Backed by Concordia’s great goaltending, the Stingers snapped their losing streak
The Concordia Stingers were looking to bounce back from their loss on Friday with a strong performance on Saturday when they faced the Guelph Gryphons in front of a packed house at Ed Meagher arena.
The first period was a tight contest between both clubs as they tried to open the scoring. Four minutes into the period, Concordia got into some penalty trouble when Marc-Olivier Brouillard got into a scrum with Guelph forward Michael Stevens. Both were sent off for roughing, but Brouillard got a double-minor for instigating the fight.
Guelph pressed during the man advantage but Concordia’s goalie Robin Billingham was up to the task, stopping every shot he faced. Three minutes later, Concordia got a break and capitalized when Olivier Hinse went in on a breakaway and snuck one past Guelph’s goaltender Andrew D’agostini for a 1-0 lead. After that goal, Guelph pushed hard for the equalizer but once again Billingham was unbeatable.
Several minutes later Stingers forward Domenic Beauchemin was sprung for another breakaway and made it 2-0 for Concordia to end the first period.
The second period was the complete opposite of the first with the Gryphons coming out firing on all cylinders. Guelph cut the lead to 2-1 at the eight-minute mark of the second period when Robert De Fulviis fired a shot past Billingham.
After that, Guelph continued to push for the equalizer and Concordia couldn’t match their energy. Concordia got into more penalty trouble late in the second period. The Stingers had back-to-back minor penalties and with a minute left in the period, as Guelph got the equalizer when Andres Kopstals got a pass from Daniel Broussard and snuck one past Billingham.
The third period was an all-out battle as both teams looked for the go-ahead goal. Both teams had multiple chances to score, but both goaltenders refused to break. Six minutes into the period, Scott Oke received a pass from Youssef Kabbaj and sent a shot past D’agostini for the 3-2 lead. The game plan for Concordia was simple for the rest of the game: hold the Gryphons off and maintain the lead. The Stingers managed to do just that and take the win thanks to the stellar play of Billingham. The game finished 3-2 as Concordia avoided another disappointment.
After the game, head coach Kevin Figsby was proud of his troops and the way his team kept their focus.
“I really like the response of our group, a win is a win and we will take it. We simply followed the game plan,” said Figsby.
Stingers captain Hinse reiterated what his coach said and admitted that it was a relief to finally stop the losing skid.
“It’s nice to win. We really needed that, we had a good start, we stayed focused and we used our speed.”