Two weeks ago, the Stingers’ visit to Trois-RiviÃ¨res ended in a 6-5 loss. UQTR was leading 6-3 at the start of the third, but Concordia staged a comeback, scoring two goals in the period, but couldn’t tie it up.
This week, it was the Patriotes’ turn to come down to Ed Meagher Arena, and it was the Stingers that pulled off the win. After UQTR repeatedly battled back from one-goal deficits, they were sunk by Jesse Goodsell’s powerplay goal 24 seconds into overtime.
“I thought tonight, with the way Raffaele D’Orso played last week in a 6-5 loss, it was his chance to get back in and win this one,” said head coach Kevin Figsby after the game.
The Patriotes had the first two scoring chances, but Stingers goaltender D’Orso was there to make both saves. He turned away all 14 shots he faced in the first, and although his saves sometimes came with juicy rebounds, the Stingers defence were quick to get them out of harm’s way.
FranÃ§ois LanctÃ´t-Marcotte, a former Patriote turned Stinger, was on the receiving end of a hard shove into the boards five minutes into the second. Visibly shaken, he opted to skate off the pain and responded on the ensuing powerplay by tapping in the rebound on Alexandre Monahan’s shot to put the Stingers up by one.
D’Orso’s shutout bid came to an end about a minute later, after the Patriotes put one by him that he would have loved to have back.
“I tried to poke the puck off the guy, and he just grabbed it and shot it in front of the net, it hit my skate, hit off the back of the net, hit my head, hit off the crossbar and then rolled down my back and went in,” he explained. “That was a pretty bad goal, bad luck. I guess that happens sometimes.”
Concordia’s Mike Stinziani was all over the place in the second and third periods. He scored the Stingers’ next two goals, putting on display UQTR goalie Jean-Christophe Blanchard’s inability to keep the puck between his pads 8212; both goals came after Blanchard thought he had made the pad save, but the puck squeezed through.
Then, Stinziani drew a penalty one minute into teammate Kiefer Orsini’s third minor of the night to negate UQTR’s powerplay. As Stinziani was about to get past the Patriotes’ defence to go in alone on Blanchard, Pierre-Luc Lessard had to trip him to save the breakaway.
Figsby considers him the spark the team has been lacking, and praised how hard he works.
“You can have all the skill in the world, you can be a fast skater, but if you don’t have a work ethic, there [are] too many good players in this league. And he has the work ethic to be a dominant player at this level.”
With just over two minutes to play in the third period, Concordia was leading 3-2. Stinger Olivier Jannard took a slashing penalty and despite D’Orso’s best efforts, he couldn’t stop Jean-Sebastien Breton from being UQTR’s late-game hero, after D’Orso gave up a rebound that Breton banged home glove side to send the game into overtime.
But Breton quickly went from hero to villain after he took a slashing penalty seven seconds into the extra period, paving the way for Goodsell to one-time a pass from George Lovatsis all the way to the back of the net.
“All night long they had to play catch-up hockey, and my message to our players when we went into overtime was if you work hard, they might take a penalty, and they did, and we were in it to win it,” said Figsby.
Friday night, the Stingers fell 7-2 to the Carleton Ravens. Starting goalie Maxime Joyal was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots in the first.
But on Sunday afternoon, Joyal redeemed himself, making 41 saves in an 8-2 win against Ottawa. Stinziani had two goals and three assists and had two goals and two assists in the win.
The Stingers will be on the road this week. They play the McGill Redmen on Wednesday, and then head to Ottawa to face the Gee-Gees Friday night. The games start at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.