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McGill Redmen (Photo: Lauren Benson-Armer)
McGill lost in a shocking playoff upset last year, but this year they were ready for the Ottawa Gee-Gees with a berth in the Baggataway Cup final weekend on the line.
Courtesy Earl Zukerman, McGill Athletics
?Liam MacDonald?and?Maxime Murdoch?each scored four goals as McGill crushed Ottawa 17-6 in a Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association sudden-death playoff at Percival Molson Stadium, Saturday. The Redmen, who improved to 12-2 overall, now advance to the Baggataway Cup national championship tournament. The result avenged a shocking 11-10 playoff loss a year ago in the opening round that put an end to what was shaping up as a championship campaign,
"We played a great game and quite frankly, have been waiting for this kind of performance all season," said McGill head coach?Tim Murdoch. "We're a young team with 16 freshmen and only seven seniors and we're starting to jell at the right time. We played with a lot of intensity and again showcased our depth. Our offence, which has been inconsistent, finally came out and had an explosive game. There were a lot of impressive performances but two that stand out were Liam and Max."
McGill had a 4-2 lead after the opening quarter and improved to 10-4 and halftime and 13-6 after three. All seven of the team's seniors started the game and set the tone in the first half.
MacDonald, a sophomore midfielder from North Vancouver, B.C., netted two goals in the first quarter and one each in the second and fourth, and also registered an assist.
Murdoch, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound attackman from Westmount, Que., tallied all four in the second half after sitting out the first half.
Goose Bolton, the team's scoring leader from Darien, Conn., added a hat-trick and set up another goal.
Senior co-captain?Emile Sassone-Lawless?of Ithaca, N.Y., recor
ded six points in the contest, with a pair of goals and four assists.
Fellow seniors?Cal Callahan?(2-2-4) of Glenview, Ill., and?Cyrus Wickersham?(1-1-2) of Woods Hole, Mass., both got to start and also had multi-point games for the Redmen.
Rounding out the scoring, with his first career goal and the game-winner, was freshman defenceman?Oliver Bolsterli?of London, Ont.
Frederick Hartley?led Ottawa with three goals and two assists.Also scoring for the Ge-Gees was?Spencer Corkery?with two and?Kyle Staveley(1-1-2)
William Waesche, a fifth-year economics senior from Greenwich, Conn., played 75 minutes in the Redmen goal and made nine saves before being replaced by sophomore?David Pelliccione?of Woodbridge, Ont., who stopped his only shot faced.
Josh Howell?allowed 17 goals on 30 shots for the Gee-Gees and took the loss.
McGill won 73 per cent of their faceoffs (19/26), led by sophomore?Julian Smith-Voudouris?of Stouffville, Ont., who won 15 of 18.
"We have a big week ahead," noted Murdoch.? "It's great to be back as we head to Kingston to win our third national championship next weekend."
As the top seed in the CUFLA East, McGill (11-1) earns a first-round bye at the Baggataway Cup tourney and will open with a semifinal game on Saturday, Nov. 4. The Redmen will play the winner of a quarter-final between sixth-seeded Queen's (4-8) and second-seeded Western (10-2). The championship is being hosted by Queen's at Richardson Stadium, with the medal round slated for Sunday, Nov. 5.