Men’s hockey Stingers suffer critical loss

Friday night
Toronto vs. Concordia

With the final playoff spot hanging in the balance, the Concordia men’s hockey team suffered a devastating 3-1 loss at the hands of the Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday, their first of two home games last weekend.
For the second straight game the Stingers fell behind early when Toronto’s Stephen Hoar opening the scoring.
The goal came after Concordia turned the puck over in the neutral zone producing a 3-on-2 break for the opposition.
Several minutes later the Blues would continue their strong start on the powerplay.
With Mike Tremblay serving an interference penalty, Mark Cooper tipped a shot from the point past a screened Philippe Ozga.
The Stingers would press hard, looking to cut into the lead, but found themselves getting into constant penalty trouble throughout the period.
After a Toronto forward who busted past the Concordia defence, just missed scoring, Philippe Paris and Alain Charbonneau started roughing it up with a couple of members from the opposition.
The end result had four players sitting in the penalty box.
The Stingers would take another penalty out of frustration when defencemen Philippe Parent tripped with the puck and gave the Blues another good scoring chance.
Although they couldn’t capitalize, the Stingers gave the U of T a powerplay when Parent took a penalty after the giveaway.
Concordia would give up a couple of more powerplay chances before the end of the period but would be fortunate not to give up anymore goals.
The Stingers came out determined to control the offensive tempo of the game in the second.
While both teams exchanged great chances early in the period, it would be Concordia taking advantage on the powerplay when Edin Burazerovic tipped a Chris Lyness slapshot past Toronto goalkeeper Jamie Bruno.
Seconds later the Stingers continued to press hard, looking to tie the game on a great chance by Luc Messier, but to no avail.
This seemed to wake up the Blues as just over a minute later they would retake the two goal lead to make it 3-1.
The goal appeared to bring down Concordia’s emotional level of play as Patrice Roy took a tripping penalty late in the period.
A few seconds later, Burazerovic would receive a five minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
After the Stingers killed off the remaining time left in the Burazerovic penalty to start the third period, they were able to produce a couple of good scoring chances but a red hot Bruno would not be beat.
Late in the period the Stingers still weren’t able to cut the lead despite several odd man rushes.
“You can’t win a hockey game by only scoring one goal,” Stinger coach Kevin Figsby said after the game.
“We didn’t play a bad game but you can’t win with just one goal.”
Forward David Comeau was also disappointed with the result.
“We started out flat but then got working really well,” he said. “It just wouldn’t go in. That’s part of the game.”

Saturday afternoon
Ryerson vs. Concordia

After losing to Toronto less than 24 hours earlier, the Concordia men’s hockey team put together their best offensive output since Christmas in an 8-5 home win over the Ryerson Rams on Saturday.
The significance of the game, in terms of playoff positioning, couldn’t have been stressed enough as an already daunting task would have essentially become impossible.
The early minutes of the game produced a couple of nervous moments for the home crowd as forward Patrice Roy would briefly leave the ice after taking a slash that resulted in a Concordia powerplay.
Although they couldn’t convert, the Stingers would get another opportunity a couple of minutes later when defenceman Chris Lyness got hauled down on a play that left him limping.
Concordia would open the scoring on the ensuing powerplay when forward David Comeau fanned on a one-time attempt that glided over to linemate Philippe Paris at the side of the net. Paris deposited the puck past a confused Jonathan Sikkema in nets for Ryerson.
The Stingers continued to generate good scoring chances even when shorthanded. One play had Comeau all alone in front of the net but he wasn’t able to beat Sikkema.
Chris Wilcox also looked sharp in nets for Concordia by making several solid pad and blocker saves on the opposition.
The Stingers added to their lead late in the period when captain Mike Tremblay scored in front of a crowded net.
Both teams would get great chances early in the second. The first came from Rams forward Mark McMillan who just missed scoring on a partial break, but he would be a factor later on.
Comeau immediately responded with a break of his own after taking a superb pass from Tremblay but missed the net entirely.
McMillan continued the fast paced play with yet another breakaway, this time beating Wilcox to cut the lead to 2-1.
Twenty-eight seconds later, the Maroon and Gold regained the two goal lead after Roy put a back-hand between the legs of Sikkema when a bouncing puck dropped in front of the net.
The Stingers continued to distance themselves on another powerplay. After a missed shot by Lyness took a weird bounce off the boards and came to Luc Messier, who beat an out of place Sikkema.
Unfortunately for Concordia, the offensive rhythm would take a sudden swing in favour of Ryerson. With goals from Justin Norwood and Ryan Hickingbottom, little over a minute apart, the score was 4-3 Stingers after two.
The Rams continued to pour it on early in the third getting the equalizer from McMillan, his second of the game, less than three minutes in.
It wouldn’t stay tied for long though, as Messier scored his second of the game.
Things would then be put out of reach with three Stinger goals in less than three minutes. This included the second of the game for Paris as well as markers from Chris Page and Matt Lendick making it 8-4.
Before the end of the game, McMillan would score his third for the hat trick, capping off a four point performance.
“We did what we had to do,” a pleased Stinger coach Kevin Figsby said after the game. “Each guy set out his own goal today and he performed to his goals.”
Messier shared his coach’s happiness over the win.”We came out harder and faster and just did the little things right.”
With Concordia and McGill each winning one game and losing another this weekend, the Stingers sit nine points out of the final playoff spot with five games left in their schedule.
The Stingers will play their most important game of the season when they visit the McGill Redmen on the road this Wednesday.

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