The Concordia women’s hockey team passed another important test in their pursuit of a National Championship – as they defeated the fourth-ranked St. Francis Xavier X-Women 3-1 at Loyola’s Ed Meagher Arena last Saturday.
It was the fourth straight victory for the third-ranked Stingers, who beat the Carleton Ravens and the tenth-ranked McGill Martlets last weekend, which should help to build some momentum for their game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees this Friday.
“Since we’ve come back from Christmas we’ve just come together so well and everyone’s working together,” said second-year forward Angela Di Stasi.
Backed up by a brilliant performance from netminder Cecilia Anderson, and a goal and an assist from Di Stasi, the Stingers were able to overcome a strong physical effort from the visitors.
Penalties wiped out the Stingers’ first two powerplays. However, the special teams would get their act together on the third man-advantage, as Di Stasi buried the puck off a scramble in front of the goal.
“I’ve been working hard on and off the ice and getting used to my new line,” Di Stasi said. “It’s a lot of fun right now.”
Not to be outdone, the always dangerous Dominique Rancour also scored just 22 seconds into another powerplay to give her team a 2-0 edge.
The period ended on a sour note for Concordia as they found themselves with two players in the box after Roxanne Dupuis took a roughing penalty after the whistle. The defence stood up though and St. F.X. were unable to get a quality scoring opportunity.
The physical tempo increased just minutes into the second when Brayden Ferguson bowled over Anderson as the two raced for a puck sliding towards the Concordia goal. Although slightly shaken, both players were fine.
Each goalie then made crucial saves for their respective teams. St. F.X.’s Crystal Stewart kept her team within reach by stopping both Janie Brassard and Rancour with two superb saves on the doorstep of her glove hand side.
Anderson was equal to the challenge as the Stingers found themselves on the wrong end of a two-man advantage. After Genevieve Dupuis received a questionable interference penalty, Sandy Roy took a delay of game penalty just 30 seconds later.
Anderson was subsequently bombarded by an unrelenting St. F.X. attack, making several key stops as the visitors jammed away at the front of the net. Although the play appeared to be dead, the referee inexplicably delayed blowing the whistle, while the bottom half of Anderson’s body was inside the net along with several other players.
Despite the stellar effort, St. F.X. would convert on the next play as Tracy Sullivan found Rebecca Davies at the side of the net to cut the lead to 2-1.
In the third period, Concordia defenseman Sandy Roy scored an insurance marker at 1:37. It was also the team’s third powerplay marker of the game. The Stingers seemed to let up a bit over the last 10 minutes and St. F.X. came out with a more aggressive attack that produced some of the game’s best scoring chances. But Anderson would stand up the rest of the way to ensure the win.
“Everyone knows what their role is and that’s important to why we’re playing well,” coach Les Lawton said of Concordia’s improved play that has had them unbeaten in their last eight games. “We still have room for improvement,” he added.