With something to prove following a 6-5 overtime loss to the UQTR Patriotes in Trois-Rivieres on Friday, the Stingers men’s hockey team pounded conference rival Ottawa Gee-Gees 7-2 Sunday at the Ed Meagher Arena.
On Friday, the Stingers were leading the game with less than two minutes remaining in the third period, but allowed the division-leading Patriotes to tie the game and eventually win the contest in overtime.
Sunday’s match against Ottawa was a solid effort at both ends of the ice. Matt Armstrong, Frederic Faucher and Sebastien Corbeil led the way on offence with two goals apiece.
But the major catalyst on offence for this past weekend was forward Jonathan Gautier, who had a goal and three assists Sunday, and eight points in the last two weekend games. “(Everyone’s) confidence is way up. The guys have confidence in me, the coaches have confidence in me and I have confidence in myself,” Gautier said.
“Right now [Gautier’s] doing the things he knows he’s capable of doing. Anytime you have a player step up, that’s what you want to see.” Head coach Kevin Figsby said.
On defence, the Stingers allowed only 24 shots, and goaltender Trevor Cunning made 22 stops, displaying his acrobatic skills. Cunning was also looking for vindication after the loss on Friday. “I went into today’s game thinking I played well (against UQTR), and I was going to have the same attitude,” Cunning said.
The team suffered a scare early in the third period, when their top minuteman on defence, Patrice Theriault, went down behind the Stingers goal with a left leg injury. Theriault had to be helped off the ice by the trainer, but was able to put pressure on the leg as he walked to the dressing room. He did not return to the game, but afterwards said it was only a bruise.
The Stingers opened the scoring six seconds after their first powerplay of the game, with Sebastien Corbeil finding the loose puck near the net. Armstrong would later add his first on the powerplay with a slick cross-crease pass from Gautier.
In the second, Corbeil capped off an impressive one-man forecheck with his second goal of the game. The Gee-Gees then added two goals to cut the Stinger lead to two, but when it appeared that the Stingers were at their flattest, Frederic Faucher scored three seconds after the second Ottawa goal. The goal rejuvenated the Stinger bench, with team leaders Joey D’Amico and Andrew Davis vocally pushing for the team to continue playing hard. The team did not look back from that point and iced the game with two more goals in the third.
The Stingers play two home games this Saturday and Sunday.