mar. 1, the Redbirds (21–5–2) hockey team bounced back from their game-one loss to the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes (21–6–1) in the Ontario University Association (OUA) East men’s hockey best-of-three series. With their season on the line, the Redbirds looked to stave off elimination and push the series back to McConnell Arena. Despite going down 3-0 just seven minutes into the first period, the Redbirds dug deep with Eric Uba scoring three unanswered goals to register a hat trick. With the game tied at three, Zach Gallant netted what would be the game-winning goal with just under two minutes remaining. As four seconds remained on the clock, Mathieu Gagnon scored the final goal of the game resulting in a 5-3 victory for the Redbirds. 

Unfortunately, for the Redbirds fans who remained in Montreal, McGill could not find the same magic in game three of the series. The Redbirds fell 4-0 to the two-time defending league champions, leading them to face off against the Brock Badgers (21–7–0) in the OUA bronze medal game on Mar. 9. The Badgers, who finished first overall in the OUA West’s regular season, fell to the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold (19–9–0) in the OUA semi-final. The Bold went on to lose 3-2 in double overtime to the Patriotes in the OUA finals. As for the Redbirds, they successfully defeated the Badgers 5-2 with goals from Uba, Charles-Antoine Dumont, Caiden Daley, and William Rouleau. McGill will play next at the U SPORTS National Championship hosted by TMU from Mar. 14-17. 

In the pool, McGill hosted the U SPORTS National Championship where the Martlets finished fourth overall and the Redbirds claimed bronze. The Martlets’ competition was highlighted by Naomie Lo snagging a silver medal in the 400 m freestyle. As for the Redbirds, Pablo Collin flourished yet again, taking home gold in the 200 m freestyle. Collin, Artiom Volodin, Bruno Dehem-Lemelin, and Mats Baradat earned the Redbirds their second gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay. The Redbirds also medalled in the 4x100m freestyle relay while Malachy Belkhelladi took home a silver in the 50 m freestyle and Hazem Issa added a bronze to McGill’s medal tally in the 50 m butterfly. Baradat also claimed a bronze medal in the 400 m freestyle. The Redbirds’ third-place finish with 898 points was behind the University of Calgary’s 922.5 and the University of Toronto’s dominating 1,145 points. As for the Martlets, their fourth-place finish was with 788.5 points while the University of Toronto claimed 1,444 points, just ahead of the University of British Columbia’s 1,300 and the University of Calgary’s 872.5. 

On the track, McGill travelled to Winnipeg for the U SPORTS Track and Field National Championship. The Redbirds finished fourteenth overall while the Martlets finished sixteenth overall. In terms of medals, Matthew Beaudet earned silver in the 3,000 m with a time of 8:01:44 and snagged a fifth place finish in the men’s 1,500 m. Donna Ntambue took home a third place finish in the women’s 60 m and helped carry the Martlets’ 4×200 m relay to break the McGill record by 1.5 seconds. In the men’s 4×800 m, the Redbirds earned a fifth place finish and round it all out, Kilty McGonigal took home a fourth place finish in the men’s heptathlon and set a new Redbirds record.

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