Sophie Gagnon scores winner ahead of playoff clash versus Gee-Gees
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team beat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 3-2 on Feb. 18. Forward Sophie Gagnon scored the double overtime winning goal to close out the regular season at the Ed Meagher Arena.
The first period woes for the Stingers continued on Sunday afternoon. Ottawa’s Sara Lachance scored the opening goal just six minutes into the game, and a slow pace led to another Gee-Gees goal late in the period by Julie Levesque. The Gee-Gees finished the first period up 2-0.
“Our effort at the drop of the puck has to be a lot better,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu. “That’s something we’ve had to work on throughout the season. It’s time for our players to step up and start faster than they have. They learned a valuable lesson today.”
As the Stingers have done multiple times this season, they picked up the pace in the second period. Forward Audrey Belzile found the net after a pass from forward Marie-Pascale Bernier to get the Stingers on the board. This was Belzile’s team-leading 11th goal of the season, and she finished the regular season with 18 points. The Stingers held the Gee-Gees to a mere four shots all period.
Concordia dominated the third period, but could only manage one goal by forward Claudia Dubois, assisted by Brigitte Laganière, halfway through the period. Once again, the Gee-Gees only managed four shots on net, while the Stingers took 18. Despite outshooting the Gee-Gees 39-18, the game headed to double overtime.
The first frame of four-on-four overtime was not enough to break the tie, so the game needed a second frame of three-on-three overtime. With plenty of room available, Gagnon used her speed to get up the ice and found an opening to seal the win for the Stingers.
Following the game, six Stingers seniors were honoured as their Concordia hockey careers come to an end this season. Forwards Alexandria D’Onofrio and Keriann Schofield, defencemen Audrey-Anne Allard, Marie-Joëlle Allard and Caroll-Ann Gagné, and goalie Frédérike Berger-Lebel were among those presented with flowers and framed photos.
Concordia finished the season with a 14-4-2 record, in second place in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ). The Stingers will play the Ottawa Gee-Gees in a best-of-three semi-final series.
Coach Chu said she does not plan to take anything for granted in the series. “This game was down to the wire, and it’s going to be a great series. It’s going to be a battle, and we have to be able to handle the pressure.”
Game one of the series will be at the Ed Meagher Arena on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Game two will be in Ottawa on Feb. 24, and game three, if necessary, will be back at Concordia on Feb. 25.
Main photo by Sandra Hercegova.