The first big weekend of November resulted with the women’s hockey team collecting a single point out of a possible four. They dropped a 4-1 decision to the Ravens Saturday evening at Carleton, and lost 4-3 in overtime to the Ottawa Gee-Gees the following afternoon at home.
The Stingers started Saturday evening’s game strong, with the offense getting four shots in the first three minutes against Ravens’ goaltender Eri Kiribuchi. Her counterpart for the Stingers, Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon, was equally up to the task turning aside several in-close chances. Lavoie-Pilon finished the evening with 28 saves.
“It really was a hard game for everyone, nothing seemed to be going right,” explained Lavoie-Pilon. “We kept giving them space, and tonight, we didn’t play as a team.”
Late in the second with the Ravens leading 3-0, the Stingers’ powerplay went to work. Despite having difficulties on the advantage early in the season, sophomore forward Audrey Morand tucked one past Kiribuchi to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
“After we scored we seemed to gain momentum,” said Morand following the game. “But we weren’t capable of putting things together and didn’t play our system.”
Sunday afternoon at Ed Meagher Arena, the Stingers were hungrier. However, their special team woes continued, as they were unable to capitalize on four powerplays in the first period alone. Miscommunication led to some turnovers, which almost turned costly. Concordia goaltender Chelsey Hodges was busy, finishing with the afternoon with 38 saves.
The second period seemed to start with a bang. With Gee-Gees defender Genevieve Legault in the box for hooking, the Stingers powerplay went to work. Jaymee Shell got the puck and flipped it over Ottawa goaltender Cassie Seguin for her second goal of the season.
Just over two minutes later, again deep in the Ottawa zone, Emilie Bocchia stripped the Gee-Gees defense of the puck and fed a wide open Veronique Laramee-Paquette who made no mistake scoring from a backhand. This gave the Stingers a 2-0 lead just over four minutes into the second frame.
“The way we went into the second was as if we were a completely new team,” said Hodges. “Everyone was amazing and everything was working.”
The Stingers continued a strong period until just after the 13-minute mark. With Gee-Gees captain Fannie Desforges in the box for hooking, the Stingers powerplay line tried to break out from behind Hodges’ net when a misplay of the puck by led to Gee-Gees’ Alicia Blomberg taking the puck and scoring, reducing the lead to 2-1.
“I think in order to succeed players need to sacrifice themselves,” explained captain Lawton. “I guess you have to be fearless and know that it’s helping the team.”
Just under five minutes into the third, the Stingers were attacking again. Lawton was in possession, and with the Ottawa goaltender down and out of position, she lifted the puck just enough to increase their lead to 3-1.
Ottawa reduced the lead to 3-2 at 16:22 of the third period when Janie Paquette scored from the slot.
The Stingers took some bad penalties in the minutes that followed. Laramee-Paquette took a delay of game penalty with the team already down one player. Ottawa pulled their goalie to play a six-on-four battle, which paid dividends when captain Desforges tied the game at three goals apiece with 40 seconds left on the clock.
“It seemed as if we were giving up too many chances,” said Hodges. “It looked as if although we had a lead that we had already lost focus.”
Overtime was a back-and-forth affair with neither side getting many good chances, until in the last minute before shootouts. Ottawa’s Desforges was fed another pass, left alone inside the hash-marks and made no mistake shelfing her second of the afternoon and giving the Gee-Gees the improbable comeback victory.
“It’s certainly a big disappointment for everybody; we played stupid and made bonehead plays” said Concordia coach Les Lawton. “It’s as if we’re afraid to lose, we need to fight harder, but the attitude is negative and we don’t go for the jugular. Keep it simple.”
“I thought we played well, but didn’t play a full 60 minutes,” said Stingers captain Mallory Lawton. “We took a couple penalties late that were costly.”
The Stingers will hit the ice twice next weekend, including a home game against the Montreal Carabins on Friday. Concordia will then head to McGill to face the number one ranked Martlets on Saturday afternoon.