Well worth the wait

by Ben Makuch
(Photo: Brian Smith/UNB Athletics)

It took them 136 years, but the McGill Redmen, the oldest organized hockey club in the world, won its first ever national championship in March, beating the Western Mustangs 4-3 in an overtime thriller in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) finals.

Fifth-year player and team captain Evan Vossen scored the winner in his 216th and final game for McGill. “It’s a fitting end for me and huge for the program, because there’s been a lot of heartbreak,” says Vossen. Last year the Redmen reached the final only to lose 4-0 to host UNB. “To get back and win like we did is incredible not just for us, but for the alumni.”

And you can be sure that Redmen alumni are celebrating the historic win. Victory plaudits have been pouring in from as far away as Europe and China.

Former Redmen bench boss Martin Raymond, BEd’90, MA’96, now an assistant to Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, BA’95 (also a former Redmen player), spoke with Vossen, a player he helped recruit to McGill, right after the game. “He told me he and Guy were watching the OT in their hotel room, and they yelled so loud when I scored they woke up the room next door.”

The McGill hockey program recently received more great news. Redmen defenceman Marc-André Dorion and Martlets forward Ann-Sophie Bettez were named CIS male and female athletes of the year.

The Redmen weren’t the only McGill team with cause to celebrate this year. The Martlets synchronized swinmming team also earned a Canadian championship, while the Martlets hockey and volleyball teams both earned bronze medals in the nationals this year, while the men’s soccer squad and the women’s basketball team both won bronze medals at the nationals in their respective sports.