The Stingers looked comfortable in their home opener at the Verdun Auditorium on Friday night as they beat the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins 10-3.
Concordia improved their record to 2-1-2 on the season and sit tied for fourth in the East Division of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) standings.
From puck-drop, the Stingers played a relentless offensive game that put the Paladins on their heels. Although the game was tied 1-1 for most of the first period, after goals by Stingers right-winger Jessyco Bernard and Paladins forward Chris Smerek, Stingers centre Hugo Vinatier and left-winger Taylor Lambke scored in the last five minutes of the first period. Heading into intermission up 3-1, the Stingers never looked back.
As Concordia’s last four games were all decided by one goal, Stinger’s head coach Kevin Figsby wanted his offense to step up and build some momentum. Hopefully, Friday’s win was a sign of more things to come.
“We had some guys who were struggling to find the net, but tonight they found the back of the net,” said Figsby. “There seemed to be a different groove going up front and it was good.”
The second period was much of the same as the Stingers continued to control the pace. The Stingers got goals from centres George Lovatsis and Olivier Hinse and defenseman Sean Blunden and went into the third period up 6-2.
A big part of Concordia’s success was that they stuck to their game plan. Although RMC managed a couple of goals, the Stingers were focused for the whole 60 minutes. Offensively they wreaked havoc, and defensively they played a composed and positional game. Stingers goaltender Antonio Mastropietro anchored the defense with a solid performance. He turned away 18 out of the 21 shots that he faced.
“We did what we wanted to do tonight,” said Figsby. “We stayed in our game plan, and didn’t change it. We didn’t start chasing pucks, we stayed in our positions and scored 10 goals as a result.”
In the third period, left-winger Dany Potvin scored late, while Bernard, Hinse and Lambke all added their second goals of the night. Concordia’s top line composed of Potvin, Bernard and Hinse were the different makers as they combined for 16 points. Hinse, who had two goals and three assists, has been lighting up the scoreboard early this season. He is tied for top scorer in the country with 14 points through five games.
The Stingers’ special teams was another positive aspect of the game. Concordia killed off all of their penalties as RMC went 0-for-6 on the power play. On the other end, the Stingers went an impressive 3-for-5 with the man advantage. The Stingers’ special teams actually contributed to four of the team’s goals as Potvin scored a short-handed goal in the first period.
Concordia is at home for the next three games, starting with a game on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. against rivals McGill. Home games will be at the Verdun Auditorium until renovations are completed at Ed Meagher Arena.