It was a close game until the third period. The Canadiens scored first with less than six minutes into the game, but U SPORTS all-star team answered with three of the next five goals.
U SPORTS all-star team captain and Stingers forward Philippe Sanche, who scored last for his team in the second period, said the game was a great overall experience despite the final score.
Three Stingers hit the scoresheet for the Quebec university all-stars against the @canadiensMTL prospects earlier today – Carl Neill took full advantage of a breakaway opportunity, while Philippe Sanche buried a rebound off a Bradley Lalonde shot. #CUstingers #CUhockey #Montreal pic.twitter.com/pCicahmcMq
— Concordia Stingers (@The_Stingers) September 11, 2019
“I think we came here with the right mindset in the first and second period,” Sanche said. “It was a good opportunity for the league, and to show what we can do. We wanted to compete against them, but ran out of gas in the third period.”
U SPORTS all-star team and Stingers head coach Marc-André Élément said this was a fun experience, regardless of a difficult third period.
“[Our] hockey shape wasn’t really there at that point [in the third period], but it was a good game. The players loved it, as they saw how fast the game is played at that level. It was a fantastic experience for university hockey in Quebec as well.”
Head coach of the Laval Rocket, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Canadiens, Joël Bouchard said the U SPORTS all-star team gave a good battle to the Canadiens, making this event a competitive one.
“I thought we were really good in the third period, but it was well played on both sides for the first two,” Bouchard said. “We need to remember that those guys [from U SPORTS] were really good players in junior leagues, and now they’re older and more mature.”
Bouchard added that the presence of many players, including some of his old, who played in junior leagues made this event special for him.
“Those are guys who invested themselves for us,” Bouchard said. “I told them when I entered the room that I was in familiar territory.”
Contrary to expectations, only two of the three U SPORTS all-star team goaltenders saw action today, as Stingers representative Marc-Antoine Turcotte did not play. Élément said the decision was made based on experience.
“We decided that since Louis-Philip Guindon (McGill University) and Sébastien Auger (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes) are fourth-year and fifth-year players respectively, [it was best] to play these two. We also didn’t want to bring in a goalie late in the game, not warmed up, and risk an injury.”
Shots on goal finished 46 to 24 for the Canadiens, with U SPORTS all-star team limited to three in the third period.
Élément and the Stingers now turn their attention to the preseason that starts against the Patriotes on Sept. 18 at the Colisée de Trois-Rivières.
Photo by Alec Brideau