Concordia faces elimination in game three for second year in a row
Queen’s Gaels goalie Kevin Bailie secured a 3-0 win against the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team on Friday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. He stopped all 45 shots he faced, forcing a game three in the best-of-three series in the second round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs.
Stingers captain Philippe Hudon said he liked his team’s level of competitiveness throughout the game and fully understands they were up against a hot goaltender.
“He was outstanding,” Hudon said. “We aren’t going to cut corners on that one.” After winning game one on the road, he knew the Stingers would be facing a better Queen’s team this time around. “We certainly wanted to finish it tonight. They came out very strong and as hungry as we expected.”
The Stingers came out flying to start the game, outshooting the Gaels 14-3 in the first period. The Gaels did not get a shot in the first 15 minutes of the game. The Stingers’s aggressive play in the first caused a number of turnovers for the Gaels, but Concordia still couldn’t find a way to beat Bailie. Stingers goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte kept his team in it with a big save in the dying moments of the period.
The start of the second period saw a rejuvenated Gaels team.
“They collectively played as a five-man unit,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement. Gaels forward Duncan Campbell opened up the scoring two minutes into the second period off an odd-man rush. The period had quality scoring chances on both ends.
The Gaels doubled their lead late in the period with a goal by Ryan Bloom off a nice passing play. The Stingers had two power plays in the period but failed to execute due to Queen’s aggressive penalty kill.
“I guess we got a little comfortable with the game, and that didn’t help us,” said Stingers defenceman Matthieu Desautels.
The Stingers were in for a scare late in the second period when Turcotte was forced to leave the game with an apparent injury after a scrum in front of his net.
“It’s never fun to see somebody go down, but he’s going to be alright,” Élement said. His status remains day-to-day. Stingers rookie back-up goalie Antoine Dagenais made his playoff debut replacing the injured Turcotte. “He gave us a chance to come back in the game,” Élement added.
Despite several chances, the Stingers just couldn’t find the back of the net. Queen’s defensive game was strong, as they limited their opposition’s scoring chances by blocking a number of shots throughout the game.
Gaels forward Darcy Greenaway scored a late power-play goal in the third to finish off a commanding victory for Queen’s.
“We’re going to have to get back to basics,” said Hudon about game three. “Nothing more complicated than that.” The Stingers played two games on the road against the Gaels this season and won both.
Élement said he is nothing but confident going into the final game of the series. “They finished above us,” he said. “They have the pressure.”
The Stingers find themselves facing elimination against the Gaels for a second-straight year. “If we don’t have fire going into Sunday, something’s wrong,” Hudon said.
The Stingers will play game three against the Queen’s Gaels on Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in Kingston, Ont.
Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.