Anthony Beauregard collects 60th point of the season and scores shootout winner
The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team beat the McGill Redmen 4-3 in a shootout to win the 31st annual Corey Cup on Feb. 9. Goals from Anthony Beauregard, Charles-Eric Legare and Philippe Hudon, along with the shootout winner from Beauregard sealed the win for the Stingers at the Ed Meagher Arena.
It wasn’t an easy win though. Like any game against McGill, it was physical and explosive. Adding to that energy was a near-sold-out Ed Meagher Arena at Concordia’s Loyola campus. Hudon said he had never heard the arena that loud in his four years at Concordia.
With 14 minutes left in the third period, the Redmen held a 3-1 lead with goals from Jerome Verrier, Keanu Yamamoto and Nikolas Brouillard. They played a fast, hard-hitting game, and were able to keep the Stingers on their heels for most of the game. A goal from Legare off a blocked shot midway through the third period cut the lead down to one.
“I told the guys straight up, ‘There is no one who is going to quit in here,’” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “We’re going to get it.”
Élement told the players before the game that their success would rely on their ability to take control of special team situations. But special teams almost cost the Stingers the game. The Redmen scored all three of their goals on the powerplay, and the Stingers only scored one. Each team had eight power plays.
With five minutes left in the third and the Stingers down one, McGill got called for too many men on the ice. As soon as the play started, Hudon parked himself right in the crease, waiting for a tip. The first shot sent his way hit him in the shoulder.
“I thought I was going to lose some chiclets,” Hudon said. The play reset, and a long wrist shot from the blue line from Beauregard was heading high, but Hudon managed to tip the puck down and through the legs of a still-standing Redmen goalie Louis-Philippe Guindon. Despite protests of a high stick from the Redmen players, the goal stood.
“I love playoffs; I love to play for something,” Hudon said about the post-season starting next week. “I’ve stepped it up. I had a mediocre first half. I worked on a few things in practice. My game is surging.”
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Élement praised how Hudon has bounced back after a rocky start to the year.
“I don’t know what happened, but since his suspension [in November], every night he’s one of our best players,” Élement said. “He plays the game intense and physical.” The head coach added he could see Hudon playing professional hockey soon.
With Hudon’s tying goal, the game headed into three-on-three overtime. The Redmen managed to get some of their momentum back, with several scoring chances from Brouillard. After a lot of back and forth, the game headed to a shootout.
Beauregard was the third shooter up for Concordia. None of the previous shooters from either team had been able to solve the goalies. Beauregard wound up and carried the puck in on Guindon. At the top of the faceoff circles, he did a quick stutter step, switched his weight from one foot to another, froze Guindon and ripped a wrist shot top shelf.
Beauregard said the only thought going through his mind during his attempt was to score. Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte bolted from his crease and was the first player to celebrate with Beauregard, before the bench cleared to join in at centre ice.
Before this game, Concordia lost three of their last four. Both teams already clinched their spot in the playoffs, but the Stingers were battling for position in the standing. Like any game against McGill, though, it was about pride.
“It doesn’t feel like a regular win,” Hudon said. “We’re playing our cross-town rivals, and it means that much more because it’s the Corey Cup game […] This was a character win. It’s going to turn things around for us.”
Every game this season between the Stingers and the Redmen has been decided by one goal, with two needing extra time. With this win, the Stingers sit in fourth place in the division, clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They wrap up their season hosting the third-placed Carleton Ravens on Feb. 10.
Main photo by Kirubel Mehari.