The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team saw their season come to an end on Friday night, as they lost their second game of the best-of-three playoff series 8-4 against their cross-city rivals, the McGill Redmen at Ed Meagher arena.
After falling to the Redmen 3-1 on Wednesday night, the Stingers needed to win this game to stay alive in the playoffs.
The first period was a high-scoring affair. The Redmen were on the board first at 9:06 of the first period, as centre Guillaume Langelier-Parent trickled a shot past the Stingers’ goaltender, Antonio Mastropietro. Seconds later, Redmen left winger, Patrick Delisle-Houde, knocked over Mastropietro after saving a weak shot. This started a small melee in front of Concordia goal before Delisle-Houde was sent to the box for roughing.
The Stingers capitalized on the power play, as defenceman Gabriel Bourret sniped one past McGill goalie, Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, 1:17 into the power play.
With defenceman Adam Nugent-Hopkins in the penalty box with four minutes left in the first period, the Stingers took their first and only lead of the game shorthanded, as left winger Dany Potvin and centre Olivier Hinse erupted on a two-on-one before Hinse potted in the goal for the 2-1 lead.
The lead lasted a mere 30 seconds. Still on the power play, McGill left winger Neal Prokop tied the game at two.
After making a good stop on right-winger Alexandre Comtois, Mastropietro couldn’t hold onto the puck and Comtois buried it on the rebound to make it 3-2 Redmen with just over 1:30 left in the first period.
McGill made it 4-2 with 37 seconds left, when Mastropietro lost sight of the puck and centre Cedric McNicoll scored his first of three goals of the night on the power play.
Concordia jumped out of the gate quickly to start the second period. After centre Kyle Armstrong made it 4-3 1:06 into the middle frame, Gervais-Chouinard gave up a rebound off of a Potvin shot, so captain George Lovatsis, playing in his final game as a Stinger, picked the puck up and potted his team’s fourth goal to tie the game.
Once again, the momentum didn’t stay on the Stingers side for long, as Prokop scored his second of the game to put McGill back on top 26 seconds later. Left-winger Carl Gelinas would add one more half-way through the second period to make it 6-4 McGill.
Two minutes into the third period, McNicoll scored his second of the game from an impossible angle, just high of Mastropietro’s shoulder to give the Redmen a three-goal lead.
McNicoll then snipped his third goal of the game with four minutes left to make it 8-4, putting the nail in the coffin on the Stingers’ season.
The end of the game was an emotional one for Lovatsis who, after five years with the Stingers hockey program, will be graduating from Concordia. His head coach had nothing but good things to say about his captain, despite the disappointing loss.
“Tonight was a night for George Lovatsis. He’s a fifth-year guy and he’s been a team leader and I can’t tell you how proud I am of George tonight,” said Kevin Figsby. “It’s disappointing that our season is over, but I will tell you, I thought our kids competed hard and represented our university well all season long.”
Playing a very strong McGill team wasn’t going to be an easy task for the Stingers either.
“We’re one of the youngest teams in the CIS and they have to draw a top-10 team in the first round of the playoffs,” said Figsby. “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle right from the get-go.