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Martlets offence too potent for Stingers

by Archives February 10, 2009

Always an entertaining battle between cross-town rivals, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team took to the road facing off against the McGill Martlets, playing a resilient game only to have McGill’s No. 1-ranked offence shut them out 7-0 last Saturday evening.
“At the beginning of this season there were shrugs,” said forward Emilie Luck, about the woes of playing McGill. “Tonight was frustrating. It should not have been a 7-0 score.”
One thing coach Les Lawton and his staff have been trying to work on all season is shutting down McGill’s top line of Ann-Sophie Bettez, Vanessa Davidson and Marie-Andrée Leclerc-Auger. On Saturday evening they didn’t shut them out completely, but limited them to three goals and five points altogether, a surprising turnaround from when the two teams last faced each other and they amassed eight goals and 18 points in a 10-0 rout on Jan. 17.
“We did a great job and played a full 60 minutes,” said Lawton. “I was just disappointed with the officiating.”
Late in the second period, with McGill up by two, Martlets’ Davidson got assessed a slashing call and the Stingers got a chance to work their power play, which has been stellar as of late. They managed to cycle the puck in the Martlet zone quite consistently with rookie defender Keely Covo getting a chance to pivot the blue line.
“I’m getting to play more and figure out my role if assigned to me or not,” said Covo. “The game always means a lot, and it gives me a lot more confidence.”
Shortly after McGill had killed off the penalty and were back in Concordia’s zone a scary scene unfolded when Stingers Mallory Lawton took a vicious high-stick under her full-shielded helmet, cutting her along the neck.
After both Concordia trainers tended to her, McGill’s trainer also joined to make sure rookie Lawton was okay. After several minutes, she got up and was helped off to the dressing room.
The Stingers emotions were shattered at the sight and gave up two quick Martlet goals 79 seconds apart to end the second period with a 4-0 margin. Stingers goaltender Audrey Doyon-Lessard was still standing her ground well, making 34 saves through two. Her counterpart, Charline Labonté stopped all 13 shots she faced.
The third started with Mallory Lawton back on the Stinger bench. However Bettez notched two quick goals just over five minutes into the frame to get the natural hat trick. Her third goal was scored on the power play, the Martlets’ only goal with the advantage.
“It’s the little mistakes we make, we’re very good shorthanded, cause we’re often in the box,” said captain Esther Latoures. “We do the best we can and give a good game, it’s not going to be easy, but we worked hard.”
When the final buzzer sounded McGill had stolen the game, but Doyon-Lessard made 47 quality saves and the team knew the score didn’t reflect the game played.
“I think some of our young players [Natalie May & Covo] stepped up very well,” said Les Lawton. “I saw a lot of good, and we’ll be fine the rest of the way.”

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