National hopes dashed for Lady Bees

A couple of week ago the Concordia women’s hockey team looked like they were on a collision course with McGill and Alberta for the National Championship.

But after getting swept out of the QSSF semi-final by fifth-ranked Ottawa this past weekend Concordia, the nation’s second-ranked team, won’t even make it there. There was no surprise that Ottawa came into their best-of-three series with Concordia feeling and playing confident.

After knocking-off the third-ranked McGill Martlets the previous week the Gee-Gees were looking strong but no one could’ve anticipated what transpired this past weekend.

Ottawa had also been a challenge for Concordia late in the regular season. The teams squared-off twice in the final weeks – both ended in 1-1 ties.

Game one, which took place at Loyola’s Ed Meagher Arena on Friday night, started off promising enough. Just 11 seconds into the game Kelly Sudia got a pass from Kendra MacDonald right in the slot that she wired for the early lead.

Despite busting out of the gate so quickly the wheels would start to fall off shortly after. Five minutes after Sudia’s goal Ottawa struck back as Torill Thomas batted in her own rebound in close.

Stinger goaltender Cecilia Anderson, who has been brilliant all season, rarely got the chance to show her ability. The Gee-Gees, who wouldn’t get many great scoring chance, managed to capitalize on those they got. Concordia would fall behind 3-1 with nine minutes left in the first period.

The second period belonged to Concordia as, with less than two minutes left, defender Roxanne Dupuis would score on a low shot from the slot to tie the game at 3-3.

However, the comeback would fall short of being completed, as Ottawa’s Lisa Sgoifo blasted a shot from the point that took a mystifying bounce on route to the net. The puck found its way behind Anderson for what would prove to be the winner.

Ottawa completed their sweep with a 2-1 triple overtime victory in Ottawa for game two on Sunday.

Despite outshooting the Gee-Gees 60-47, including bombarding them in the overtime periods, Karine Bombardier would get the lone goal for the Stingers.

Mandi Duhamel scored both goals for Ottawa including the OT winner that sent the Stingers packing.

This loss came as a total shock to the Stingers, a team expected to be the number-one ranked Alberta Pandas’ main rivals during this week’s Nationals. Concordia’s team was a force to be reckoned with throughout the season, with a 13-1-3 regular season record.

Concordia also held onto the number-two spot in the country for most of 2003-2004. The Stingers will be able to contemplate their nearly-perfect season as the best in the country battle it out this week at McGill for the 2004 women’s hockey nationals.

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