Revenge, sweet revenge.
After a disappointing 3-1 loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Friday night in Toronto, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team regrouped and nailed a 5-4 overtime win against the Ryerson Rams Saturday night.
Earlier this season, when Ryerson came to play here at Concordia, Kevin Day blatantly hit Concordia captain Trevor Hawkins from behind. The play caused a wrist broken in three places for Hawkins, and six weeks of recovery. Hawkins scored the game winning goal in overtime to beat the Rams this past Saturday.
“I ignored the fact that [Day] was even there. We needed that win. Our team playing well was worth more than revenge,” said Hawkins of the rematch. But in the end, he got his revenge, without getting personal. “Scoring the winner was a nice little treat,” he admitted. The captain had a four point night on Saturday, a night when only 17 skaters were dressed.
With all four teams in Concordia’s division, the Far East, on the road in the other half of the conference, points were up for grabs, and with the playoffs looming, Concordia needed everything to work in their favour. They are currently chasing the RMC Paladins. With the win on Saturday, and RMC’s losses to University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and McGill Redmen this weekend, Concordia is now only one point behind the Paladins for the last playoff spot. “We control our own destiny,” said Hawkins of the team’s playoff outlook. The Stingers play the RMC Paladins this weekend along with the Queen’s Golden Gaels. If Concordia can take both games, they will be able to move up in the standings. Earlier this season in Kingston, both RMC and Queen’s beat the Stingers. Hawkins attributed this to the team “taking those guys lightly.” But with all the new additions to the Stingers line up, and what the captain dubbed “a new vibe” the team has “a new outlook on hockey.”
Friday night’s game against U of T, who are leading the East conference with 28 points, held the Stingers to only one goal, courtesy of their leading scorer, assistant captain Trevor Blanchard. While the first period was scoreless, as many Stinger games of late seem to be, it was the opposition that opened the scoring late in the second frame at 18:10 with a goal from Joe Rand.
Rand would score again at 2:56 of the third, with a short-handed effort while his team mate Ed Snetsinger served two for hooking. Blanchard countered with a marker at 4:02 from Mike Halitzki.
At 17:55 of the third, when U of T’s Chad Elliott was given two for hooking, Concordia pulled goaltender Patrick Lepage for a chance at the tying goal. Unfortunately, the man advantage plus the extra attacker weren’t enough to seal the deal, and the Varsity Blues buried their second short handed marker on the night as Rand completed his hat trick for the win.
Saturday night started much the same way, albeit with less bodies on the bench. The game was scoreless until the second period when the opposition Ryerson Rams, who had 12 goals blown by them at the hands of the Stingers during their meeting in the fall at Loyola, scored at 4:04. Former Oshawa General, Mike Kavanagh put one past Lepage to give the Rams the lead. Kavanagh took a penalty for hooking later in the period, giving Concordia the opportunity to snipe with the man advantage. Newcomer Dmitri Toupikov scored at 13:57 from Hawkins and Brad Gager. Rookie Jason Beliveau would score another, from veteran centre Simon-Pierre Sauv