Posts Tagged ‘McGill vs UBC’

u-sports-womens-hockey-768x527

UBC Thunderbirds goalie, Amelia Boughn in action vs Queen’s Gaels on Thursday, March 16.

VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s going to be a marquee matchup on Saturday afternoon at the USports Nationals, when the UBC Thunderbirds take on the McGill Martlets. The winner will earn a spot in the championship final on Sunday at the Strathcona Paper Centre, in Napanee, Ontario.

Thursday’s quarterfinals saw the number one ranked Thunderbirds dispatch the hosts, Queen’s Gaels with a 2-1 win. McGill’s Gabrielle Davidson scored a pair of goals to help the number four seed Martlets defeat StFX 3-1.

This will be the third meeting between UBC and McGill in the last year. The Thunderbirds won 4-2 in a quarterfinals game last year at nationals. It was an intense, and physical game that had a lot of feeling. UBC also defeated McGill 3-1, during a preseason tournament this past fall.

UBC Coach, Graham Thomas is expecting a far different game on Saturday.

“There a different team than we saw in September,” said Thomas. “They didn’t have (Gabrielle) Davidson, and (Mélodie) Daoust in the lineup. They’re back ,and their seniors are really strong players for them. We’ll have to be very sharp. They’ve got a strong freshman goalie (Tricia Deguire). It’s going to be two really good teams going after it. Great program, and we’re excited for the challenge.”

Neither coach wants to provide bulletin board material for the other team. While a rivalry might be brewing, McGill Coach, Peter Smith wasn’t taking any bait.

“Yeah, we play them three times in around a year,” said Smith when reached by phone. “We’re happy to play them again. They’re a good team, and we like playing good teams. It’s all about what happens on Saturday. We’ll be ready to go, and they’ll be ready to go.”

Smith isn’t concerned with the Thunderbirds number one ranking they’ve had since October. McGill won’t be in awe by the Thunderbirds accomplishments. Once the puck drops, rankings and awards make no difference.

“It’s similar to playing any team,” admitted said Smith. “We want to be prepared and be ready to go. We don’t spend a lot of time looking at rankings and seeding.”

McGill’s high-powered offence features 2017 Player of the Year finalist, Mélodie Daoust, Olivia Atkinson, Marie-Philip Lavoie, Gabrielle Davidson, and rookie Jade Downie-Landry. Martlets goalkeeper, Tricia Deguire was named 2017 USports Rookie of the Year. McGill is stacked, and will look to play a high-tempo game. Playing a full sixty-minutes remains a question for a team that’s still very young.

“I think the hallmark of our team, we want to play fast, and play with good structure,” said Smith. “We need to stick to the plan from start to finish, and play fast. We’re a fast team and that’s what we want to do.”

UBC will feature their own dangerous offence. Defender, Kelly Murray was named to the All-Canadian First Team, and Cassandra Vilgrain was named to the All-Canadian Second Team. Captain, Stephanie Schaupmeyer, Nicole Saxvik, and Kathleen Cahoon are also ones to watch. Saxvik scored the wining goal vs Queen’s with 2:43 left in the third period.

“They’re a very good team,” said Saxvik, when asked about playing McGill. “It’s going to be battle. We have to do our homework. Hopefully the puck will go our way.”

The McGill program has a long storied history, and a high prestige across Canada. They’ve always been a program that other universities want to emulate with multiple national championships. UBC is looking to take the next step with their first national championship.

“It’s two really competitive programs,” said Thomas. “McGill is one of the most decorated programs in Canada. They want to keep their dynasty going. You have a program like ours, up and coming, and we want to accomplish what they have accomplished.” 

The Thunderbirds will be looking to get some rest for goalkeeper, Amelia Boughn who battled food poisoning on the eve of the tournament. Boughn toughed it out, and made 17 saves vs Queen’s. She earned praise while playing on adrenaline, and not much else.

“We’re really happy to get some food and fluids into her,” said Thomas of Boughn. “She’s just incredible. Yeah, it was great to see. It was her call. She’s had a quarter of a bagel, and a little bit of chicken noodle soup, and not a lot of sleep. It’s important to give her some rest.”

UBC and McGill will be looking to see which team can post a ‘bagel’ in net, and which team can turn up the offence. It’s going to be an exciting game with two fantastic programs battling for a spot in the USports Championship game.

USports National Championship Schedule. All Times: ET

Friday, March 17

11:00 a.m. Quarter-final 3: No.3 Saint Mary’s vs No.6 Alberta

3:00 p.m. Quarter-final 4: No. 2 Guelph vs. No. 7 Concordia

7:00 p.m. Consolation 1: Queen’s vs. StFX

Saturday, March 18

11:00 a.m. Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4

3:00 p.m. Semifinal 1: McGill vs UBC

7:00 p.m. Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4

Sunday, March 19

11:00 a.m. 5th-place game

3:00 a.m. Bronze

7:00 p.m. Final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McGill Martlets Forward Mélodie Daoust. Photo Credit: Annabelle Soucy Photographie + Design Graphique.

McGill Martlets Forward Mélodie Daoust. Photo Credit: Annabelle Soucy Photographie + Design Graphique.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Mélodie Daoust is one of the most exciting hockey players in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). The 24 year-old was part of Team Canada that won Gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and she has continued her rise in hockey with McGill University.

