No Noiseux. No Figsby. No problem.
The Stingers came out swinging on both the ice and the scoresheet as they achieved venegeance against the RMC Paladins by defeating them 8-4 at Samuel Moscovitch Arena in Cote St. Luc on Friday night. The team was led by centre Jonathan Gautier, who took advantage of his increased ice-time to net his first hat-trick of the season. “I got good passes and good bounces. (Matt) Armstrong and (Philippe) Lacasse fed me well, so everything was rolling for me,” said Gauthier, who now leads the team in scoring.
Down 3-0 early in the second period, the team exploded shortly thereafter to eventually put the game out of reach in the third. “We started slow…since we had been on vacation for a month. But we picked it up and came together,” said Gautier.
Despite the victory, both teams showed that the bad blood from their earlier match in season had yet to subside. Their first meeting of the season on Nov. 7 saw the Stingers lose 3-2 with 84 penalty minutes, including 10 minute misconducts for Gautier, Luc Messier, Pat Theriault, Philippe Paris and Sebastien Corbeil. This game revisited the growing rivalry between the two teams. The first period alone had 13 total minor penalties, and much of the game was spent on special-teams. The Stingers were the primary beneficiaries of these man-advantages, scoring five powerplay goals on 11 attempts.
After stumbling out of the gate in the first period, the Paladins extended their lead to three when a Louis-Michel Charland point shot caught everyone, including goaltender Trevor Cunning, off-guard 10 seconds into the second period. But the Paladins ran into penalty trouble and Patrice Theriault opened the flood gates with a powerplay marker 2:49 into the second. Michael Halitzki added a short-handed goal, while Andrew Davis and Gautier netted powerplay goals. Davis’ goal was especially impressive as he held the puck from the point to behind the net, eventually putting in his own rebound.
In the third, Gautier completed his hat-trick while the Stingers outshot the Paladins 13-3.
The game ended with a particularly ugly incident, which ended with six Stinger ejections. With less than one minute remaining, Stinger forward Colin Scotland was given a five minute major for cross-checking along with a 10 minute misconduct for hitting an RMC defenceman. The hit enraged the Paladin forwards, and a brawl erupted involving all of the players on the ice. Michael Halitzki, Maxime Isabel, Tyler Doherty, Matt Chafe and Trevor Hawkins also received 10 minute misconducts for their involvement in the brawl. “They’re bad. They cheapshot every game we play against them…we’re not going to take it. We’re going to retaliate. They show us no respect, so we’re not going to shake hands at the end of the game,” Gautier said of the Paladins.
“It wasn’t exactly Kindergarten,” interim head coach Peter Bender said. “It was pretty tough hockey and I think the incident at the end was unfortunate.”
Forward Philippe Paris did not dress for the game and has taken a leave of absence from the team. The team plays in Trois-Rivieres on Friday against the UQTR Patriotes.