Despite a depleted squad, the Stingers found a way to win against a world junior team
It’s not everyday the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team gets to a play a national team that is set to compete in the World Junior Hockey Tournament—yet on Dec. 17 at the Ed Meagher arena, that’s exactly what happened.
The Stingers were approached by Team Denmark to play in an exhibition game as part of Denmark’s preparation for the world juniors. While the Stingers didn’t have much time to prepare for the game, they managed to come out on top with a 4-2 victory.
“We didn’t really have any preparation,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement. “We just went out and played hard. It’s always fun to play against a national hockey team.”
Despite the win, the Stingers came out sluggish in the first period, with Denmark showcasing their impressive speed. In the first few minutes of the period, the Stingers went back and forth with Denmark in terms of shots on net. By the halfway point in the period, the Stingers broke down and allowed Denmark to get better scoring chances.
Stingers goaltender Philippe Cadorette was solid in the first period, turning aside 12 of the 13 shots he faced. Cadorette made a couple of big glove saves as well, which earned some cheers from the Stingers crowd.
It wasn’t until there were 30 seconds left in the period that Cadorette allowed a goal. Denmark forward Alexander True got a breakaway and slid the puck past Cadorette’s glove to give Denmark a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.
“We all know they’re going to the world juniors and I think we started off being impressed and we weren’t skating with them,” said Stingers forward Anthony Deluca.
The second period was much better for the Stingers, as they started to play physically and increased their speed. The team was rewarded early with a goal by Stingers forward Antoine Masson, to tie the game at 1-1.
Deluca scored a few minutes later to make it 2-1 and then just a few minutes after that, Denmark forward Rasmus Andersson Thykjær tied the game at 2-2.
The Stingers then regained control of the game with goals by defenceman Chris Domsodi and Deluca, who finished the game with two goals.
“I try to bring the puck to the net as much as possible, and fortunately my teammates gave me the puck in good spots,” Deluca said. “We played a really good team game in the second and third and that benefitted my game as well.”
The third period was a quiet one, as neither team was able to add on to the score. Halfway through the second period, the Stingers switched goalies and put in Miguel Sullivan, who made key saves in order to preserve the team’s 4-2 lead.
For Élement, the last two periods were a reflection of the adjustments the team made after the first period.
“We were playing too aggressive and they were swinging by us, so we changed the way we played,” Élement said.
The Stingers are now on break until Jan. 4, where the team will take on the Royal Military College of Canada. Meanwhile, Team Denmark will play their first game of the world junior championships against Sweden on Dec. 26.