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Stingers season ends after sweep by McGill

by Archives February 26, 2008

After opening their best-of-three Quebec Student Sport Federation semi-final against the No. 1 McGill Martlets with a great performance that ended in a 1-0 loss, the Concordia Stingers, women’s hockey team could not avoid a sweep at the hands of their cross-town rivals, as McGill took the series with an 8-1 victory in Game 2 on the strength of three power play goals.
“We wanted to keep the score close,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton.
“The score was disappointing. When they have a power play, their players are so skilled and this is as good as I’ve seen McGill play over the last two years,” he said.
As the final minute of play in the third period approached, the Stingers were fighting for their pride. As Bianca Chartrand was bringing the puck into the McGill zone with just under two minutes remaining, the Stingers were behind 8-0 with only eight shots on goal. At this point they were in danger of not only going the entire series without scoring a goal, but also in danger of having the same number of shots on goal as their opponent had goals.
But Chartrand, playing in her final game as a Stinger after three years with the team, had different plans. The Concordia forward fired a wrist shot past Charline Labonte on the team’s ninth shot of the game with 1:50 left.
“Every time we play McGill, we want to get at least one goal,” Chartrand said. “We were saying on the bench to just shoot it, and that’s what I did,” she said.
It was also Chartrand’s mother’s birthday and she promised her a goal before the game. “I got one,” she said. “It was a good way to end my time as a Stinger,” she said.
“The bench was excited,” said Lawton. “It was a good way for [Chartrand] to finish and it was nice to break the goose egg in the series,” he said.
Chartrand will also go into the books as the only Stinger to score in the playoffs the last two years. Last year in game two, she tipped a point shot past Labonte to tie the game at 1-1 with less than four minutes to go. McGill ended up scoring in the game’s final seconds to take the series.
Goaltender Meggy Hatin-Léveillée also shone in her two final games as a Stinger. She made 56 saves in game one, which ended 1-0 even though Concordia could only muster 11 shots to McGill’s 57. In game two, Hatin-Leveillee made 47 saves.
“The game wasn’t close [on Wednesday]. The score was close,” said McGill head coach Peter Smith. “[Hatin-Léveillée] played great,” he said.
Going into the final weekend of the season, it wasn’t even a sure thing that Hatin-Léveillée would start for the Stingers. Lawton told both Hatin-Léveillée and second-year goaltender Audrey Doyon-Lessard that their performances in the final two games would dictate who would start in the playoffs.
“Les had a tough call to make,” Hatin-Leveillee said. “But he had the confidence in me and I wanted to make sure he made the right choice.”
McGill’s scoring in Game 2 came from unlikely sources, as defencemen Cathy Chartrand and Lisa Zane and forward Vicky Wells each had two goals in the win. In the 18-game regular season, the three players only had one goal combined, which was scored by Chartrand.
Alyssa Cecere and Shauna Denis had the other two goals. Denis scored the only goal for McGill in the opening game of the series.
McGill will now face the Carleton Ravens in the QSSF championship after the Ravens upset the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a quadruple overtime clincher.
“We had no celebration after this series win,” said McGill coach Smith. “We know that we still have work to do,” he said.
Aside from Chartrand and Hatin-Leveillee, it was also the final time in a Stinger uniform for captain Rose Healy and two of the three Concordia assistant captains Tawnya Danis and Angela Di Stasi. Danis and Di Stasi were both in their fifth season and tied for the Concordia scoring lead with 10 points.

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