Two-game sweep shows there is still some work to be done despite successful season
For the Gee-Gees women’s hockey team, a stellar season drew to a close after being eliminated by the McGill Martlets in the first round of their conference playoffs this past weekend
The team began the best two-of-three series on the road in Montreal and they had a comeback opportunity in the third period, but were bested 4-2.
Véronik Samson and Camille Pauck-Therrien were the lone goal scorers for the Gee-Gees in the match. Pauck-Therrien’s goal cut McGill’s lead to 3-2, but the Gees’ hopes of an early upset were dashed when the Martlets scored only seconds later.
As the series shifted back to Ottawa, the second game was much more exhilarating than the first. With their season on the line, the Gee-Gees fought tooth-and-nail to stay in the game and force a third and final game.
The Martlets came out of the gate firing, and found mesh first with Kelsie Moffatt scoring the first period’s only goal.
The Gee-Gees responded by finding their offence early in the second, with two consecutive goals to take a 2-1 lead. In response, McGill took to the attack and scored twice to regain the lead going into the final period of regulation.
Only 33 seconds into the final frame, Mélodie Bouchard scored her second goal of the game for the Gee-Gees and the game was headed to overtime.
The first overtime period was scoreless, and the crowd at Minto Sports Complex was raucous, with clear hopes of willing their team to victory in the second overtime.
Just under five minutes into the period, Melodie Daoust scored her second of the night for the Martlets, giving them the win and the series.
“I said it several times this season, this is an amazing group,” head coach Yanick Evola told Sports Services. “The character of this team is above what I’ve seen in my life in women’s hockey.”
After a successful season, the women’s hockey program is in a strong place and has benefited from increased attention being the only hockey team at the U of O.
Some things may change as the team will have to once again compete for attention when the men’s team returns in the fall.
The team will have the offseason to rebuild and retool, however many key seniors will be graduating, leaving unknown expectations for next year.
Perhaps the Gee-Gees weren’t quite ready for the long playoff haul, and perhaps it was just a bad first-round matchup. At the very least the team showed their will to fight to the end, proving that even though they finished empty handed the year was still a success.