It was a standing-room only crowd of 1,324 at McConnell Arena to watch the McGill Redmen defeat the Concordia Stingers 3-0 Saturday night, and they had no intention of being polite or reserved.
The men’s hockey team had to contend with a hot goalie in Mathieu Poitras and a vocal and boorish McGill contingent in the stands, that braved the cold outside to set the record for the largest McGill attendance since 1988.
“Any player will tell you that they like it when there are people in the stands, it brings a whole new energy to build off of. But you don’t really notice it, you just give them a smile and a laugh,” Stingers’ defenceman Andrew Davis said of the anti-Concordia crowd, “Its one of those things you would like to see in your own rink.”
The Stingers outshot the Redmen 37-31, but could not beat rookie netminder Mathieu Poitras, who earned his third shutout of the year, despite numerous opportunities and five powerplays.
“We outshot and outchanced them in the first two periods and a half, but when they got the third goal our heads went down,” interim head coach Peter Bender said, “we got good chances from our first two lines and we couldn’t do it.”
The Stingers and Redmen exchanged chances early in the game, with Vincent Duriau and Shawn Shewchuk blocking shots for their respective teams. Freshman Teddy Kyres opened scoring at 11:44 in the first period, putting a quick shot just under the crossbar, beating Stinger netminder Robert Lepage. Kyres also made his mark with a big hit on David Coughlin shortly after.
Later in the first, McGill’s Lucas Madill crosschecked Davis from behind. Davis remained down on the ice after the hit and had to be helped off by the trainer, but appeared no worse for wear later in the game. Madill got an automatic game misconduct for the hit.
In the second period, the Stingers continued to pound the net with 12 shots, but Poitras continued to stand tall. He made a great save on a Frederic Faucher partial break, where he managed to put the puck on the net with one hand on his stick.
“I have to give credit to the (McGill’s) goalie. I got a couple of chances, but I couldn’t finish,” Faucher said.
Frustrated by their inability to put one past Poitras, the Stingers became undisciplined. With Faucher in the penalty box for hi-sticking, Redmen captain Daniel Jacob advanced their lead to two with a deadly point shot at 13:21 of the second. In the third period, shortly after a Davis hi-sticking penalty, Alex Page’s point shot was redirected in front by Mathieu Leclerc’s leg to make the score 3-0.
The Stingers next home game is this Sunday against division-rival Ottawa Gee Gees.