The ups and downs are normal. Every team has them.
But this was a new low for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team.
“It’s frustrating because the scores don’t represent the way the game went, or the way in which we have improved,” said Stingers captain Andrea Dolan before this weekend’s three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlantic trio (the Dalhousie Tigers, Saint Mary’s Huskies and the St. F.X. X-Women.)
Following the game against the Dalhousie Tigers on Saturday, the team held a meeting to discuss things.
“We knew that we didn’t play well [against Dalhousie] and we weren’t playing well as a team on the ice and we talked about it and we wanted to come out strong [Sunday] because there are only five games left,” said Stingers forward Angela Di Stasi.
The Stingers just passed through the lowest point of their up-and-mostly down season, with most of the team saying they felt the lowest point was a 6-3 loss to the Dalhousie Tigers on Saturday.
“Nothing was going well and we weren’t playing together,” Di Stasi said about the loss.
The Stingers lost all but one of their first 12 games before beating the then no. 9 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees in their final game before the Holiday break. Coming out of the break, Concordia defeated the St. Thomas Tommies and the then-no. 6 ranked University of Toronto in the Theresa Humes tournament before losing the championship game to the no. 1 ranked McGill Marlets.
Since the tournament, the momentum the Stingers had built has all but vanished. Back-to-back losses to the Carleton Ravens in a pivotal home-and-home series pushed them further in the cellar, and they followed that up with a 4-1 loss to the Gee-Gees before this three-game sweep.
“Losing is frustrating,” said Di Stasi. “I think we hit the lowest we could go, and we all know that the only way to go is up. We’re ready to take that next step and get the momentum going like we knew we had before,” she said. “Every girl in that room knows that we can be better, and we’ll go out strong in our last five games,” she said.
“It’s frustrating,” said Stingers goaltender Audrey Doyon-Lessard. “But, at the same time, every team has their ups and downs and you have to fight through it and build momentum,” she said.
Perhaps, the positive point in their 3-1 loss to the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Sunday afternoon was the fact that after a lackluster first period, they came out in the second period and played some of the best hockey they’ve played all year. In the final two periods, they tied the Huskies 1-1, dominating most of the scoring chances.
Along with that positive, comes a negative. The Stingers, although getting many chances to tie the game, couldn’t get the puck past Huskies goaltender Danielle Brunet. Since to their 3-2 win over Dalhousie on Nov. 17, Concordia has only scored 20 goals in their next 15 games. Their record in that span is 3-12 (with one loss in a shoot-out) and they only scored more than one goal in four of those games.
“It’s not as frustrating when we’re getting chances,” Di Stasi said when asked whether it would be more frustrating to get chances and not score than to not get chances at all. “When you’re getting chances, you’re always like ‘it’s gonna come, it’s gonna come’ so the frustration comes more when you’re not getting chances because getting scoring chances builds momentum,” she said.
The Dalhousie game on Saturday also saw Stingers coach Les Lawton change the lines. Something that Di Stasi welcomed.
“At the end of the day, you want to get goals because that’s how you win games,” she said. “I’ve been playing with pretty much the same people all year, so it’s nice to get a fresh start.”
– Tawnya Danis scored the lone goal for the Stingers on Sunday, tipping in an Esther Latoures point shot while short-handed. Courtney Schriver, the CIS Rookie of the Year in 2004-05, scored a pair for the Huskies. Kori Cheverie opened the scoring for Saint Mary’s.
– The Stingers will face off against the McGill Martlets at McGill on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m. at the McConnell Arena. Their next home game is Feb. 10 at 2:30 p.m. against the Carleton Ravens.