Dominance becoming a trend

It was a good year for the Concordia women’s ice hockey team, and coach Les Lawton knows they’re going to be even better next season.
“We had a really young team this year, there was a lot of improvement between September and the national championships,” said Lawton.
QSSF Champions again
The Stingers led their league with a record of 17-12-3. This gave them a by to the final round of the Quebec Student Sports Federation Championships, and guaranteed them a place at the Canadian championships
The QSSF game, held at Concordia’s home Ed Meagher Arena on February 18, saw the Stingers beat the McGill Martlets 4-2 for superiority in Quebec.
Plenty of Experience
Only two players graduate this year, so it will be much the same squad that takes the ice next season with more experience.
In particular, Lawton is looking forward to captain Lisa-Marie Breton to play her fourth campaign with the Stingers next season. Other veterans Sue Kaye and Leanne Martell will bring experience to the team, while rookies Lauren Houghton and Caroline Ouellette, who joined the team around Christmas this year, will add fresh talent to the team for years to come.
CIAU Championships
Less than a week after winning the Quebec championship, the Stingers were in Calgary for the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Women’s Ice Hockey Championships from February 22-25.
Expectations were high since Concordia won the CIAU bronze medal in 2000.
Concordia started off strong with a 9-0 rout of St. Francis Xavier. The next day, however, the Stingers succumbed to the Regina Cougars 2-4.
“We didn’t play as well as we thought we could,” said Lawton, “it was the biggest disappointment of the season not to win that game.”

That result put Concordia in the bronze medal game against a familiar team, the McGill Martlets. The game on the last day of the tournament was a heartbreaker.
The Stingers and the Martlets were scoreless through regulation play and one overtime period of ten minutes. When the game went to shootouts, a McGill player was the only one to score.
“McGill is not any better than us, we lost at an inopportune time,” said Lawton. The Stingers had five wins and one tie against the Martlets before the CIAU game.
“Also, it was tough to play after the Regina loss, it was hard to play with our national gold medal hopes down the drain,” said Lawton.
That result meant Concordia finished fourth in the nation. Though the stingers had their sights set higher, Lawton thinks this loss will turn into a kind of bitter motivation for the majority of the players returning to the team.
Still the team to beat
As far as next season, Lawton doesn’t want to prognosticate too much.
“You never know what’s going to happen, but we’ll be as good as anyone in the country next year,” he said.
“We’re still be the team to beat,” said Lawton, “everyone wants to play their best game against us.”

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