Stingers fight back twice to force double overtime but still lose
The Concordia men’s hockey team lost to the first place Patriotes of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières on Feb. 10 in an exciting match by a score of 6-5 in double-overtime.
“I think we deserved that one,” said Stingers forward Frederick Roy, who finished the night with two assists. “They’d probably say the same thing. It could’ve gone either way. Now, we head into the playoffs on a high. We’re dangerous.”
“We’re such a hard-working team,” said Stingers captain Olivier Hinse, who was honoured in a pre-game ceremony for scoring his 50th CIS goal. “This game gives us a little more confidence for the playoffs. I feel like we’ve been playing good hockey since Christmas. As long as we keep grinding we’ll keep causing a lot of surprises in the playoffs for sure.”
The Stingers started off the game with a good couple of shifts but quickly fell behind. A lofted pass from UQTR defenceman Martin Lefebvre found Olivier Caouette in behind the Concordia defence and he made no mistakes, going five hole on goaltender Robin Billingham to give the Patriotes a 1-0.
However, the lead was short-lived for UQTR. Three minutes later Stingers forward Dominic Beauchemin cut down the right side, dropped the puck back to Roy, who fed it back to him along the goalline. Receiving it in his skates, he kicked the puck to the front of the net where Stinger forward Dany Potvin scored high, glove side, on UQTR goaltender Sébastien Auger to tie the game 1-1.
Before the end of the first, the visitors showed why they are the top scoring offense in the country. Mathieu Lemay made a nifty move along the left-side boards, drifted into the slot and fired a top corner shot on a screened Billingham. UQTR would add to their lead two minutes before the end of the period as forward Carl Antoine-Delisle latched onto a pass on the edge of the crease from a pinching Charles-David Beaudoin to make it 3-1 UQTR going into the break.
Concordia quickly got one back early in the second period to shift momentum their way. After a little more sustained offensive zone pressure, Stingers forward Antoine Masson picked up a loose puck near the blueline and fired it on net. The puck was tipped in through a screen by Stingers forward Julien Rainville-Avon to cut les Patriotes lead down to one. Five minutes later, Stingers forward Daniel Lafontaine drove down the left side, made a move past one defender and put a quick pass onto the stick of forward Charles-Éric Légaré driving to the net who buried it to tie the game up 3-3.
Forward Marc-Olivier Mimar would put UQTR back in front as he banked the puck in off of Billingham from behind the net to make it 4-3. Forward Tommy Giroux restored les Patriotes’ two-goal lead with a shot from the right circle that beat Billingham high blocker side. That was the end of Billingham’s night as he was replaced by Miguel Sullivan for the rest of the contest.
Stingers defenseman Anthony Cortese would get one back for the Stingers before the end of the period. Roy picked up the puck from behind the net and fed it to Cortese, who waited out the first defender and then wristed the puck from the top of the right circle to give Concordia some life, making the score 5-4 heading into the third period.
In the final period, Concordia seemed unable to penetrate les Patriotes’ defense. Yet, the Stingers showed their resilience once again late in the third period. Hinse drove in wide down the right side, drew two defenders to him and then dropped the puck to forward Jessyko Bernard who wired the one-timer bar down to tie the game 5-5.
After 4-on-4 hockey solved nothing, the teams went to 3-on-3 for the second period of overtime. 52 seconds in, Martin Lefebvre placed a shot high blocker side through a screen and past Sullivan to win the game for UQTR 6-5.
“We need to start coming out on top,” said defenseman Andrew Rossy, who led the Stingers with five shot blocks. “It’s frustrating. We just need to keep sticking to the game plan. Playoffs is a new season and as long as we keep up that effort we’ll do well.”
The Stingers play the Mcgill Redmen for the 29th edition of the Corey Cup Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ed Meagher Arena.