The Concordia Stingers’ women’s hockey team ended their first half of the season on a brilliant note last weekend.
Not only did the Lady Bees crush the York Lions 7-0 on Saturday afternoon, but the Stingers, with the help of Swedish sensation goaltender Cecilia Anderson, notched up their lucky seventh shutout by disposing of the Waterloo Warriors 3-0 in a physical match last Sunday at Ed Meagher Arena.
The Warriors, who currently sit in third place in the OUA’s west division, were desperate to add a win to their weak 3-5 record.
That desperation seeped through early on in the game as Waterloo began roughing up their opponents.
The Stingers remained calm however and with seven minutes remaining, winger Leanne McPhee buried the puck past Waterloo goaltender Bethany Stuart for a 1-0 Concordia lead.
Waterloo’s attempts to keep the Stinger strikers away from their zone failed, and Emilie Larocque found her way into enemy territory less than three minutes later and fired the puck deep inside the net.
The Warriors couldn’t get enough firepower for a comeback, which ended the first period with a 2-0 Stinger lead.
The Stingers, despite clearly being the strongest team on the ice, lowered their level of play to match the Warriors’ during the second period.
“We didn’t play very well today,” Coach Les Lawton said. “Once we got our two-goal lead, we relied on our good goaltending, we kind of sat back and didn’t show much of an effort out there.”
However, the Stingers’ defence played great in their own zone, allowing only seven shots on goal during the period.
Waterloo’s frustration showed up again, resulting in costly penalties late in the period. While on powerplay, the Stingers took charge of the puck and an amazing passing play between Kendra McDonald and Anouk Grignon-L’Anglais resulted in a Jodi Gosse goal.
A last-minute scramble in front of Waterloo’s net was fruitless, ending the period with a 3-0 Concordia lead.
Things heated up quickly between both teams early in the third period, resulting in several penalties.
The Lady Bees, usually known for their discipline, began retaliating to Waterloo’s cheap shots.
“We started getting chippy out there, we were getting frustrated,” Gosse said. “It’s harder when you play a team who doesn’t skate as well as your team does, they chip you a bit more, and we responded to that today.”
Despite collecting ten penalty minutes in the third, the Stingers remained strong on the penalty-killing unit, especially in a 5-on-3 -disadvantage situation.
“We’ve been working on it [penalty-killing unit] a lot during practice,” captain Janna Gillis said. “Anytime you take a penalty, you want to clear it quickly and not let the other team get on the boards, so we’ve been focusing on that and it’s been going our way.”
Waterloo began bunching up in front of their own net in weak attempts to help out Stuart, which resulted in Anderson facing a measly four shots during the period.
In the end, the Stingers kept a grasp on their lead, ending the game and their first half of the season with a 3-0 shutout.
“We’re very pleased with the first half that we’ve had, we’ve done a wonderful job defensively,” Coach Lawton said. “We’ve also really spread out our scoring, so we’re really excited about the second half of the season.”