The Stingers improve to 5-0 on the season with a 1-0 overtime win against the McGill Martlets. The team came out of the gate slow, only generating four shots on net while being outplayed by the Martlets.
Please excuse the first period, it didn’t get the memo that this was supposed to be the most exciting game of the year so far for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team.
“It wasn’t our best effort today,” said head coach Julie Chu. “The first period McGill dominated us. It was the little details. We weren’t really strong on our sticks, strong on the puck, swarming pucks”
By the time the first period was over, the Stingers had finished what was probably their worst period of play so far in this early season. They couldn’t generate any chances, were turning the puck over in the neutral zone, and not connecting on any outlet passes.
Even so, there were flashes of life, including a Léonie Philbert-Olivia Atkinson 2-on-1 opportunity late in the period, but no true pressure or momentum. Luckily, they managed to hold McGill to mostly outside opportunities, and Alice Philbert didn’t allow any of McGill’s 11 first period shots by her.
“We were having some trouble with our transition break out,” said Chu. “McGill does a good job forechecking, so we didn’t have as much jump. When you don’t attack as a unit, it’s harder to then have as much jump on the offensive forecheck. I think if we make some better efforts in the d-zone and neutral zone, we’ll have more jump in the offensive zone to be able to attack.”
After the dismal first period, both teams started playing the way you would expect from a game between the #1 and #4-ranked teams in the nation.
The game only really started to open up in the second period. The Stingers managed to draw two penalties early in the frame, and rallied off 10 shots in the first six minutes. The team’s powerplay woes continued though, as they went 0-6 on the powerplay. So far this season, they only have two power play goals on 28 chances.
“We’re going to have to take a look, because we got some good looks,” said Chu. “We just need to get that monkey off our backs. You get one in, and you start to get a little more confident. We’ll look at video, just to see how we’re reading the play, what are we creating.”
Going into the third, the speed picked up. As the neutral zone opened up, both teams started generating chances through the neutral zone. Both goalies held strong though. Alice Philbert finished the game with a 35-save-shutout, and McGill’s Tricia Deguire made 41 saves.
“I know that my team is capable of scoring,” said Alice Philbert. “The shots tonight were coming from the outside, so for me, that’s easier than those in-close chances.
But for the third time in five games, the Stingers headed to overtime. Both teams went back and forth, but with no real opportunities opening up. It wasn’t until the Stingers drew a penalty that they gathered some momentum. With less than a minute left, it was Amélie Lemay who drove home a 2-on-1 pass from Marie-Pascale Bernier to win the game, scoring the only goal of the night.
“It’s a battle always,” said Chu. “For us, we’re going to stay the course and continue taking it one game at a time. There’s so much hockey left to be played. Ultimately, we want to continue getting better, and we’re going to look at the game tape to see how we can get better for Sunday.”
The Stingers next game is at home on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m.
- Damn, the RSEQ is good. There are three teams here that could easily take first place, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see whichever two make it to the national championship dominate some western teams.
- The power play needs work, but there’s too much talent on the ice for it not to click. Expect this drought to be more of a temporary measure than the norm.
- Disclaimer that all shot counts and stats are based on my own shot tracking.