Audrey Belzile scores team-leading second goal and adds assist
One week after losing 1-0 to the Université de Montréal Carabins, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team avenged the loss with a 2-1 win Friday night. Forward Audrey Belzile scored a goal and an assist in the win at the Ed Meagher Arena, and was named the first star of the game.
“[Belzile] has been great for us all year,” said head coach Julie Chu. “She wants to win, she’s a great competitor, and loves the fact that she can take on the role [of a leader].”
Heading into the game, the Carabins were ranked as the top team in the country by U Sports, while the Stingers were third. Both teams played cautious hockey in the first period, knowing their opponent was able to pounce off any mistake. The Stingers had a relentless forecheck, pinning the Carabins in their zone for most of the period, but couldn’t force their opponents to make any errors.
“I thought our girls did a great job of having a great forecheck to energize our team,” Chu said. “Ultimately our forecheck is our defensive play because we didn’t have the puck […] We did a great job creating opportunities from that.”
Despite the Stingers’s strong play in the first period, the Carabins scored less than 30 seconds into the second period. Stingers defence Brigitte Laganière turned the puck over in front of Stingers’s goalie Alice Philbert, and the Carabins’s Jessica Cormier made her pay with the opening goal.
“You have to put it in the back of your mind,” said captain Devon Thompson. “We played a first good 20 minutes of the game, so the first 20 seconds of a [period] won’t change it.”
Before this game, the Stingers didn’t score a goal in nearly 140 minutes of play, since their opening game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. They were also facing Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan, who hadn’t allowed a single goal in two games this season. The scoring drought ended after nearly three total hours of play when Belzile put the first goal past Trevisan.
“Honestly it felt good,” Thompson said about ending the goalless streak. “It had been a little while we hadn’t put one in the back of the net.”
Teams traded scoring chances throughout, with Trevisan keeping the Stingers from scoring most of the game. On the other end, Philbert made key saves when we needed her to, including a few diving stops, finishing the game with 28 saves.
“We’ve had to lean on her and she made some big saves in that third period,” Chu said. “There were times we just left people a little more wide open than we would like to.”
Midway through the third period, Belzile took advantage of a Carabins’s mistake in the neutral zone to break in on a two-on-one. She passed the puck over to rookie Maria Manarolis who just got the shot by Trevisan for the game-winning goal, and her first goal with the Stingers.
— Concordia Stingers (@The_Stingers) November 3, 2018
“What we’re happy about is that everyone contributed,” Chu said. “We build this [winning] culture and believe in everyone on this team, so when our opportunities come, we are ready.”
The Stingers now have a 2-2-0 record and host the Carleton Ravens on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m.
Main photo by Hannah Ewen.