McGill Martlets forward Marie-Philip Lavoie

McGill Martlets forward Marie-Philip Lavoie.

VANCOUVER, B.C – The McGill Martlets are off to a 2-1-0 start in RSEQ conference play, with plenty of competition still to come. McGill has high aspirations this season and they’re a team trending upwards. Coach Peter Smith has assembled his veteran lineup with new youthful additions like Jade Downie, Cassidy Bell, Sidonie Chard, Lea Dumais, and Olivia Ramos. McGill’s Marie-Philip Lavoie is back in her third season with the Martlets and will provide a huge spark for the Martlets dynamic offense.

The physical education student has always loved the game of hockey from an early age. Growing up in Pohénégamook, Quebec meant skating on a frozen pond from dawn till dusk. Lavoie wanted to continue learning and honing her hockey skills and as a teenager she moved to look for a bigger challenge.

“I grew up playing on an outdoor rink and on the lake,” revealed Lavoie. “I moved out at fifteen years-old to go to Quebec City so I could have more of a challenge and more hockey around. That helped me a lot in my progression with CEGEP, and the (McGill) university that was able to see me more than in my small town.”

The current number five ranked McGill Martlets opened the season with a 5-1 win over 2016 CIS National Champions, Montreal Carabins on October, 21. The red and white followed that game with a 2-1 victory over Concordia two nights later. McGill dropped a 4-1 away decision to Ottawa on October, 29.

McGill Martlets forward Marie-Philip Lavoie.

McGill Martlets forward Marie-Philip Lavoie.

Through all competitions, Lavoie has put up 5 goals and 8 assists in 15 games. She has recorded an assist in four consecutive games and is enjoying playing with linemates, Jade Downie and Olivia Atkinson. It took a little bit of time for the trio to form chemistry, but now the Martlets offense is taking shape.

“With Atkinson for sure, I was playing with her last year,” admitted Lavoie. “I think I have good chemistry with her. We’re two fast players, so we’re playing really well together. With Jade, it’s awesome to play with her, because she’s really fast too. It’s great to play with those two.”

Getting back to USports Nationals this spring in Kingston, Ontario remains the ultimate goal for every team across Canada. McGill has had a rich tradition in women’s hockey and expectations are high again this season. Lavoie and her teammates would prefer to take the popular cliché, one game at a time approach.

“I think we’re going to focus on first the season,” said Lavoie. “After, the RSEQ championship. For sure we want to come to nationals. That’s our biggest goal for the season, but we’re going to focus on the season first, and what we can do.”

The Martels will be back on the ice when they visit Carleton University on November 4. McGill will be hosting the CEGEP All-Star game on November, 5 at McConnell Arena. Lavoie and the Martlets have the potential to be a powerhouse USports team, with a strong shot at going to nationals, and earning a medal.

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