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Stingers hockey team looks for stronger season

by Archives September 29, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Water-skis and sunscreen are replaced by hockey sticks and new skates. The brutal heat of the summer is replaced by the damp, all-Canadian climate inside the true north’s temple: a hockey arena.
After a long summer, the Concordia men’s hockey team is back on the ice and in the process of making the final cuts to perfect their roster.
“We had more than 63 players show up to camp this year,” said head coach Kevin Figsby. “Some we had recruited, some were walk ons. We still have five cuts to make.”
The Stingers lost five players from last year’s roster, including former captain Simon-Pierre Sauvé. Nicolas Daoust, the top scorer on the team and Mike Baslyk, an alternate captain, also left to pursue professional careers in Europe.
“We lost four forwards and one defenceman last year, but we recruited six guys and one goaltender this year,” Figsby said.
Despite being a young team last year comprised mostly of rookies (especially on the blueline), the Stingers had a successful season but their playoff run was cut short when they were eliminated by Carleton. Going into the playoffs, the Stinger squad was depleted by injuries.
“There were some pretty serious injuries right when we got close to coming within our goal,” Figsby said. “It hurt our power-play, our penalty kill, and our number one goalie.”
“They were all on-ice mishaps that led to muscle pulls or sprains,” he said. “We have to get more vigilant in practice this year and a little bit more prepared with our off-ice strengthening program.”
But things look optimistic already, Figsby said he is impressed with the way his squad has prepared for the season.
“Just from our fitness testing, we’re in better shape this year than we were last.”
The goal going into this year is to finish with more points and more wins, securing perhaps a longer playoff run and, hopefully, a national championship.
“That goal won’t change,” said Figsby. “It has to be the goal everyday, so that we can prepare ourselves mentally to get there.”
The season will be an exciting one, as Concordia welcome the Swedish National Junior team in an exhibition game on Nov. 5. Players from the Swedish team will be spending five days practicing and exploring Montreal with their Concordia counterparts. The men’s hockey team will also embark on their biannual hockey tournament in Germany in December.
The Stingers played a non-conference game on Friday against Waterloo, losing 6-3. They hit the road in a pre-season game against the Patriotes of UQTR on Wednesday, before officially opening their season on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. vs Ryerson. The Stingers play on home ice, at the Ed Meagher arena.

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