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Hockey Martlets flash their bling

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Published: 1 Dec 2008

Hockey Martlets flash their bling

Dec 01, 08 Ice Hockey (W)

By Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL -- A festive ceremony was held at McConnell Arena recently to hand out championship rings to members of the McGill University Martlets hockey team who became the school’s first women’s team to capture a CIS national title in any sport.

The commemorative 10 karat gold rings, were handed out by Drew love, director of athletics & recreation, and Geoffrey Phillips, an assistant intercollegiate manager.

“They’re sweet,” said Shauna Denis, a native of Stittsville, Ont., who served as team captain last year. “These rings represent a truly magical year that I’ll treasure to the end of time.”

Denis, who earned a commerce degree in the spring of 2007 and made a last-minute decision to return for her fifth year and a public relations diploma. It paid off in more ways than one as she is now employed in the marketing department of the Montreal Canadiens.

Denis is one of only four players lost from a team that posted a perfect 25-0 record in league and playoffs. They established a school record for wins, going 37-4-1 overall, outscoring opponents by a lopsided 185-33 margin. Perhaps their most impressive numbers were 36-1-0 against Canadian university teams, 26-4-0 on the road and 17-1-0 against teams that were ranked in the CIS Top 10. Even more daunting was the fact that the Martlets scored more shorthanded goals (7) than they allowed (5) when killing penalties.

Head coach Peter Smith, who also served as head coach of the Canadian national team, put together a fairly young squad that featured six freshmen, nine sophomores, four juniors and only three seniors. The lineup was composed of 10 players apiece from Quebec and Ontario, plus two from Alberta.

In net, all-Canadian Charline Labonté, the national team goalie from Boisbriand, Que., became the first goalie in CIS history to win all three tourney games via shutout.

Behind the blueline, a solid core of rearguards was led by all-Canadian Catherine Ward of T.M.R., Que., the former CIS rookie of the year, who scored 12 goals and 39 points in 38 games. Overlooked in the Quebec league all-star voting was Cathy Chartrand of Lac Nominingue, Que., who possessed a booming slapshot from the point, posted a 12-36-48 record in 41 contests and was named tourney MVP at the Nationals.

Up front, the Martlets had a large array of depth, buttressed by an unstoppable scoring line of Denis (23-39-52), plus a pair of all-Canadians – Vanessa Davidson (29-36-65), the two-time league MVP from Kirkland, Que., and freshman Ann-Sophie Bettez of Sept Iles, Que., who led the team in scoring with 29-40-69 and captured CIS rookie-of-the-year honours.

The complete 2007-08 team roster was composed of goaltenders Charline Labonté, Catherine Herron and Gabrielle Smith, plus defencemen Lisa Zane, Catherine Ward, Cathy Chartrand, Chantal Gauvin, Gillian Merrifield and Jasmine Sheehan. The forwards included Shauna Denis, Vanessa Davidson, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Alyssa Cecere, Kate Elzinga, Caroline Hill, Rebecca Martindale, Jordanna Peroff, Alessandra Lin-Kenny, Julie Casavecchia, Amy Soberano, Alexandra Wells and her twin sister Vicky Wells.

The coaching staff included head coach Peter Smith, plus assistants Amey Doyle, Stacey Hannay and Joel Bergeron. Other support staff included Prof. Derek Drummond (team advisor), Dana Rittmaster (strength & conditioning), Marie-France Depin (equipment), plus therapists Michele Brown, Emilie Comtois-Laurin, Megan Robinson, Vanessa Beaumont and Vanessa Boucher.

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