The women’s hockey team passed a tough test against the McGill Martlets beating them 2-1 on Sunday at the Ed Meagher arena.
Devon Rich scored her first goal as a member of the Stingers and Jodi Gosse added the game-winner 12 minutes into the second period. Meggy Hatin-Leveillee had 25 saves in the win, the team’s first in two league games and five games overall. Kalie Townsend made 29 saves for McGill.
The win tied the Stingers with the Ottawa Gee-Gees for second place in the conference at 13 points. The Martlets lead the QSSF with 18 points.
Despite the home-team winning each game in the McGill-Concordia season series, Stingers head coach, Les Lawton, said home ice isn’t that big of a factor.
“I feel that the last game we lost at McGill we outplayed them and outchanced them,” Lawton said. “All of the games have been really close so I don’t feel there’s a difference. In the end it comes down to goaltending and I feel we have the edge in that department,” he said.
The Stingers’ struggles culminated in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees last week in what Lawton called “the worst performance of the season.” That loss came after a disappointing 2-0 defeat two weeks before and three straight losses to teams in Atlantic Canada, which bumped the eighth place Stingers out of the National top-10 last week.
“We went through a rough patch. I knew we would get out of it, but for 4-5 weeks we weren’t sharp out there,” Lawton said. “Ottawa caught us at a bad time. I’m not taking anything away from Ottawa but this Sunday we are going to be a different team.”
The Stingers two new additions, Rich and Emilie Luck have given the Stingers the ability to dress 12 forwards and addressed a need for depth.
“They have definitely given us more depth,” Lawton said. “They are a bit inexperienced but they play the style we want to play and have definitely made us stronger.”
Lawton was also quick to point out the outstanding play of Marie-Pier Cantin-Drouin whose play has led the Stingers blue-line corps, and Genevieve Dupuis who Lawton considers the team’s most consistent forward and who has provided leadership.
Goaltender Hatin-Leveillee was called the biggest surprise by Lawton who is in his 24th season with the Stingers.
Concordia is now striving for home-ice advantage in the QSSF semi-final. With a very important game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday which may very well decide second and third place in the conference, and therefore who gets home-ice advantage in the best-of three semi-final.
“We have to peak at the right time,” Lawton said. “Obviously we would prefer home ice advantage but over the year we have played well in Ottawa. We have to prepare for them and we feel if we perform well it will be difficult for anyone to beat us,” he concluded.
The Stingers have to face the Carleton Ravens on Friday. The Ravens, in their first year as a varsity team haven’t had many bright spots but rookie goaltender Valerie Charbonneau has kept games close. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.