Illness has taken its toll on Concordia for the past couple weeks
The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team dropped to 8-17 on the season after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks (UOIT) in Sunday’s pre-Super Bowl matchup, handing the Stingers their second loss in a row.
“Number one we have got to get healthy … We had to shut down the dressing room [this week] we had a sinus and throat infection going around so we had a tough week of practice,” said Stingers head coach Ken Figsby regarding his depleted roster after the game.
Illness was the story going into the game Sunday afternoon. The Stingers, who were looking to get back into the win column after last week’s 4-2 home loss against Laurentian, were hit by the by the bug all throughout the week, with the blue liners being hit the hardest.
“Alex MacDonald has been our most steady defenseman all season, and we had to pull him in warm up,” said Figsby. “Sean Blunden hasn’t played in the last 6 games, and Jeremy Barriault hasn’t played since November and we had to put both those guys in the game today.”
The Stingers shaky blue line play was the story in the early going as they conceded the game’s opening goal off a neutral zone give away that resulted in a UOIT 2-on-1 breakaway. Ridgebacks forward Jesse Stoughton scored, assisted by Ridgeback winger Connor Jarvis, 10:20 into the game.
Despite allowing a goal in the first period, Stingers’ goalie Alexandre St. Arnaud was solid between the pipes turning away 11 of 12 UOIT shots during the first 20 minutes.
Concordia jumped out of the intermission playing inspired hockey, despite the questionable play of their backend, which allowed 17 shots on net in the period. Antoine Houde-Caron knotted the game at 1-1 just over 90 seconds into the period on a deflected point shot by Francis Turbine, also assisted by Dominic Beauchemin. The Ridgebacks, not to be outdone, regained the lead off a terrible Stingers giveaway deep in their zone which resulted in a goal by UOIT’s Mike Robinson midway through the second. The Stingers quickly responded with a goal of their own on a Dany Potvin snipe from the slot assisted by Gabriel Bourret and forward Domenic Beauchemin—his second helper of the game.
St. Arnaud’s play continued to be difference keeping this game tied at 2-2 heading into the third. The Stingers goalie was peppered with 17 shots in the second period and turned away 15 in the process.
Unfortunately the onslaught continued in the third period, and the UOIT forwards exposed the rust and inexperience along the Concordia blue line, popping in 2 goals to a lone Stingers goal by Matt Boudreau with 3:25 left in the game.
“I told the guys at the end of the second period, if we can win the shot count today heading into the third period, we can win the third period,” said Figsby.
The Stinger’s were outshot 8 to 16 in the third, and 45-32 overall in favour of the visiting UOIT Ridgebacks.
Next up for the Stingers, they host the third ranked 19-5 McGill Redmen at home in the 28th Corey Cup. On Friday, Feb. 26, the puck will drop and the Stingers will try and remember the cup which they lost to McGill last year.