McGill completed the comeback and defeated the Stingers in double overtime
Every year the Concordia Stingers men’s team finishes off their season with the Corey Cup. The Corey Cup, named after Montreal Canadiens ex-owner Ronald Corey, is always a special night that brings out the best in both teams. This year’s battle brought more than 800 fans to Ed Meagher Arena to cheer on their squad against our cross-town rivals, the McGill Redmen.
The first period was an intense battle of physicality as both teams played hard to get the advantage and score the opening goal. The Redman were looking to seal first place in their division with a win.
The visiting team didn’t get off to a good start, getting into penalty trouble when forward Benoit Lévesque was called for a dangerous hit into the boards and was assessed a two-minute penalty for boarding. Ready to explode, the packed house erupted when Stingers forward Scott Oke took the puck up ice and fired a great shot that fooled Redman goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard.
With the 1-0 lead, Concordia was off to the perfect start. McGill pushed after that to try and get the equalizer, but Stingers netminder Robin Billingham was playing inspired hockey, stopping every shot he faced.
Later on in the period McGill got into some more penalty trouble when Pietro Antonelli got called for goalie interference after running into Billingham. Once again, the Stingers power play unit capitalized when Oke knotted his second goal of the game to hand Concordia a 2-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period. The period would end on that score and the Stingers were on their way to celebrating a Corey Cup victory.
The second period didn’t get off to a good start for Concordia. Defenseman Sean Blunden was given a penalty for slashing on the last play of the first and the Stingers started the second with a disadvantage. McGill quickly cut the lead to one as Jonathan Bonneau received a great feed from Etienne Boutet and found the back of the net. All of a sudden, the crowd got a little more anxious as the Redmen were back in the game.
The Stingers tried to regain their two-goal lead but their undisciplined play continued to hurt them. Forward Domenic Beauchemin got called for holding and the power play scoring continued. McGill got the game level at two when Patrick Delisle-Houde received a pass from Jonathan Brunelle and fired a great shot that flew past Billingham into the back of the net. The game wasn’t tied for long once Beauchemin got out of the box. The Stingers forward quickly redeemed himself and put his team back in the lead and fired a wrist shot that once again surprised Chouinard to regain the lead. The second period ended on 3-2 for Concordia, but the back-and-forth pace set up an exciting third.
Going into the final period the game plan was simple for Concordia: hold McGill off for 20 more minutes and the Corey Cup would be theirs. Unfortunately for everyone’s nerves, the match came down to the last 20 seconds. McGill was pressing in the offensive zone and finally Samuel Labrecque took a shot that squeaked through Billingham to tie the game at 3. The Corey Cup would be going into overtime, and both teams knew only one more goal would decide the victor.
An intense period of extra time proceeded but to no avail. Neither team could solve the opposing goaltender and the game went into double overtime. It didn’t take long as both teams were clearly exhausted and one minute into the double overtime period Labreque once again was the savior for McGill as he took another shot that snuck in past Billingham for the 4-3 win, sealing the Corey Cup for McGill.
After the game, Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby had mixed feelings about the game.
“I thought it was going to come down to one goal, it’s just too bad we led until 21 seconds left in the game,” said Figsby. “They are a very experienced team, we are a young team. I feel we made some mistakes but all in all I was proud with the effort, especially on the power play that got us two goal”.
“We came in ready and confident, and we wanted to win this game. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and now we play them in the playoffs and this game was a stepping stone,” said Stingers Forward Oke.
The Stingers now head into the postseason seeking vengeance for Friday’s home loss. Their next matchup is against the Redman on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The two rivals will begin a best-of-three series at McConnell Arena, before playing game two at Ed Meagher Arena on Friday, Feb. 13