Captain Olivier Hinse said his goodbyes after his final game with the team
After tying their three-game playoff series against the Queen’s Golden Gaels at one win a piece on Friday, the Concordia Stingers offence was stifled by a hot goaltender who played well all series.
In game one, the Stingers registered 50 shots on net against Golden Gaels goalie Kevin Bailie, of which only one went in. In the third and deciding game of the series, Bailie once again showcased his ability, registering a 42-save shutout, which helped propel his team to a 2-0 win.
Golden Gaels forward Darcy Greenaway scored the first goal of the game halfway through the first period. The only other goal would come with just seven seconds left in the game from Queen’s forward Dylan Anderson, who stuck the final nail in the coffin of the Stingers’ historic season with an empty netter. With this loss, the Stingers’ 2016-17 season was over and the team was set to reflect on their accomplishments in the locker room shortly thereafter.
“I told them to keep their heads up,” Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement said. “I told all the graduating players that I’m proud of them, and that they left a footprint here.”
With captain Olivier Hinse leaving after his fifth season with the Stingers, the leadership group of the Stingers is set to take a big hit next season. Élement acknowledged this and said that, although Hinse is someone who is simply irreplaceable, the process of naming a new captain is something he’s thought about over the course of the season.
“I have someone in mind who showed a lot of leadership [this season] when Hinse was gone, and he’s going to be a great leader too,” Élement said. Still, the feeling throughout the locker room—from players to equipment staff to even the media—was one of sadness. Élement said Hinse was the best. A great person, a great captain, and someone who he was proud of and who would have a lot of success in life.
Fortunately for Concordia, while one era is ending, another is just beginning.
“We’ve got some holes to fill,” said Élement. “We’ll start right away next week on the recruiting part, and we [already] signed some guys who we’re going to announce soon.”
One player who experienced a good rookie season was forward Philippe Sanche, who had mixed feelings after the game. On the one hand, reflecting on the season left a positive feeling—one of accomplishment and optimism. When reflecting on the game the team had just played, however, the feeling couldn’t have been more contrasting.
“[My first season] left me with a pretty good feeling,” Sanche said. “We had a good group, and it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Concordia. [Still], it’s not fun [to lose]. We know we’re going to lose a few guys who are graduating. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s just the beginning.”
While the future is certainly bright for the Stingers men’s hockey team, the emotion surrounding the departure of Hinse lingered. Despite this, the captain was still able to reflect on the season and the moment, in a positive way.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m proud of my boys, and we had a great year,” Hinse said. “We turned things around, and the boys have a huge future here. I’m going to be part of it—in any way [that I can].
When leaving the ice for the final time, Hinse took a little longer than usual. Savouring the moment, saying goodbye to the fans and taking it all in, one final time.
“I’ll be a Stinger forever,” Hinse said.