With a four game winning streak, two shutouts early in the season and goal-scoring galore, the Concordia men’s hockey team is off to a promising start.
Last Friday’s game was a 3-0 win with backup goaltender Kyle Stanton earning his first shutout at home against Royal Military College.
The Stingers’ Saturday game against the Queen’s Golden Gaels was slightly different as Queen’s put up a small fight. However, the Stingers came out on top to cream Queen’s with a 9-4 win.
Forward Luc Messier started his season slowly, having missed training camp early on. However, on Saturday night he was the Stingers’ “go-to guy,” scoring a hat trick and notching up two assists.
Messier opened the scoring at 2:10 of the first period with a shorthanded goal. Yannick Noiseux, who assisted the goal, was first at the net with a shot, which rebounded off Queen’s goaltender Matt Kenney and was taken by Messier, who slammed the puck deep inside the net.
Once again, Messier took this edge with tag-team partner Noiseux, weaving two-on-one past Queen’s defence to bag the second goal of the evening.
Queen’s then took advantage of the Stingers, who sat back on their 2-0 lead, by rushing the boards and giving the Stingers a scare with a fast shot that luckily hit Philippe Ozga’s goalpost.
However, the Stingers’ stroke of luck ended only seconds later when Queen’s scored on a power play. They hit again 14 seconds later with a second goal to wrap up the first period with a 2-2 tie.
“It is easy to fall into a trap when you are up two goals and when you know your ability is stronger than your opponent. We had to make sure to play at the top of our abilities going into the second,” Coach Kevin Figsby said.
Going into the second period, the Stingers refused to sit on their tied game. The wake-up call was in full force as Stinger winger Joey D’Amico scored on a power play two minutes into the second.
Andrew Davis followed D’Amico’s lead, firing the puck from the blue line like a bullet right into Queen’s net.
Minutes later, Frederic Faucher put another goal up on the Stinger’s scoreboard for a 4-2 lead.
Queen’s game started to show frustration with numerous penalties for tripping, charging, roughing and misconduct.
The Stingers’ goal scoring didn’t stop there as Messier notched up his third goal of the evening, after three attempted shots, finally scoring off a rebound.
“We did the little things right,” Messier said. “We took advantage of the power play when Queen’s was in the penalty box.”
Before the second period was over, Queen’s pushed on with a pass to centre Andrew Gilbert at the side of Concordia’s net, who scored his team’s third goal of the game.
The Golden Gaels followed-up on their goal immediately, taking the puck from the face-off. The puck hit the backboards after Queen’s missed the goal, but it slipped into the Stinger’s net on an unlucky bounce for the Golden Gaels’ final goal.
Without hesitation, Stinger centre David Comeau came back at Queen’s with a shot to finish off the second period with a 7-4 Stinger lead.
By the third period, Concordia had rattled Queen’s out of their game plan. Stingers Mike Halitzki and Sebastien Corbeil scored two goals in the third and the Queen’s bench slowly started to empty, as they earned themselves five misconduct penalties.
Saturday’s game showed all the ingredients to a great hockey game, and showed that Concordia was coming together as a team. The Stingers were putting practice to work with “solid goaltending, solid defence and lots of goals,” Figsby said.
“We played unselfish hockey. This is the key to our play, because we’re working harder for each other, rather than only on oneself.”
The Stinger’s next home game is against Brock University on Nov. 28.