Concordia improves to a 6-1-1 record to start the season
“We were just trying to hold on,” said Concordia Stingers defenceman Carl Neill after their game against the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins on Nov. 4. “It was really not a good third period.” The Stingers managed to stave off a late push from the Paladins for a 5-3 win.
With this win, the Stingers improve to a 6-1-1 record, leaving them tied with the Carleton Ravens in third place in the East division of the Ontario University Athletics conference (OUA). The Stingers were also without forwards Philippe Hudon and Philippe Sanche due to injuries, and forward Raphaёl Lafontaine due to a suspension.
“I’m really happy about our start [to the season], but we have a lot of stuff that we need to work on, especially our discipline,” said head coach Marc-André Élement after the game. “I just addressed the guys. I’m really not happy about what happened tonight.” The coach added that the team will be going through the tape of the game extensively later this week.
The Stingers took eight minor penalties, with leading scorer forward Anthony Beauregard finding himself in the box three times with minors. He also had a goal and two assists in the game. Beauregard now has 20 points in eight games so far this season, putting him at the top of the OUA scoring charts, seven points ahead of the next closest player.
“I feel good. It’s not just about me, it’s about the team,” Beauregard said. “We’re good on the penalty kill, we’re good on the powerplay. It’s fun, but at the end of the day, it’s another week next week. We just need to focus on that.”
The Paladins, who have lost all nine of their games this season, were unable to convert on any of their eight power play chances. RMC also took seven minor penalties, with Stingers forward Dominic Beauchemin able to convert on a power play to give Concordia a 1-0 lead late in the first period. The two teams swapped goals in the second period, giving the Stingers a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Two early goals in the third period by Neill and Beauregard gave the Stingers a 4-1 lead. RMC began putting pressure on Concordia, playing a tight-checking, physical game that saw them neutralize the Stingers offence. The Paladins scored two goals two minutes apart to bring the score to 4-3. The late surge wasn’t enough, as Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte played well, stopping 18 of 21 shots. He got some help from his skaters who went down and blocked a couple of shots. Stingers forward Antoine Masson added an empty-net goal to close the game out.
“We just need to be safe out there,” Beauregard said. “We need to play hard, yes, but we need to pay attention to the details. I think we have some good leaders in the room who talked about that. Next week has to be better.”
Élement was not impressed with the team’s effort. “You have your leaders taking stupid penalties, and in the long run, it’s going to cost us some games,” he said. “We started cheating. It almost cost us the game.”
Both Concordia and RMC were playing their second game in two nights, and the Stingers seemed gassed at points, but Élement said that was “no excuse.”
“[RMC] had a tough game against McGill last night,” he added. “We need to get better. I’m happy we got the two points, but I’m not happy with our performance tonight.”
The Stingers are on the road next weekend with games against the Nipissing Lakers on Nov. 10 and the Laurentian Voyageurs on Nov. 11.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.