Concordia took advantage of home crowd for 4-3 win over McGill
In front of a packed house at the Ed Meagher Arena, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team won the 32nd annual Corey Cup against the McGill Redmen. This victory makes it the Stingers’s second-straight Corey Cup win, having won 4-3 both this year and last.
“The guys were excited,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement about the Concordia-McGill rivalry. “It means a lot. With the stands packed like that it’s good for university hockey and it’s good for the city.”
This game had all the elements expected from a rivalry. The two teams combined for 18 penalty minutes, 14 coming in the second period. Midway through the second, McGill’s Nicolas Poulin went after Stingers forward Zachary Zorn after he delivered a huge hit. The players dropped their gloves for a fight, but were only given two minutes for roughing.
“It was cool [to see] and it kind of gets the boys going on the bench,” said rookie defenceman Bradley Lalonde. “We were proud of [Zorn] because he stood up for himself.”
Indiscipline also played a factor in this game. McGill’s opening goal late in the first period was scored on a power play, and gave them a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. After forward Charles-Éric Legaré tied the game early in the second, McGill retook the lead with another power-play goal after Zorn’s penalty.
Third-year forward Philippe Sanche scored his 12th of the season to tie the game 2-2 with eight seconds left in the second period, also on the power play. “[Sanche] has been playing amazing,” Élement said. “He’s a huge leader and that was an amazing goal.”
Legaré scored his second of the game, and 11th of the season, early in the third period to give the Stingers a 3-2 lead. In eight regular-season games against McGill these past two years, Legaré has five goals and an assist, including a goal in last year’s Corey Cup. Élement said Legaré plays his best hockey against McGill because he enjoys the large crowds.
Stingers Captain Philippe Hudon played in his fifth and final Corey Cup, and it’s the third time he’s won it. He said he’s proud he’s been able to win the trophy in front of the home crowd two years in a row.
“It’s something that kind of rivals the Montreal [Canadiens]-Boston [Bruins] rivalry,” Hudon said. “Throughout the years, I’ve grown to not like McGill and really stick it to them every single game […] I’m happy a lot of people are coming because there should be more exposure to this kind of hockey.”
Midway through the third period, with the game tied 3-3, Hudon skated wide into McGill’s zone and dropped a pass for Hugo Roy. Roy blasted the puck past Louis-Philippe Guindon, igniting the crowd with the eventual game-winning goal. Hudon said he didn’t see the puck go in but heard the crowd’s roar, and celebrated like he scored a goal.
“It was a relief because it was such a back-and-forth hockey game,” Hudon said. “We were able to get the one-goal lead near the end, then bare down for the rest of the game.”
And the Concordia Stingers have won the 32nd Corey Cup, 4-3! pic.twitter.com/KKcHr4VfnW
— Nicholas Di Giovanni (@n_digiovanni) February 3, 2019
With the game tied three times, Lalonde said it helped to have the crowd behind them the whole game. “It’s a rivalry, so we know we’re never going to get behind no matter what happens, especially with the crowd into it,” Lalonde said.
With the win, the Stingers improve to 15-9-2 on the season and are in fifth place in the Ontario University Association (OUA) East with 32 points and two games left. McGill sits in fourth with 36 points, so the two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. McGill beat them in the OUA East final last year.
“This is what I live for; take ‘em on,” Hudon said. “If we play them this year, I’m giving it all I have.”
Main photo by Hannah Ewen.