Lady Bees going back to the top

The Concordia Stingers’ women’s hockey team is beginning to look like the division champions they were last season, after two wins within 24 hours of each other over the weekend. The Lady Bees romped over Carleton 11-2 Saturday afternoon, then shutout UQTR 4-0 Sunday.

“We’re starting to get where we want to be,” said head coach Les
Lawton after Sunday’s match. “This was certainly one of our better efforts
of the year, a total team effort.”

In the Stingers’ first game of the weekend, in Ottawa, four different players got five points each, including captain Marie-Claude Allard, Kendra MacDonald, Dominique Rancour and Leanne Martell.

A day later on home ice, the team’s offence was a bit quieter, but no less aggressive and smart in their play. One key factor to the team’s success was small and speedy centre Rancour, who factored in all four of Concordia’s goals.

Rancour assisted on Allard’s powerplay goal halfway through the first period.
Rancour then scored two goals less than three minutes apart in the second period, using her agility and soft hands to pick up loose pucks in front of the UQTR net, and snap them home.

Early in the third, instead of going for the hat-trick, Rancour gave a nice back-hand
pass to rookie winger Genvieve Dupuis, who was waiting and ready at the
right of UQTR’s goalie with the successful one-timer.

Penalty-wise, the game was relatively quiet until the third period, when the UQTR Patriotes starting getting frustrated, having difficulty moving play out of their
zone.With only four minutes left in the game, a UQTR player checked
defencewoman Lauren Houghton from behind, plastering her to the boards. It
took Houghton a minute to get back up on her feet.

On the very next shift, all the players on the ice got in on a little scuffle to the right of the
UQTR net, with two players from each team going to the box for roughing.
A few minutes later, the same Patriote who checked Houghton tried to put
Rancour’s head into the glass with her elbow, earning her two minutes in the
penalty box.

Shining just as brightly in Sunday’s game was Rancour’s linemates, Dupuis and Jodi Gosse; all three forwards scoring or assisting on the last three goals of the game.
A newly formed line in the last two weeks, Lawton put the trio together after noticing their chemistry in practice.

Commenting on how the two wingers complement Rancour’s fast and
agile style, “Gosse is good with her size, opening up holes, and Dupuis is
aggressive on the forecheck,” Lawton said.

The other story of Sunday’s game

was the Lady Bee’s improving defence. As usual, the Stingers grossly
out-shot their opponents, this time, a sickening 44-8.

Although the Stingers were very eager on the forecheck, in the past this has sometimes
left openings for the other team to break through Concordia’s defence and
score.

In this game however, the defence did a good job of keeping the puck
in the offensive zone, keeping up with any attempted breakout by UQTR, and
leaving no attacker who ventured over their blue-line unmolested.

“We’ve been working hard on a more disciplined game in practice; creating traffic,
getting shots on net,” said assistant captain and defender Sue Kaye.
“We played really well, a great effort from all four lines.”

Lawton echoed the sentiment, noting his pleasure with his team’s progress in the past few
weeks. “I was happy to see the players stick up for each other, their puck
movement was much better, and it was the best on-ice communication I have
seen all season.”

The Stingers’ mid-season improvements will be put to the test when they visit McGill next Sunday afternoon, hoping to redeem a 5-1 loss to the Martlets two weeks ago.

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