Looking to stop their current losing ways, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team came out Friday evening and displayed leadership up and down the ice, coming out ahead and beating the visiting Carleton Ravens 2-1 in a shootout.
“Before the game I gave the team an inspirational speech (for the first time) all about family,” explained general manager Caitlin Booth. “And they came out, and they won.”
The game was especially emotional for goaltender Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon. The sophomore recorded her first-ever victory in a Concordia Stingers uniform.
“I am just so happy with the win,” said Lavoie-Pilon. “I felt the win even before the shootout. We played 65 minutes of full hockey.”
Concordia got on the board early by scoring on the power play. Veronique Laramee Paquette’s slap shot was in front by teammate Alyssa Sherrard to give them the lead.
A couple of minutes after, with Stingers captain Mallory Lawton’s penalty expiring, fourth-year forward Emilie Bocchia escaped on a breakaway but shooting just above Ravens goaltender Eri Kiribuchi’s net.
Seven minutes into the second period, Bocchia escaped on her second breakaway of the evening, coming up short again, getting the puck right in the pads of Kiribuchi.
Carleton seemed unorchestrated and couldn’t get many chances on Lavoie-Pilon until an unfortunate failed clearing attempt led to Ravens’ Sadie Wegner scoring five-hole through the pads and equaling the score.
“The whole morale on the bench was we weren’t going to give up,” said defender Margaret Hotte. “Everybody was contributing, we had great communication. It was fantastic.”
The third period was a lot of great playmaking on the part of the Stingers, with every line working in sync with each other, and all the defensive pairings being very strong in not allowing many chances on Lavoie-Pilon who finished the evening with 19 saves.
After regulation time, the score was even at one-apiece. The next five minutes of overtime did not solve anything, so the game went to a shootout.
The first round saw both teams exchange pleasantries as Stingers’ Lally connected on her sure-thing backhand upstairs deke, and Ravens’ Sydnie MacDonald undressing Lavoie-Pilon.
“We needed this win after having picked it up last week,” explained Lally. “We really deserved the two points.”
It wasn’t until the fourth round of shooters when Bocchia, who had missed two breakaways in regulation, went in alone, and third time was the charm with her roofing a shot top shelf on Kiribuchi.
“It feels really good having the effort we played with finally pay off,” explained Bocchia. “We worked hard as a team. There was no individual effort.”
The crowd roared with excitement and cheers, as Carleton coach Shelley Coolidge sent out her Norwegian defender Hedda Gjerde as her last hope to equalize, but Lavoie-Pilon followed Gjerde’s moves and poked the puck away from her stick and ending the game in dramatic fashion.
“It was a gigantic relief, and a well-deserved win,” said captain Lawton. “It wasn’t a fluke, or luck that got us the two points. It was an overall well-rounded effort from everybody.”