When you look up the statistics of the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team from the 2012-13 season it may look bleak, or disappointing — however it may not be a complete oversight.
Coming into the season, there was a mix of new and old. Head coach Les Lawton returned for his astonishing 31st season behind the bench with his 600-plus victories. Alongside him were returning assistant coaches Harry Yeramian, Lisa-Marie Breton and goaltending coach Dave Pare. A new face, and welcome addition to the Stingers coaching staff, was three-time Olympic-gold medalist Caroline Ouellette, teammate of Breton on the Montreal Stars. She signed a contract in the offseason to work part-time with the Stingers.
When you looked at the roster, it was a lot of inexperience at the varsity level, with a staggering eight rookies.
Up front, you also still had the leadership of recently-named captain Mallory Lawton, assistant captains Emilie Bocchia and Erin Lally, and the veterans Veronique Laramee-Paquette and Alyssa Sherrard.
On the back end was a mass rebuild with many rookie defenders inserted into the lineup. You had the leadership and experience from Laurie Proulx-Duperre, Gabrielle Meilleur and Mary-Jane Roper to help the new crop ease into their new careers.
Between the pipes was also a tandem with only two games experience in Concordia’s maroon and gold colors. Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon was the sophomore goaltender who played two games in the 2011-12 season, both in relief. Rookie Chelsey Hodges got the nod to serve as the alternate goaltender, meanwhile Caroline Switalski and Michelle Purdie would serve as third and fourth goaltenders respectively.
The team started the year with a tournament in Toronto, where they took one of three games, defeating the York Lions 4-0 in exhibition play.
The first game of the season showed a great example of a young and inexperienced team. Concordia dropped an 8-1 decision at the hands of their cross-town rivals, the number-one nationally ranked McGill Martlets.
They bounced back, however, and continued to play close games all throughout the season, dropping many one-goal games that would inevitably prove crucial to the Stingers not making a trip to the postseason yet again.
They salvaged their first win in their fourth game of the year, defeating the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a 3-2 shootout at the Minto Sportsplex on Oct. 27, with Lally getting the decisive shootout tally.
Their only other victory came at home at Ed Meagher Arena, Nov. 16, narrowly escaping another shootout and beating the Carleton Ravens 2-1 with Bocchia getting the clincher.
Overall it was a hard year for the Stingers who only finished the season with five points. They couldn’t get past McGill or the Montréal Carabins despite some close calls. Their goal scoring wasn’t always the factor as they were able to get some production from every player.
At the end of the season, it was also time to say goodbye to four players who had solid careers with the Stingers. Forwards Bocchia, Laramee-Paquette, Lawton and blueliner Proulx-Duperre all hung up their skates. This will open the door for the sophomores to step up and the rookies to take what they’ve learned throughout the year to expand to a more productive 2013-14 campaign.