It was not the way the season was supposed to end for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team. A 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees in game three of the QSSF semi-final was an abrupt and early end for the Stingers.
A year after a Quebec championship and National finals appearance, the Stingers looked poised to repeat. The Stingers knew that all-Canadian goaltender Cecilia Anderson would be representing Sweden in the Torino Olympics, but backup Meggy Hatin-Leveillee was just as solid in the Stingers net in the second half of the year.
Graduating players Jodi Gosse and Dominique Rancour, both in their fifth season, had solid seasons and their performance in their playoff series loss to Ottawa, with Janie Brassard, could have been up there with some of their best performances of their careers. Gosse, during the regular season had three goals and five assists and provided a veteran presence as captain while Rancour led the Stingers in scoring for the third straight season with six goals and nine assists in 15 games. Brassard led the Stingers with seven goals over the year including a hat trick in an 8-2 win over the Carleton Ravens.
One of the many bright lights for the Stingers has to be the play of Mary-Jane O’Shea. O’Shea in her rookie season with the Stingers had three goals and two assists in Conference play and had regular playing time for most of the season, playing with veterans Gosse and assistant captain Genevieve Dupuis. Dupuis, for her part, was one of the Stingers top offensive threats over the year and had several key goals during the season.
The Stingers blueline deserves an awful lot of credit. Marie-Pier Cantin-Drouin, Rose Healy, Esther Latoures and Victoria Johnstone played 30 minutes each a game and were instrumental in the Stingers success. Cantin-Drouin and Healy were the only returning Stingers defenders from last season. Latoures played last season as a forward while Johnstone was in her first year with the Stingers and had an even bigger presence in her first year than O’Shea.
The second half saw two players join the Stingers in forwards Devon Rich and Emilie Luck. Their contributions in the second half were key and added depth to a small roster. They played regular shifts and should be even better next season.
The special teams were solid for Concordia. They were able to roll out two power play units with Cantin-Drouin quarterbacking one and forward Tawnya Danis playing the point. The second unit featured Angela Di Stasi, and had Johnstone as the main cog on the blueline.
The Stingers’s other assistant captain, Sophie Beaudry played forward as opposed to being a defenceman last season. She played very well in her role, adding three goals. Andrea Dolan was one of the Stingers best players in the final stretch of the regular season. In games where the Stingers struggled, like a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees at home, Dolan was the only Stinger along with her linemates to break free and obtain scoring chances.
It was a disappointing year for the Stingers, that’s for sure, but the pieces are in place for a long run into next year’s playoffs.