Both captains injured in a game with 68 total penalty minutes
The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team beat the Carleton Ravens 4-2 on Feb. 10 at the Ed Meagher Arena in their last game of the regular season. Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced to help lead the Stingers to victory, while back-up goalie Antoine Dagenais played the final three minutes and allowed a goal. The win put the Stingers in third place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division.
With the Stingers trailing Carleton in the standings by only one point before the game, this game was a fast-paced and physical ordeal from the opening face-off. In just under eight minutes, the Ravens took their first minor penalty. Twenty seconds later, they took another, starting a trend that would carry throughout the game.
Stingers forward Alexis Pepin seized this powerplay opportunity as he tipped in a shot from defenceman Matthieu Desautels, giving the Stingers to a 1-0 lead. The goal was the first of two for Pepin, who head coach Marc-André Élement said really stood out this game.
“Pepin made key goals, and he has a big presence. His physicality is really important for us,” Élement said.
As the game continued, the Ravens aggressive style of play took over. This didn’t faze the Stingers though, as they fought back with physical plays of their own. One Stinger whose physical presence was absolutely dominant throughout the game was forward Francis Brunelle, who had a major impact on the game.
“The guys on the bench are really pumped when he’s on the ice,” said Élement about Brunelle. “He motivates them, and he’s working hard.”
Brunelle was able to use his intimidating physical presence to create some good offence, and performed very well on the defensive end as well. Even with the Ravens playing an extremely aggressive style of hockey and amassing a staggering 56 penalty minutes, Brunelle’s physical play never ceased.
“Carleton is a team that plays hard, and I don’t like to be rolled over,” Brunelle said. He added that this type of physical play is his style of hockey. “It’s fun for me.”
It wasn’t all fun though.
Early in the second period, with the game tied 1-1, Stingers defencemen Philippe Charbonneau delivered a massive hit on Ravens captain Brett Welychka, forcing him to leave the game injured. As a result of the hit, the game’s aggressive and physical play got ugly, and fast.
A few minutes after Charbonneau left the ice, Stingers captain Philippe Hudon was subject to a vicious check against the boards by Brett Gustavsen, which left him sprawled on the ice with a bloody nose. Gustavsen did not get a penalty for the hit, but finished the game with 36 penalty minutes from other infractions.
Though a stretcher was brought onto the ice, Hudon gathered the strength to get back on his feet and skated to the bench with the help of his teammates. Hudon did not return to the game, but coach Élement said he will recover in time for the Stingers’ first playoff game, which should be this week.
The period finished with the Stingers up 2-1, after a late period goal from Stingers forward Philippe Sanche.
The third period was a mess from the first whistle. Carleton collected the majority of their penalty minutes in this period, receiving their first minor penalty less than two minutes in.
This continued until the end of the game, with Gustaven receiving a penalty for game misconduct at the final whistle.
Pepin and forward Scott Oke scored in the third period to give the Stingers a 4-1 lead. A late-period power-play goal from the Ravens brought the game to a final score of 4-2.
The win marks the third in a row for the Stingers, who have built up momentum heading into the playoffs.
The Stingers will face the sixth place University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks in the first round of the playoffs. The schedule is not released yet.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.