Hockey alumni honoured

Concordia Stinger pride was in full effect this past Saturday where the Concordia hockey Wall of Fame added three new inductees at its second annual induction dinner at the Molson Brewery.

The goal of “Friends of Concordia” when it was formed last year was to bring together as many of the university’s past greats as possible.

According to Kevin Figsby, the Concordia men’s hockey coach, the number of alumni members has grown to over 90 former players, coaches and other people that have been involved with the school over the last several decades.

These alumni include those who have been involved with Concordia, Loyola and Sir George Williams. Honoured this past weekend were Michel Blais, Paul Arsenault and the 1978-’79 Loyola Warriors.

Blais was a defenceman for the Stingers from 1975-’80 and in that time collected 50 goals and 121 assists in 197 games to make him the 15th highest scoring player in Concordia history.

“The time I had with everyone meant so much to me,” Blais said, “I always was and always will be a Stinger.”

Blais’ list of accomplishments continues with his naming to the CIAU All-Canadian First Team in 1978-79 and the OUAA All-Star First Team in ’78-79 and ’79-’80.

He also received the Concordia Smith Award (MVP) in ’78-’79, the Concordia Lees Award (Top Defenseman) in ’78-’79 and ’79-’80, the Concordia McCallum Award (Rookie of Year) in ’75-’76 and turned down an opportunity to play with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars in order to earn his degree.

The entire 1967-’68 Loyola Warrior team was also inducted for a season in which they became the first Loyola team to make it to the national championships.

Under the direction of rookie head coach Dave Draper, the Warriors had a season where they won 15 games and lost only one for the best record in the country.

After taking the Ottawa-St. Lawrence championship from the Sir George Williams Georgians, the Warriors then defeated the two-time defending national champion Toronto Varsity Blues in a shocking double-overtime victory on a goal by Mike Griffith.

Loyola would narrowly drop the gold medal game to the Alberta Golden Bears but the incredible season still remains one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of Concordia related athletics.

For the evening’s final induction it was fitting that current women’s hockey coach Les Lawton was the one to introduce Arsenault as they are two of only three coaches in Canadian university hockey to have won over 500 games.

“We are happy that you have brought back the tradition and pride that you have brought to Sir George, Loyola and Concordia,” Lawton said in his introduction.

That pride has come in the form of the 27 years of coaching, 597 victories and 17 Ottawa-St. Lawrence championships that Arsenault took part in.

“I was lucky to have great teams and great players that helped me learn,” Arsenault said. “I think it’s great that we can have this family atmosphere,” he added.

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