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Stingers are Quebec champions!

by Archives February 27, 2002

Lisa-Marie Breton made sure that she would not be forgotten in the near future as the Concordia Stingers’ women’s hockey team captain.
Last Friday, the Stingers were crowned QSSF champions with a 3-2 win over the McGill Martlets at McConnell Arena, thanks to fifth-year veteran Breton’s spectacular goal in the opening moments of the second overtime period.
“I was really happy to see Lisa-Marie make that last goal,” coach Les Lawton commented.
“She spent five great years in our program and was named Player of the Game, she really left her mark,” he said.
Although the Martlets took possession of the puck early in the game, the Stingers shook off their habitual slow start a few minutes later and began to play more aggressively, pressuring a strong Martlet defence.
Concordia’s Leanne McPhee came on slightly too strong, getting a four-minute penalty for a combination of unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing.
The Maroon and Gold’s netminder, Jessica Anderson, pulled out the big guns and made spectacular saves in front of two McGill breakaways.
Despite her best efforts, Anderson was beaten when McGill centre Audrey Hadd scored a breakaway goal with 6:54 remaining in the period.
The Stingers’ slow offence was unable to tie the score, which sealed the first frame with a 1-0 lead for the Martlets.
The Stingers proved why they are ranked fourth in the country when they stepped onto the ice for the second period.
Concordia’s forwards stayed in McGill’s zone in the opening minute and pressured goaltender Amey Doyle with two close calls.
The Martlets, attempting to defend their zone, became aggressive and received two penalties.
The Stingers capitalized on their power play opportunity when centre Dominique Rancour outplayed McGill’s defence to pass the puck to teammate Suzanne Kaye.
She then found the smallest of openings between Doyle’s pad and the net’s left post, evening out the score at 1-1 only two minutes into the frame.
“It was a physically hard game, we gave it all we had,” Rancour mentioned. “Not only did we play well, but we played with heart, which really helped us.”
The Stingers kept the pressure up after their first goal, trying to overtake an already faltering Martlet defence.
The Stingers had possession of the puck through most of the period, pushing into the McGill zone on several occasions and out shooting the Martlets 9-2.
Both teams, frustrated with the even score, pushed hard to gain control of the lead.
Finally, 14:41 into the period, Concordia winger Kendra MacDonald skated past the McGill defenders and shot the puck toward Doyle with such strength that it bounced in and out of the goalie’s trapper and into the net.
“I had the mental image of one of us of scoring a great goal and taking the lead,” MacDonald said.
“Then when I was on the ice, Anouk [Grignon L’Anglais] gave me a great pass. I just looked, found this tiny opening and I just ripped it.”
The Stingers turned on the heat and began to play rough, sending a few Martlet players sprawling on the ice.
In the last minute of play, Concordia pushed hard and remained in McGill’s zone throughout, but missed some golden scoring chances, wrapping up the second period with Concordia on top 2-1.
The third period turned into a cliffhanger, with both teams missing great chances to gain the lead and ultimately winning the game.
The Stingers’ defence tightened up considerably throughout the frame, shooing away any McGill snipers.
McGill’s offence desperately tried to cut into the lead, out shooting Concordia 10-6.
The game seemed to belong to Concordia until the last few minutes, when McGill’s Cindy-Anne Carufel bumped into Anderson, causing her to lose her stick.
In the meantime, the puck had traveled behind the net.
Then, with Anderson and teammate Marie-Helene Deblois down on the ice, attempting to recover the goaltender’s stick, Martlet left wing Suzanne Fujiki skated around the net and tied the game with a shot into the empty net.
After that goal, the Stingers struggled to score, because Doyle was like a brick wall in nets, pulling a key save against a breakaway by MacDonald in the final seconds of regulation time, keeping the score at 2-2 and sending the game into sudden death.
Having only received a three-minute intermission after the end of the third period, both teams seemed fatigued as they skated on the ice for the start of the first overtime period.
The players chased around the puck throughout the period, with the Stingers missing great chances at scoring.
The Stingers defence was sluggish toward the end of the frame, allowing a few Martlets in their zone, but Anderson made key saves in the final minutes, which sent both teams into the dressing rooms deadlocked at 2-all.
What happened in the second overtime period was pure Lisa-Marie Breton magic.
Assisted by her line members, Allard and Rancour, Breton skated up to the McGill goaltender, received the puck and drilled it past a surprised Doyle into the upper right corner of the net, winning the game and the league championship by a score of 3-2.
“We were a bit nervous, but confident overall heading into overtime,” Breton said.
“There’s nothing better, getting an overtime goal in my last [QSSF] game in my last year.
This was such a team effort, and going to Regina [for the national championships], we’re going for the gold, nothing less. We are going to fight until the end.”

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