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Stingers feel the blues

by admin November 3, 2009

After coming back from an Ontario road trip where they went 0-2, the Concordia Stingers were looking to rebound at home. But despite playing hard, the team dropped a 3-1 decision to the Toronto Varsity Blues, last Friday night.
Toronto drew first blood at 12:57 in the opening period. Forward Byron Elliott was in the slot when he beat goalie Maxime Joyal.
During the second frame, the Blues got a hooking penalty and Concordia was able to capitalize. Kyle Kelly and Charles-Antoine Messier set up captain Marc-André Element. He fooled netminder Andrew Martin for the equalizer.
The teams were tied going into the third but the Blues were able to pull away midway through the period. Joyal had stopped an initial shot but the puck got away from him, leaving the Blues’ Robert Kay to net the game winner on a rebound. A few minutes later, Toronto’s David Mooney added another tally, putting the game out reach for Concordia and handing them their seventh consecutive loss.
That evening, the Stingers were short a few players and according to Coach Kevin Figsby, the team suited up just five defencemen and had to use two mixed lines.
“When you play with five defencemen, guys get tired, they wear out,” he said, “If anything is weighing the guys down, it’s knowing how good we can be and not getting there because of injuries.”
Figsby also spoke about Concordia’s lack of offence. He says one of the difficulties they’re trying to work through is the fact that the team has lost their top four scorers from last year.
“You are either a goal scorer or you score goals with hard work. I think we worked really hard to get our only goal tonight,” he said.
Element said after getting that only goal, the team played better. But the team captain also acknowledged that mistakes have been one of the causes for the lack of wins.
“When you don’t have a win it’s really hard but everybody has to step up, everybody has to do their job on the ice. And if nobody makes mistakes, like mental mistakes, we’re going to win the game,” he said.
Element also stressed that staying positive and working hard is the only way they will get their first win. “We need to work hard until the end… I think we need to take the positives of each game and build on that.”
On Saturday, the team dropped their other home game, losing 6-3 to Queen University’s Golden Gaels. Joyal was in net again, this time making 35 saves. Brad Gager, Messier and Emile Bouchard all scored for Concordia.
Next up for the men is an exhibition game at home against the Swedish National junior hockey team. The game is this Thursday at 7:30 pm at the Ed Meagher arena. Notable players on the Swedish team that have already been drafted in the NHL include Oliver Ekman Larsson, (Phoenix Coyotes first pick, sixth overall, in 2009), goaltender Jacob Markström (Florida Panthers first pick, 31st overall, in 2008). Victor Hedman, the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft has already cracked the NHL roster.