“Those games are over,” said men’s hockey assistant captain, Fred Faucher, after the Stingers’ loss to Queens on Saturday night. And it’s a good thing, too. A quarter of the way into the season, the Stingers are still winless, and after two one-goal losses to the mediocrities from Kingston, Royal Military College and Queens, the boys need to pull up their socks.
Friday night’s game saw the Stingers open the scoring for the first time of the season, however, getting off to a good start didn’t help them as they lost 4-3 to the RMC Paladins. However, prior to scoring their first goal, the Stingers lost right-winger Bruno Champagne after a filthy hit, which resulted in a concussion.
Concordia opened the scoring at 12:47 of the first with a power play goal from rookie forward, Trevor Blanchard, which is evidence that they have been working hard to fill the void of Phil Seguin on the point. He tried for a second, moments later, but the RMC goaltender made a text-book glove save and robbed him.
RMC answered with a goal of their own in the dying moments to tie the game. By the end of the period, an undisciplined Stinger squad had been handed two penalties, and started the next period down two men. Only 19 seconds into the second period, the Stingers let a second unanswered goal slide past veteran backstopper, Pat Lepage.
Concordia then countered with a short-handed effort from veteran blue-liner, Trevor Hawkins. The penalty kill is still in good form, despite giving up two goals, they were passing cleanly and looked far more organized than they have been.
Quickly thereafter, the Stingers struck again to retake the lead, when Faucher took a pass from Derek Legault and jammed it under the RMC netminder’s left pad.
The two teams began to get nasty, and bodies were flying as the hooligans in the stands on the lamb from Kingston penitentiary gurgled and hooted obscenities at the Stingers’ players. Stingers forward Yannick Noiseux took a nasty hit at centre, and recent returnee, Ron Smith took the brunt of a Paladin backcheck.
RMC tied the game up at 13:54 of the second. A breakaway ended tragically for the Stingers as Tyler McTavish put one past Lepage. At 19:17, Noiseux was called for holding.
And so, the Stingers started the third period on the PK. Again. They were given a power play of their own a minute later, when RMC’s Pat McDonald was called for cross-checking. And although they had great chances, RMC’s goalie kept them in it. As McDonald was leaving the box, he jumped into the play, and scored what would be the game winner at 5:55 of the third.
Thirty seconds later, Blanchard took a cheap knee at the blue-line. Another non-call on the play, Blanchard did return to the game, but was later taken to get his knee examined. It is unknown when Blanchard will return.
In a rather vain attempt to make up for not calling the knee on Blanchard, RMC was quickly slapped with a couple minor penalties for hooking and cross-checking, giving Concordia a 52 second two-man advantage. They didn’t get anything past RMC’s goalie, and the tempers were flaring. Noiseux got thrown out after a controversial call for a hit to the head. And after a slew more penalties, the Stingers were able to trudge off the ice.
Coach Kevin Figsby was still fuming at the thought of losing both Blanchard and Champagne, since the team is already without Jonathan Gautier, S