Home RSEQ Bell tolls for Martlets as McGill beats Carleton in overtime thriller

Bell tolls for Martlets as McGill beats Carleton in overtime thriller

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Cassidy Bell. (Derek Drummond/McGill Athletics photo)

OTTAWA (from McGill Martlets) — Sophomore defenceman Cassidy Bell of Baldonnel, B.C., scored on a power-play at 4:10 of overtime as McGill blanked Carleton 1-0 in RSEQ women’s hockey at the CU Icehouse, Sunday.

Goaltender Tricia Deguire of Sherbrooke, Que., made 18 saves for her second shutout of the season as her record improved to 7-7. Deguire lowered her goals-against average to 1.87 and improved her save percentage to .926.

It was McGill’s third straight win over Carleton since losing the season opener with a surprising 3-1 setback in Ottawa on Nov. 10. The Martlets are now 92-4-1 in 97-lifetime meetings with the Ravens, who have registered three of those wins in the last 13 confrontations.

After a scoreless three periods, the teams moved onto a five-minute 4-on-4 extra session. If nobody scored, they would’ve played a five-minute 3-on-3 period followed by a dreaded shootout, if necessary.

The winning tally came with just 50 seconds remaining in the first OT period. Carleton blueliner Jennifer Semkowski was penalized at 2:20 of overtime for delay of game after clearing the puck over the glass. With the Martlets holding a 4-on-3 manpower advantage and just 10 seconds remaining in the penalty, Bell deflected a low point-shot in the crease from forward Marika Labrecque, who fired from the top of the right-side faceoff circle. Forward Kellyanne Lecours also drew an assist on the play.

It was Bell’s second marker of the season and only the third McGill goal on the campaign from a rearguard.

“There was a switch between our forward and our defenceman,” explained McGill head coach Peter Smith. “Our forward (Labrecque) had the puck above the half-wall and Bell went right for the net, which turned out great as she deflected the puck into the back of the net. Labrecque made a real good shot, she’s got a heavy shot, and good things happen when you go to the net.

“I thought that would be our downfall earlier in the game. Carleton’s good at clogging up the middle and we didn’t get enough pucks into the middle of the ice. And when we finally did, it paid off.”

The shots were 23-18 in McGill’s favour, including a 5-0 Martlets onslaught in overtime and there were nine penalties called in the contest. McGill was 1-for-5 on the power-play, while Carleton was 0-for 4. The Ravens have the worst power-play in the country, with only two goals in 67 chances for a paltry 3 per cent success rate.

Senior netminder Katelyn Steel took the loss for Carleton as her record dropped to 3-12.

With only a handful of games remaining in the 20-game schedule and just three points separating Concordia (10-4-1), Ottawa (9-6-2) and McGill (8-6-2) in the RSEQ standings, the final playoff matchups are all up for grabs.

The fourth-place Martlets, who clinched a playoff berth on Friday when Carleton lost, will host second-place Concordia on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm EST last-place Carleton (3-13-1) will host the Stingers on Feb. 4. The only other game on the schedule in the coming week is an Ottawa at division-leading Montreal (11-2-4) confrontation on Feb. 4.

Notes

It was the first 1-0 victory for McGill in league play since blanking the Ravens on the road a year ago, on Jan. 22, 2017. McGill also posted a similar result over UBC at the Nationals on March 18, 2017… Olivia Atkinson, McGill’s leading scorer, was held pointless for the third straight contest. However, she continues to lead the RSEQ scoring race with an 8-7-15 record in 16 games… She has a precarious one-point lead over three players: Concordia rookie Lidia Fillion (8-6-14), plus Montreal Carabins teammates Jessica Cormier (8-6-14) and Alexandra Labelle (6-8-14)

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