“We have a lot of work to do,” said Stingers men’s hockey team captain, Trevor Hawkins. “But at least guys are givin’er!”
The team opened their season this past weekend with an 8-3 loss to McGill on Friday night, and a 6-5 loss in Ottawa Saturday evening.
With two more veterans now off to pursue professional careers, the rookie-laden line-up lost two more pieces of the puzzle. Starting centre Sebastien Courcelles and power play point-man, Phil Seguin have left the team.
Friday night’s game was a lot closer than the final score indicated, with the final shots at 36-32 for Concordia. However, it was not a lack of offence that troubled head coach, Kevin Figsby. “We just got 3 goals past a goalie who’s goals allowed was 1.45 at the end of last year,” he said of his team’s offence. “I was disappointed in the outcome, not the effort. We let up after 40 minutes, and the key is to play 60 minutes. We took some marginal penalties, and the problem with having a rookie line-up is you can’t spend that time and energy killing penalties.”
Hawkins, the triple-shifting captain, was pleased with the rookies’ efforts. “It was a good overall effort, and I think our learning curve is going to be really good,” said Hawins. “We just have to use our heads; we all know the rules.”
When all was said and done, the Stingers amassed a total of 56 minutes in penalties, including two 10-minute misconducts. Officials and players alike are all still in an adjusting phase to adaptations of the new rules. A great deal of the Stingers penalty troubles were attributed to an NHL-esque crackdown on obstruction. Concordia was also given seven penalties for hooking.
Special teams played an important role in the game and two of the Stingers goals were scored on the power play. Veteran forward Mike Baslyk scored the first goal of the season at 3:21 of the opening frame Friday night in front of over 500 fans at Ed Meagher Arena. Rookie Jason Beliveau scored an even strength goal at 4:27 of the second period, drawing assists from fellow rookies Brad Gager and Christopher Oles. Hawkins closed out the scoring for Concordia at 19:49 of the second with a rocket of a shot with assists from assistant captain Trevor Blanchard and rookie defenceman Jesse Goodsell.
McGill’s top scorer from last season, Sean Shewchuk was limited to only one goal Friday night, while Guillaume Demers lit the lamp twice. Louis-Simon Allaire, Benoit Arsenault, Mathieu Leclerc, Teddy Kyres and Eric L’Italien all added singles.
Figsby is still working out some kinks in the line-up combinations, especially since his number one centre throughout training camp, Courcelles, has moved on. He has, however, kept together one of the remaining lines from last year, at least on the power play, in Blanchard, Marc-Andr