It’s been six weeks since David Comeau, captain of the men’s hockey team this past season, last stepped on a sheet of ice. It was also the last time that he wore the Stingers uniform, in his final game for Concordia, as the team was eliminated from the OUA playoffs after suffering a season-ending loss to the UQTR Patriotes.
“I was really mad. I was thinking we really had a shot,” recalls Comeau, who was battling a knee injury that kept him from playing at his best, in a game that he probably shouldn’t have even been playing in. “Because it was my last year I was frustrated and didn’t enjoy it at all.”
Fortunately, time already seems to be healing some of those wounds of disappointment as Comeau is able to reflect on what, for the most part, has been a rich learning experience. “For sure, the thing I’m going to miss most is the team and the pace of life – going to school, studying, and coming to the rink and relaxing with guys.” He’s even managed to develop a slight sense of wit about a university career that has given him more than his fair share of injuries. “I think I’ve missed more games playing university hockey than I did in four years of juniors playing 70 games a year,” he says. “I really have to thank the therapists because I’ve kept them pretty busy.”
Although his knee plagued him for the latter part of the season and limited his on-ice participation, as captain, Comeau was still an integral part of the team.
That captaincy was bestowed on him at the beginning of the year, when his teammates, voted him to the position. “It’s a great honour. Sometimes it’s hard to get the guys going, it’s not like the only thing we’re doing is playing hockey, every guy has their own thing going on.”
Over the last four years Comeau hasn’t wasted the opportunities that come along with being part of university athletics, forming many strong relationships and learning what he can from them. “You should try to get the most out of every experience in life,” he says. “I’ve been learning a lot by what the other guys have been through. I’ve met lots of people through the years and picked-up things from everyone’s life.”
While Comeau would’ve likely built strong relationships even if he hadn’t come to Concordia, it was one of his former acquaintances that led to his enrollment here. Current Stingers Head Coach Kevin Figsby was at the helm of Comeau’s team when he played in the juniors and had a big role in putting him a Stinger’s uniform. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I was finished playing AAA and then Kevin asked me if I was interested in coming to Concordia. If it hadn’t been for that I might have stayed in Moncton where they were offering me a pretty good deal.”
As time has passed, it seems that Concordia hockey fans are the ones that have gotten a pretty good deal, as Comeau has helped the team grow to a point where they are on the verge of becoming national contenders. “The program has improved a lot over the last few years,” Comeau says. “I’ve seen a big difference in the organization of the team and the guys are treated a lot more professionally.” In recognition of his contribution to the team, he was also presented with the Award of Distinction at last week’s Athletics Awards Banquet.
Even though it appears that the best is yet to come for the Stingers’ hockey team over the next couple of years, Comeau says that he is ready to pass along