Concordia and Université de Montreal to meet in the playoffs
Coming into the Ed Meagher Arena undefeated in their last 11 games, the high flying Carabins from Université de Montreal pulled some late -game magic and escaped with a 3-2 win on Feb. 21. Despite the Stingers taking the lead twice, they could not come away with the win.
“Today was a great game,” said interim head coach Julie Chu. “They’re a bigger team so we got a make sure that we are able to play the physical game to match theirs as well.”
“I don’t think they are a dirty team, I think that they are a physical team and they are big bodies. They might take a penalty here and there for that but we got to make sure we got to play a physical game also,” said Chu.
The Stingers matched up well against the Carabins all season which led to many close games. With both teams about to play each other again—this time in a playoff game—the Stingers are confident they can win.
“I feel a hundred percent confident that we could make it into the next round,” said captain Erica Porter. “We have had a great track record against them. We could have even potentially have won four of the five games. We play some of our best hockey when we play against them so I really like our chances.”
After giving the Stingers a 2-1 lead late in the second period, Stingers forward Claudia Dubois who scored on a beautiful tip-in goal from a point shot expressed the same confidence while also stressing the team’s play in powerplay situations.
“We just got to capitalize on our chances. We know we can beat them and could’ve have easily beaten them at least four times this season,” Dubois said. “We got to make sure to move the puck faster on the power play man a send pucks to the net when we can.”
Special teams was an issue for the Stingers as they gave up a goal on the penalty kill which was crucial in deciding the winner. Chu was critical of her squad’s’ special teams play.
“Special teams are always really important. Whether you are on the penalty kill or the power play, executing those in key moments are really important,” Chu said. “For us we had a five-on-three and it would have been good for us to capitalize on that.”
After the game coach Les Lawton, who took an indefinite absence for an illness, was honoured. For some on the team, Lawton is a source of motivation.
“Les has been in the back of our minds every single practice and every single game and obviously we want to make it as far as we can not only for our team but for him and make him proud of us,” said Porter.
The Stingers start their best of three playoff series on the road against Université de Montreal on Thursday, Feb. 25.