Coming off a crushing 2-0 loss to Carleton that saw three Stingers get suspended, including the team’s number 1 defenceman Carl Neill, the Stingers bounced back with a 3-2 overtime win against McGill.
“We played a way better game defensively,” said Marc-André Élement. “We showed a lot of clips from last night about our defensive zone coverage, we weren’t happy about it. Tonight we were way better.”
Nikolas Brouillard opened the scoring for McGill with a bomb from the point but the Stingers had their fair share of the chances in the first.
Late in the second, it was gut check time for Concordia as Chase Harwell knocked a loose puck in the net but it was immediately waved off for goaltender interference and was sent to the box. If that was not enough on the ensuing powerplay for McGill, Keanu Yamamoto finished off a beautiful passing play to make it 2-0.
Shortly after, Antoine Dufort-Plante took a tripping penalty and finally after playing 98 minutes and 47 seconds of scoreless hockey, Jean-Philippe Beaulieu scored the Stingers’ first goal of the season.
Midway through the third period on another power play, Bradley Lalonde fired a rocket from the point past the McGill net-minder to find the back of the net and tie the game up.
“One was bound to go in,” said Lalonde. “If keep shooting like that, eventually one will go in. That was my mindset.”
The drama did not end there.
With just over five minutes left in regulation play, Lalonde and Beaulieu both took penalties that gave McGill a long five-on-three powerplay that could have given them back their lead.
Philippe Sanche played what was his best defensive shift of the season on the kill.
“You can’t think too much on the five-on-three,” said Sanche. “We waited for them to make a play and got two good clearances. We did a good job as a unit of protecting the blue line and [disrupting their momentum].”
During the overtime period, Michael Cramarossa of McGill took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone, giving the Stingers a chance to send their rivals packing. Stingers rookie forward Tyler Hylland put the nail in their coffin.
“They let me walk in, the goalie kind of cheated and I had space so I took it,” said Hylland.
Special teams may go down as the clear statistical difference maker in this one as the Stingers scored all three of their goals on the man advantage. But the Stingers no-quit attitude is what carried them to victory in this matchup that will certainly go down as one of the games of the year.
The Stingers will head to Kingston next Friday to face off with the Queen’s Gaels for their next matchup. It will be the first game between the two teams since the Gaels eliminated the Stingers in the first round of last year’s OUA playoffs.
Photos by Cecilia Piga