Just like the women’s team experienced a week before, the men’s hockey team was unable to stop the Ottawa Gee-Gees as they played their second game in a row on Saturday night.
The night before, however, the men played what may have been their best game of the season, knocking off the CIS’ top ranked McGill 4-2. Concordia has defeated McGill in two of the teams’ three meetings this season.
This loss to Ottawa greatly dampened Concordia’s chances of making it into the CIS top 10, a place the team would love to find itself in as the regular season winds down.
“The guys played as hard as they could today with what they had left, but we just didn’t have enough energy to compete,” said head coach Kevin Figsby of the Ottawa game. “Ottawa was coming in with a must-win situation. If they lose, they are out of the playoffs. It was a tough game for us today, but you can’t do anything about it, that’s how the schedule dictates itself.”
With two games to go in the regular season, the Stingers will be without the help of goaltender Peter Karvouniaris, who is out indefinitely with a concussion he suffered in the second period as Ottawa forward Stephen Blunden ran him into the net.
Figsby believes the play was a critical turning point of the game. “We were still in a 1-1 hockey game when they ran our goaltender,” said Figsby. “We didn’t know when he got hit that it was a concussion, so he stayed in and they took two shots that went in. That turned the game around.”
The first period had Ottawa written all over it as the Stingers had trouble getting out of their own zone. The Gee-Gees had one opportunity after another as the defence was scrambling, but everything was stopped by Karvouniaris keeping the game 0-0.
Three minutes into the second period, Concordia forward François Lanctôt-Marcotte opened the scoring, making it 1-0 for the Stingers. “It’s a lucky goal I guess,” he said of the goal scored on the rebound of Charles-Antoine Messier.
After Concordia’s goal, it was all Gee-Gees once again. The Stingers had a chance to take a 2-0 lead as Ottawa forward Stephen Blunden was called for goalie interference. But the Stingers were sloppy on the power play, and gave up on a two-on-one which resulted in the puck finding its way past Karvouniaris and to the back of net.
A minute later, Ottawa added another marker as Stephen Blunden scored with a wrist shot, making it 2-1.
Ottawa made the game 3-1 before the intermission as Luc Olivier Blain was able to beat a woozy Karvouniaris.
The third period started with Nicholas Champion taking the place of Karvouniaris in the net after he suffered his concussion. To welcome Champion to the game, Ottawa scored just 40 seconds into the period.
The teams exchanged goals for the rest of the period en route to Ottawa’s 5-3 victory.
Despite the win against McGill, captain Eric Bégin wasn’t letting his team off the hook for Saturday’s game. “I don’t buy into that fatigue factor, that’s not an excuse,” he said. “We play 28 games in a season, not 82 like the pros. It’s not an excuse.”
Concordia is up against McGill this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Ed Meagher Arena.