The University of Western Ontario Mustangs spoiled the return of Melodie Daoust, scoring four times on just 15 shots and defeating the McGill Martlets 5-0 in the final game of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport season.
Daoust, a member of Canada’s gold-medal team at the Sochi Olympics, had missed almost a year with an undisclosed injury and made a successful return just weeks earlier, but she couldn’t propel the McGill offence against a stingy Western team despite leading the Martlets with seven shots in the game.
Kelly Campbell was perfect in the Western goal, stopping all 38 shots. She was the difference in the game and, indeed, the championship, allowing only one goal in three full games.
Western made it to the finals by taking care of Moncton 3-1 in the quarter-finals and then eliminating the Montreal Carabins, 2-0, in the semis.
McGill advanced to the last game of the year by beating Calgary 8-2 in the quarters and then St. Francis-Xavier 1-0 in a tense semi-final decided in the final minute of the third period.
The Martlets, winners of four of the last seven CIS women’s championships, were seeded number one for the tournament, which changed formats for this year. Previously it was six teams that played a round robin series leading to the finals, but this year the tournament expanded to eight teams and after being seeded they played a simple elimination series of quarter-finals, then semis, and finals.
The Western Ontario Mustangs were ranked 2, University of Alberta Pandas 3, St. Francis Xavier X-Women 4, Guelph Gryphons 5, Montreal Carabins 6, Moncton Aigles Bleues 7, and Calgary Dinos 8.
Anthea Lasis got Western going midway through the opening period on a power play, but most of the damage was done in the second. Despite taking only seven shots, the Mustangs scored three times in a seven-minute span early in the period to break the game wide open.
Ally Galloway, Stacey Scott, and Kendra Broad got the goals, and Campbell stopped all 14 shots she faced to make the lead stand.
Casey Rosen added a goal in the final minute of the game to close out the scoring.
McGill’s easy win over Calgary was a surprise given that the Dinos were coached by former Olympian Danielle Goyette and were led by Russian Iya Gavrilova, who was the top scorer in CIS with 21 goals in 23 games. She was named MVP in CIS hockey for 2014/15 and will play in the upcoming Women’s Worlds in Malmo, Sweden. Her teammate, Hayley Wickenheiser, missed the CIS finals and will miss the Worlds after a foot operation ended her season early.