The Martlets captain will be looking to lead McGill at CIS National Championship March 17-20 in Calgary, Alberta. McGill has competed in back to back CIS National Championship Finals. In 2014 they defeated the Montreal Carabins 4-3 in double overtime. Last March, also in Calgary, McGill ran out of gas and lost 5-0 to the Western Mustangs.

McGill finished the Quebec RSEQ regular season with a 13-5-2 record. Daoust racked up 28 goals and 24 assists in 32 games. That also included a trio of hat-tricks, with the most recent coming during the final game of the season, a 4-1 win at home vs Concordia University.

Head Coach Peter Smith’s team swept the Ottawa Gee-Gees before being swept themselves in the RSEQ Championship series vs Montreal. McGill earned the 5th spot at the CIS Nationals Championship and will play the UBC Thunderbirds in the 4 vs 5 matchup.

Daoust describes what McGill Martlets Hockey is all about.

“We are a really fast team,” said Daoust. “I think we have a lot of speed. We also play with a lot of structure, which is to our advantage. We have a good four line calibre team and we can roll all four lines and keep the momentum.”

As the leading scorer for McGill and a Canadian Gold Medallist, you might think that Daoust feels a bit of pressure to light the lamp and carry the scoring load for her team. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I really don’t look at this,” she said. “The only thing I worry about is winning. If our team does great, I’m happy. If we don’t do great, we need to improve. I’m not a player that looks at personal stats. I put the team first. We just need to come out strong and play the best we can.”

If you’re Max Pacioretty or Mélodie Daoust there is a pretty strong likelihood opposition defenders are going to be out to double team you in the defensive zone. You can almost guarantee UBC defenders will be delivering some stick work, and extra little bumps. Daoust is used to the extra attention and will look to setup her teammates.

“It’s a game of hockey; yeah, maybe they’re going to cover me,” revealed Daoust. “If they do great, because all of our other players are awesome. They’re going to be able to do the job as well. Either way it’s good for us.”

The Valleyfield, Quebec native, was unavailable for an earlier match against UBC on Sunday, September 20 in Kingston, Ontario. The Thunderbirds prevailed 3-2 thanks to three unanswered goals. Although that match was almost six months ago, players from both teams haven’t forgotten.

Can either team take any advantage from that game?

“I remember it was a very long time ago,” recalled Daoust. “We can’t base anything even for us or for them on that; we can’t take anything from it. We’ve grown as a team. What we want to do is really focus on our team and what we can do.”

McGill Martlets Forward Mélodie Daoust. Photo Credit: LA PRESSE.

McGill Martlets Forward Mélodie Daoust. Photo Credit: LA PRESSE.

With UBC having an extra bit of confidence gained from taking down then seeded number 1 McGill, will the Martlets be looking to take on an underdog role? They lost the RSEQ Championship and thus will have a much tougher road to the CIS National Championship Final game on Sunday, March 20.

“I don’t know if it’s an underdog roll,” Daoust stated. “All the teams that are going there deserve to be there. The CIS has grown so much. We expect them to be good and hopefully we can be good and play our best hockey.”

It sounds easy enough, but the key for all eight teams competing at the CIS Nationals will be to win the first game. In a single elimination format you’ve got to win three matches in a row over four days. Avoiding injuries, impromptu penalties, and turnovers will be key for any McGill momentum.

Mélodie Daoust and her Martlets teammates will be one of the most experienced teams in the tournament and they certainly have the pedigree to win the Golden Path Trophy.

“For us it’s going to be to play a full 60 minute game,” Daoust feels. “Take it period by period and move on. It’s a quick turnaround we play a lot of games. We need to focus on our strengths.”

The fourth-year centre currently has her concentration squarely with McGill and the CIS National Championship. Daoust will return for her final season with the Martlets next fall. Beyond that she has her eyes on the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Specifically Les Canadiennes de Montreal.

“Moving forward, I think I’m going to play for the CWHL,” divulged Daoust. “We’re going to see once I get there. Right now I’m really focusing on this season and next year it’s going to be another amazing season. Hopefully I get recruited by the CWHL.”

The CWHL would be off their heads not to have a player of Mélodie Daoust’s talent in there league. The UBC Thunderbirds and every other opponent will have to closely mark Daoust during the CIS National Championship tournament this week. It only takes one Daoust wrister to send a team home.

Here is the CIS National Championship Schedule. Mountain Times listed.

Thursday, March 17.

11:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 8 St. Thomas vs. No. 1 Guelph

15:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 5 McGill vs. No. 4 UBC

Friday, March 18.

11:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2

15:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 6 Western vs. No. 3 Saint Mary’s

19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 7 Calgary vs. No. 2 Montreal

Saturday, March 19.

10:00 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4

14:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2

17:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4

Sunday March 20.

8:45 Bronze

9:00 5th-place game

12:30 Final

SEEDING

1. Guelph Gryphons (OUA champions: 21-2-1 regular season / 5-1 playoffs)

2. Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions: 15-3-2 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)

3. Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions: 17-6-1 regular season / 4-2 playoffs)

4. UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA champions: 16-9-3 regular season / 4-2 playoffs)

5. McGill Martlets (RSEQ finalists: 13-5-2 regular season / 2-2 playoffs)

6. Western Mustangs (OUA finalists: 15-8-1 regular season / 4-2 playoffs)

7. Calgary Dinos (Hosts: 12-12-4 regular season / 0-2 playoffs)

8. St. Thomas Tommies (AUS finalists: 16-7-1 regular season / 5-2 playoffs)