Captain Philippe Hudon: This win shows tremendous character
The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team shocked their home crowd by defeating the first-place Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. With eight games remaining in the regular season, the 3-2 shootout win couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We needed more emotion. It was part of my pre-game speech,” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “We’re in front of our fans, in our barn for the first time after Christmas, it was important to get that win and play well.”
Although it was a shaky start, through the team’s strong defensive play, the Stingers managed to stay competitive by killing off four early power plays and avoiding disaster.
Down 2-0 after the first period, the Stingers got their first goal from captain Philippe Hudon. A lucky deflection flew over the helmet of Gee-Gees goaltender Graham Hunt midway through the second period, igniting the crowd.
With the momentum shifting, and the game getting physical, assistant captain Philippe Sanche started to lead by example. His heart and tenacity were evident, which helped the Stingers’s special teams.
“We managed to win some battles down low and create some chances, and we finally got the tying goal late in the game,” said Sanche.
Nearly five minutes into the third period, Hudon capitalized on the Stingers’s only power play of the game by tying up the score with a juicy rebound shot from Sanche.
Overtime solved nothing, bringing the game to a shootout. After two saves from Stingers goalie Anthony Dumont-Bouchard, Sanche scored the only goal with a beautiful wrist shot.
“I practiced it a lot during our practices,” Sanche said. “I try to keep it simple and beat the goalie with a quick release shot—it worked again tonight.”
This is the third-straight win for the Stingers, and second in as many days after they beat the McGill Redmen 5-4 on Friday. The two big wins this weekend certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Concordia’s captain.
“It’s probably one of the toughest weekends that we’ve had on the schedule so far, and honestly it’s incredible for us to have pulled it off. It shows tremendous character,” Hudon said. “Against McGill, we were down by two goals, and were again tonight. In both games, we managed to battle back. I sure hope it’s going to give us the boost we need for the last stretch.”
With the Stingers peaking at the right time, it was an all-around team effort at both ends of the ice.
“We’re playing well as a team,” said defenceman Carl Neill. “We have a game plan and modify it against the team we play every night. Tonight, the boys stuck to it. Give credit to our special units, obviously, that’s what won the game for us—Dumont as well.”
The Stingers play twice at home next weekend, with the first game on Jan. 18 against the Queen’s Gaels at 7:30 p.m.
Main photo by Hannah Ewen.