Saturday’s afternoon affair was a big game because it was against the fourth place Carleton Ravens. The game had a lot of back and forth action in the first 20 minutes, but the game remained scoreless. Several defensive plays by Stingers Gabrielle Meilleur and Jillian Ferguson helped the cause preventing some key Raven chances.
The second period started off well with Concordia getting on the board first at the 3:59 mark when Erin Lally took a shot at the net and followed through until the puck went into the net.
The lead was maintained for a solid six minutes, with Stingers’ goaltender Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon seeing the puck well, until a bad bouncing puck caught her out of position allowing Ravens’ Jessica O’Grady to tie it midway through the period.
Six minutes after that, Carleton got their first lead of the tilt when Tawnya Guindon was left alone in the slot and she wristed one by Lavoie-Pilon.
“I felt good overall of my performance,” said Lavoie-Pilon. “I’m just sad we couldn’t get the result we wanted.”
It looked as though Carleton would take a lead heading into the final frame, but the Stingers’ Hayley Boyd found a rushing Veronique Laramee-Paquette on a breakaway and she tied the game.
“It really feels good to score [on a breakaway],” said Laramee-Paquette, following the game. “It’s just frustrating that we couldn’t pull through together in the third.”
Coming into the third, the Stingers had a shortened bench when puck-moving defence Margaret Hotte left the game.
“Obviously losing [Hotte] didn’t help this weekend,” explained head coach Les Lawton. “She’s one of the stronger skaters, we just hope she’ll be okay soon.”
The Stingers took an early first-minute penalty when defender Mary-Jane Roper took her second minor of the game, this time for bodychecking. But the Stingers’ penalty was superb in killing it off, like the rest on the game. As the penalty expired, Roper skated out of the box alone on a breakaway but couldn’t get it past Tamber Tisdale, who finished the game with 26 saves.
“That was probably the first breakaway of my career,” explained stay-at-home defence Roper. “Overall, the game was hard to fight back. We had a couple of breakdowns, which as a team, is unacceptable.”
A few seconds after, but on the opposite end, the Ravens restored their lead at 2:49. But, it was short-lived as only 57 seconds later, and on a Stingers advantage, Emilie Bocchia ripped a shot over Tisdale’s blocker, squaring the game back at three.
Ravens’ veteran Victoria Gouge put the game away when she managed to get the puck past Lavoie-Pilon with 7:20 left on the clock.
The Stingers pressured late, but weren’t able to tie it up a final time, dropping it 4-3 in front of the home crowd.
Sunday’s game was an even bigger test for the Stingers as they traveled to the CEPSUM to face off against the Montréal Carabins, who had beat them the week prior 7-2.
“We knew going into the game that they have great goal scorers and will put a lot of pressure on us,” explained Concordia goaltender Chelsey Hodges. “We just have to keep looking forward and continue to leave everything on the ice.”
Just over eight minutes in, Montréal got on the board when Alice Lemieux broke in alone, making it 1-0. A few minutes later, Ariane Barker doubled the Carabins’ lead.
Two minutes into the second period, the Stingers looked feisty and ready. Forward Jaymee Shell sprung loose on a breakaway but couldn’t find the back of the net.
After Montréal added a third, the teams began to show their hostilities and at 12:48, both Stingers’ Brittany Laing and Carabins’ Laurence Beaulieu were sent from the ice for off-setting roughing minors.
Twenty-five seconds later, Carabins captain Kim Deschenes wristed a shot past Hodges, making it 4-0. They would add another power play goal before the period was out.
In the third period, both teams continued their aggressive play. Montréal would add two more goals, giving them a 7-0 lead halfway through the frame.
In the last minute of play, the Stingers were finally able to solve the Carabins goaltender. Boyd took a feed from Laramee-Paquette and sent a wrist shot that squeaked under her glove.
“It takes a toll on the team, playing two games in 24 hours,” said Lawton. “But we just have to maintain our intensity and keep playing hard from here on out.”
The Stingers have five games remaining this season. Their next game is on Sunday, Jan. 27 when they travel to Ottawa to face the Gee-Gees at 2 p.m. The game is available online on SSN.