If this weekend’s games are any indication, the future of the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team is going to be just fine, as the Stingers beat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 2-1 and Carleton Ravens 3-0.
The Stingers were three players short, as forward Janie Brassard and defender Esther Latoures who had “academic commitments” and another player was told not to dress for disciplinary reasons.
It didn’t seem to affect the Stingers as they came out very strong in their first game against the Gee-Gees. A little more than two minutes into the game, rookie Elana August took the puck at her own blue line and launched a breakaway pass to Isabelle Caron who was streaking down the right wing. Caron tried to get the puck through the legs of Ottawa goalie Megan Takeda and it just trickled past the goal line before it was fished out. The Stingers didn’t stop there as rookie defender Bianca Chartrand kept the puck in the zone, which was picked up by another rookie, Mary-Jane O’Shea who shot the puck from the left face-off circle and the puck found it’s way past Takeda to give the Stingers a 2-0 lead not even midway through the first period.
“O’Shea’s going to be a great player and Elana August as well, we just have to be patient. They’ll make mistakes, but even veteran players make mistakes, but we’re happy with the way they played today,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton.
Concordia was playing with a depleted defense corps with three players missing. Lawton had to put Sophie Beaudry, who was a defender last season, and Tawnya Danis who also has some experience on the blueline to an already young group. Danis and Beaudry joined rookies Lindsay McCusky, Victoria Johnstone and Chartrand and veteran Marie-Pier Cantin-Drouin. Johnstone, although a rookie, did play at the University of Maine before coming to Concordia.
One thing that is always a constant for the Stingers, at least until the Olympic teams are announced, is backstop Cecilia Anderson. She was solid over the weekend allowing one goal on 38 shots against Ottawa and stopping all nine shots in a shutout against the Carleton Ravens on Sunday in Carleton’s first game as a varsity team.
While Ottawa had a lot of shots on Anderson, they lacked threatening scoring chances for most of the game. Their goal came with less than a minute left in the second period when, on the powerplay, Sarah Balch’s shot was stopped but was followed up by Shannon Aubut who put the puck in the open net. Before the end of the period, Ottawa had another chance on Anderson but she made a beautiful blocker save after an Ottawa 2-on-1. Anderson made her biggest save of the game, however, with 13 minutes to go in the third period. After Kim Kerr attempted a wrap around, the rebound went to Aubut who put the puck off the crossbar and then Kerr had another opportunity but the shot was stopped with a blocker out of nowhere by Anderson.
“It was good to go in there with a depleted lineup and win. We battled for it,” Lawton continued. “Ottawa really put some pressure on us in the second half of the game but hopefully this will be a step in the right direction.”
Concordia was outshot 38-21 in the game.
The next day the Stingers went to Ottawa to face the Carleton Ravens. Genevieve Dupuis scored her first two goals of the season and Cantin-Drouin added her first in a 3-0 win. Jodi Gosse, Sophie Beaudry and Rose Healy picked up assists in a game where Concordia outshot Carleton 35-9. Valerie Charbonneau was solid in nets for Carleton making 32 saves in the loss.
The Stingers now head out for a road game, going back to Ottawa for a game against the Gee-Gees, their only game of the week.