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McGill, Laurier reach final of CIS women's hockey championship

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Rookie rearguard Cathy Chartrand of Lac Nominique, Que., scored a goal and an assist and Charline Labonte made 22 saves as top-ranked McGill blanked fourth-seeded St. Francis Xavier 3-0 in the third day of competition at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women's hockey championships.

It was the 17th straight victory for the Martlets, who manhandled Manitoba 6-0 in Friday's opener and improved to 2-0 at the CIS tourney, advancing to the gold medal game for the second straight year.

McGill will face third-ranked Laurier in Monday's final. Daniela Di Felice scored twice as Laurier beat Alberta 4-2 in Sunday's final round-robin game.

McGill had a 31-22 edge in shots as Charline Labonte, the national team netminder from Boisbriand, Que., posted her school record 24th shutout in 39 contests this season, including four in six post-season games.

Chartrand, named as McGill's player of the game, connected on a power play at 12:42 of the opening period and set up Kate Elzinga, a sophomore from Calgary, midway through the second stanza to put McGill ahead 2-0.

Ann-Sophie Bettez of Sept-Iles, Que., the CIS rookie of the year, put the game out of reach when she converted a goal-mouth pass from Vanessa Davidson for an empty-netter in the final minute.

"We were on our heels a little to start the game but weathered the storm and settled down after the first period," said McGill head coach Peter Smith. "We made a few adjustments in the locker room and then did a pretty good job over the next two periods."

Laurier clinched a spot in the title game behind a solid game from Di Felice. Kaley Powers and Lauren Meschino added singles while Liz Knox preserved the win with 19 saves.

Patty Tulloch and Cami Wooster scored 40 seconds apart early in the third period as the Pandas reduced Laurier's lead to 3-2, but could get no closer.

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