Lady Bees start their flight to the top

The Concordia Stingers seemed to surprise everybody but themselves, when they swept the Saint Mary’s Huskies and Dalhousie Tigers in weekend action at the Ed Meagher Arena.

Concordia who played their third and fourth games without star goaltender, Cecilia Anderson, defeated the challengers from Atlantic Canada in non-conference games. Meggy Hatin-Leveillee started both games and allowed five goals over the two games and she made the people who thought the team would struggle, if Anderson went to the Olympics to represent Sweden, rethink their position.

“I think that having Cecilia away from the team for a little while might have made us better,” said Stingers head coach, Les Lawton. “We might be a little better with Cecilia back there goaltending-wise, but I think that the experience that Meggy and Catherine [Boulay] have gotten the past couple of weeks is going to make us better, and we are very confident with all three of them back there,” he continued.

Anderson was in Italy for a pre-Olympic tournament this week, and last week she was in Sweden for two exhibition games against Canada.

The Stingers won three of the four games without Anderson in their lineup. The Stingers 1-0 loss to the McGill Martlets, was not due to goaltending.

The Stingers hosted the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Friday, a team with one of the best first lines in the country, led by 2004-2005 all-Canadian, Lindsay Taylor, and rookie of the year, Courtney Schriver. They, along with Joyce Spruyt, combined for two of the three Husky goals, but it wasn’t enough for the Huskies who fell 4-3 to the Stingers. Concordia opened the scoring with the game’s first two goals. Midway through the first period, Marie-Pier Cantin-Drouin rushed end-to-end into the Saint Mary’s zone, and made a centering pass to Genevieve Dupuis, who had no problem beating Husky goaltender, Danielle Brunet. The Stingers followed that goal when Dupuis passed the puck to rookie, Elana August, who brought the puck to her backhand and waited, until she finally put the puck past Brunet for her first goal as a Stinger. Early in the second period, the Stingers were ahead 2-0.

Throughout the game, the Stingers had trouble clearing their zone, leading to several scoring opportunities for the Huskies, and several goals, including the opening marker for the Huskies. After the linesman waved off icing, the Stingers could not clear their zone, and the top line of Schriver, Taylor and Spruyt made Concordia pay when the puck bounced around the crease and Spruyt converted the third rebound. Just two minutes after that, however, Janie Brassard found another rookie, Victoria Johnstone, with a backhanded pass, who shot the puck short-side on Brunet to restore the two-goal lead. Brassard continued her spirited play, by scoring on the power play five minutes into the third period. The 4-1 lead was needed as the demons the Stingers had when in their own zone continued to rear their heads when the Huskies had goals from Schriver and Zoe Launcelott late in the third period to close the gap to 4-3, but that was as close as the Huskies would get.

Bianca Chartrand left the game in the second period with a jammed shoulder and did not play the rest of the weekend.

The Stingers faced off against the Dalhousie Tigers on Saturday. This game didn’t start off as well as Friday’s game. Less than three minutes into the game the Tigers took the lead on a goal from Jayne Knowles.

Janie Brassard’s strong play continued into this game when she received a great pass from Esther Latoures, and rifled a shot off the post on the power play. After the penalty finished, she tipped an Angela Di Stasi shot into the net, after a very nice play from Victoria Johnstone to keep the puck in the attacking zone. Johnstone managed to do this, while being harassed by Tawny Oberg, the penalized player, after she left the penalty box.

Concordia started off the second period with a lot of offensive pressure, but still gave up an early goal, almost four minutes into the period, when Tigers forward Kate Tweedie scored to put the Tigers up 2-1. Concordia returned the favour in the second half of the period with two goals from Tawnya Danis within 1:55 of each other. Danis’ first goal, on the power play, was started by Genevieve Dupuis. The Stingers assistant captain flew into the Dalhousie zone, went around two defensemen and feathered a pass to Danis who just chipped it by Tigers goaltender, Kristen Ladouceur. Her second goal was started when Hatin-Leveillee, Concordia’s goaltender, passed the puck to Brassard, who made a nice lead pass to spring Danis on a breakaway. Danis’ shot beat Ladouceur to the blocker side to give the Stingers their first lead of the game.

Danis started out the third period trying for the hat trick, but fired a backhander over the net. Two minutes later the Stingers struck again on the power play. Brassard, who was named Concordia’s female athlete of the week, scored her second goal of the game when she rifled a shot from the right face off circle. With under two minutes remaining in the game, the Stingers scored their fifth goal of the game, and third on the power play when a point shot by Danis bounced around the crease, and a rebound went to Dominique Rancour who made no mistake. Brassard picked up her fourth point with an assist on the goal.

“Right now we’re sixth in the Country and we want to move up and if we struggle, we’ll probably move down,” said Lawton. “We wanted to send a message to the East.” Lawton was also impressed with the play of Danis and Brassard who combined for four goals and three assists in the 5-3 win against Dalhousie.

“It’s good to see Janie step up her game,” Lawton said. “Tawnya has really worked hard, we have her playing on both ends of the ice and she’s probably been our best player so far this year,” he said.

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