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Freshmen five giving Concordia extra sting

by Archives February 12, 2008

With only two games left in the regular season, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team is continuing to make strides.
Despite losing 2-0 to the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday afternoon at the Ottawa Sports Complex, the Stingers looked at the positives, and for head coach Les Lawton these were the contributions he got this season from his first year players.
“Our younger players have been playing well,” Lawton said, while mentioning that the team’s veteran players might be trying too hard.
The Stingers had five rookies playing on Sunday, and all played key roles, contributing to the power play or penalty kill.
The team lost an important veteran when defenceman Victoria Johnstone left the team recently. That put added pressure on a very young Concordia defence.
Other than Rose Healy, the team’s captain in her fifth year, Catherine Desjardins and Kristen Clements – both in their second year – are the only other blueliners who were with the team last season. Alynn Doiron, Meghan George and Valerie Lepage-Barrette, the remainder of the defensive corps, are rookies.
Since Johnstone’s departure, Doiron was moved on the top defensive pairing with Healy – the pairing that usually starts games for Concordia.
“The veterans, especially Rose, help out because I’m not as experienced,” Doiron said. “It is a big deal for me [to be in the starting lineup] because I have to contribute,” she said.
“People depend on me, and I want to help the team out as much as possible.”
On the offensive side of the puck, the Stingers top line in recent play has been the trio of third-year centre Emilie Luck flanked by rookies – and roommates – Maggie Mac Neil and Catherine Rancourt.
In Sunday’s loss, the trio was on the ice for most of Concordia’s scoring chances, but they aren’t satisfied with just getting scoring opportunities.
“It’s discouraging that we can’t finish,” Mac Neil said. “We started off as defensive specialists but we’ve been gaining confidence,” she said.
In Sunday’s game, the Gee-Gees scored two second period goals. They opened the scoring at 11:42 of the period when Lauryn Lapello tipped a Laura Cardiff shot through the legs of Doyon-Lessard.
With less than three minutes to go in the period, Kim Kerr deflected another Cardiff shot to put the Gee-Gees up by two.
Ottawa goaltender Melissa DiPetta made 22 saves for the shut out. Doyon-Lessard made 24 saves for Concordia.
“It was a pretty evenly matched game,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton. “What the game came down to was that they scored and we didn’t.”
Concordia now gets set for their final regular season home game of the season against the Carleton Ravens on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the Ed Meagher arena.
Concordia must win to avoid facing 16-0 McGill in the first round of the playoffs. A Stingers win coupled with a Ravens regulation loss on Sunday against Ottawa would pit Concordia against Ottawa in the first round. The Stingers play at McGill on Sunday to finish the regular season.

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