Davidson deadly as McGill maims Moncton, will battle Carabins for gold
FREDERICTON -- High-scoring sniper Gabrielle Davidson continued her assault on goaltenders, scoring twice and adding a couple of helpers as the fifth-seeded McGill women's hockey team manhandled No.3 Moncton 8-2 at the Grant Harvey Centre in Fredericton, Saturday, punching their ticket to a berth in the Scotiabank CIS national championship game.
The Martlets, who improved to 2-0 in the six-team tourney and 27-11 lifetime at Nationals, will be making their seventh appearance in the gold medal affair, which is slated to be televised live on Sunday by Sportsnet 360. Puck drop is 5:30 p.m. (Eastern). McGill, which previously won the national title in 2007, 2008 and 2011. will meet the top-seeded and defending national champion Montreal Carabins, who swept their two two preliminary-round contests, winning 3-0 over Saskatchewan and 4-0 over host St. Thomas.
It will be the ninth confrontation of the season between the bitter rivals. McGill owns a lifetime record of 31-7 against the Carabins but the two Quebec conference finalists split their eight meetings (4-4) this season, with the Martlets winning three of five during the regular season to finish atop the RSEQ standings. But the second-place Carabins claimed two of three post-season affairs to capture the RSEQ crown for the second straight season.
McGill had a lopsided 36-13 edge in shots against Moncton, including a 16-4 advantage in the opening period. They led 4-1 after the opening stanza and 6-1 after two.
Martlets head coach Peter Smith said the game was still valuable, despite it being a blowout.
"The girls were happy but not thrilled...I've never coached to the scoreboard and they've never played to the scoreboard. They want to do the right thing. They want to hear what to do better," he said. "We don't stop playing and I think that's key to preparation."
Davidson, who has a tourney-leading 4-2-6 record in two games, was one of five McGill players to register a multi-point performance. Chelsey Saunders, Brittney Fouracres, andKatia Clement-Heydra each had a goal and two assists, while Leslie Oles tallied once and set up another.
Moncton's Elisa Savoie opened the scoring on the Aigles Bleues' first shot of the game at 8:28. But Davidson answered right back, scoring only 46 seconds later, with McGill's first of eight consecutive goals. Stefanie Pohlod potted a power-play effort at 15:12, followed by two quick goals from Chelsey Saunders and Jordan McDonell, 22 seconds apart. Moncton yanked goalie Gabrielle Forget after the four-goal ouburst and sent in Emily Bouchard.
McGill started the second period with a 38-second power-play but didn't need that much time. Brittany Fouracres scored 17 seconds into the period and Leslie Oles followed that to make it 6-1.
"We had our foot on the pedal the entire time and we were just focusing on the details and trying to stick to our game plan," said the McGill speedster. "I think our entire team showed up today and I think that reflected on the scoreboard."
CIS player of the year Katia Clément-Heydra made it 7-1 just 37 seconds into the third period and Davidson netted her second of the soiree only a few minutes later. With 13 minutes left in the game, Moncton changed goaltenders again and replaced Bouchard with Forget again. Moncton rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal from Natacha Bergeron at 19:18.
Moncton put forth a good effort but simply couldn't match McGill's speed and made endless trips to the penalty box. The Martlets ended up going 2-for-6 with the man-advantage and killed off all three shorthanded situations.
Moncton will play in the fifth place game Sunday morning with the opponent to be determined. Moncton lost its first game against Laurier 6-0.
Aigles Bleues head coach Denis Ross said his team will still have energy in their final game, despite how their previous matches turned out.
"Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, and we did learn the hard way. Tomorrow is another day... It's the last game of the season, and we want to come back into the room with a smile on our face."
The action continues Saturday night, as the host St. Thomas University Tommies will face top-seeded Université de Montreal in the sixth game of the Scotiabank CIS women's hockey championship.
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