Stéphanie Lalancette scored twice in 5-1 victory
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team came to life in the second period and dominated the Ottawa Gee-Gees in their 5-1 win at the Ed Meagher Arena on Jan. 14.
The Stingers improved to a 9-3-0 record, putting themselves closer to first place in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) standings. This win marks their fifth in a row, and they haven’t lost since Nov. 17.
Stingers forward Stéphanie Lalancette scored twice to give Concordia a lead they would never lose against the Gee-Gees. Forwards Keriann Schofield and Lidia Fillion, and defenceman Caroll-Ann Gagné scored one each in the win.
The Gee-Gees dominated the first period with an explosive offence, threatening Stingers goalie Katherine Purchase multiple times. A first period struggle is nothing new for the Stingers, as they have failed to score in the first period in five of their nine wins this season. By the end of the first period, Ottawa had outshot Concordia 10-6.
Head coach Julie Chu addressed the lack of production in the early part of the game.
“There was no explosiveness in the first period,” Chu said. “Ottawa is a great team that starts fast, and they started on time while we didn’t. We were really lucky to come out of the period with a tie at that point. Luckily, it’s a 60-minute game.”
The Stingers scoring opened up midway through the second period after Gagné punched the puck through the legs of Ottawa’s goalie, Maude Levesque-Ryan, on a scramble in front of the net. That goal marked Gagné’s first of the season.
Late in the second period on a power play, Lalancette sniped the puck past the Ottawa goalie, knocking the water bottle off the top of the net. Her second goal of the night was another well-placed pass by forward Devon Thompson in the third period. This was Lalancette’s second two-goal game of the season.
“She has been one of our most consistent and top players over the season,” coach Chu said about Lalancette, who sits in fourth in the league for most points. “She’s healthy, she works hard and she really utilized her speed which is a huge asset to the team. And obviously she has a great shot.”
Gee-Gees defenceman Cassidy Herman scored Ottawa’s lone goal on the power play in the third period. That would be the end of the Ottawa production, despite starting off so dominant.
With the third period coming to a close, the intensity and physicality ramped up. Schofield scored her fourth goal of the season to give the Stingers a 4-1 lead and more cushion against the physical Gee-Gees. Shortly thereafter, Ottawa pulled their goalie but could not find success. Fillion scored an empty-net goal to bring her team-leading goal count to six on the season.
“We focus one game at a time, and we still expect the most every day,” Chu said. “The girls are embracing it, and they’re able to improve and get better each day. We can’t take anything for granted because this league is so strong that we’ve got to be ready to play and focused.”
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team will take on the Université de Montréal Carabins at the Ed Meagher Arena in a crucial battle for first place in the RSEQ standings on Jan. 19.
Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.