Less than 24 hours after the last seconds ticked away in a 7-4 loss to the York Yeomen, the Concordia men’ s hockey team showed fortitude and maturity and bounced back with a 4-3 win against the Guelph Gryphons last Sunday at Ed Meagher Arena.
The Stingers showed off their speed, goaltending, and impressive penalty kill despite missing a couple of injured players. Concordia also played without forward Mathieu Lendick who was serving a one game suspension.
The first period saw both teams setting a good pace for themselves with very few stoppages in play.
It took some time for either team to get a good look as Concordia net minder Philippe Ozga made his first big glove save about six minutes in on a low dangerous shot at the side of the net.
Concordia was also unsuccessful on their best scoring chance of the period when a pass by Chris Page to his wingman on a 2-on-1 break was intercepted by the defenceman.
The home team’s best player in the period was goaltender Ozga, who faced several dangerous scrambles in front of his net but stayed focused. By stopping 18 shots, Ozga was able to help preserve a 0-0 tie going into the second frame.
The Stingers finally opened the scoring on the power play less than four minutes into the period after a strong passing play finished with Philippe Parent getting a wide-open look in front to beat the goalie for a 1-0 lead.
In the meantime, Ozga continued to look terrific, stopping everything including a pad save on a shot from a couple of feet away.
From there the Stingers then added a point to their lead when a streaking Chris Page brought the puck in past the Gryphons’ blue line and came in hard on the goalie. Luc Messier easily deposited the rebound to make it 2-0.
A Guelph goal a few minutes later that cut the lead 2-1 seemed to give the visiting team a jump as they dominated a four-on-four situation by causing a lot of traffic in front of the Stingers’ net.
Then the Maroon and Gold found themselves on a two-man disadvantage in the final minutes of the period. This nearly led to a Guelph goal at the side of the net as time expired but they were unable to tie the game, ending the period with a 2-1 Stinger advantage.
That did not last long though, as a fluke shot from behind the net by Page went in to give the Stingers a 3-1 lead in the first minute of the third.
Guelph believed that they had responded shortly after, but their goal that was waved off by the official standing over the net.
That missed opportunity seemed to take the wind out of the Gryphons’ sails as Page would add his second of the game on a rebound about two minutes later.
Trailing by two goals and looking completely inefficient on the power play, the Gryphons surprised the home crowd when Bob Christie banked in a rebound to bring his team back within two of the lead.
Nevertheless, the game still seemed well within the control of the Stingers when with one minute remaining, Guelph pulled their goalie for the extra man. With 26 seconds left in regulation, Dylan Furlong deflected a shot from the point to make it 4-3.
Fortunately the run would end there as Concordia won their fourth in their last five games.
“Anytime you can play two games in twenty-four hours like that and rebound the way we did today you got to be happy,” coach Kevin Figsby said after the game.
“I was pretty upset after yesterdays game,” said Ozga, who turned away 54 shots in the win. “The guys played really hard and it was a big two points for us.”