McGill drops Concordia 3-1 at the Corey Cup

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team lost 3-1 against cross-town rivals the McGill Redmen Sunday afternoon in the 21st annual Corey Cup. The one-game competition held at the Bell Centre boasted a turnout of close to 6,000 fans and provided an NHL experience for both the players and the spectators.
“Anybody who was at this game knows what a puck battle it was out there today,” Stingers coach Kevin Figsby said. “I’d like to see this game here every year.from a university student’s perspective, today was the ultimate.”
The rivalry was apparent in the aggressive tone that dominated the game. Five minutes into the first period saw McGill defenceman Ben Gazdic sent to the box for interference. Stinger defence Brett Beauchamp would take an identical penalty less than a minute later.
In a four-on-four situation, rookie left winger Renaud Des Alliers sought out a Redman and flattened him with a crushing hit, continuing Concordia’s growing reputation for physical play.
With 8:54 left in the first period, Simon-Pierre Sauvé got called for roughing. McGill converted the man advantage into the first goal of the game when Simon Courcelles scored on a powerplay.
A second attempt at a Redmen goal would be denied by veteran Stingers goaltender Patrick Lepage, when a sprawling save prevented the puck from going in with five minutes left in the first. The Stingers broke for the first intermission with a one goal deficit.
The puck spent less time in the Concordia zone during the second period but the Stingers still looked tired from playing consecutive road games and skated with cement legs. “Our legs were a little slower than theirs today, we got in late yesterday from the [Carleton] game and I think it showed,” captain Trevor Blanchard said.
With just over six minutes left to go in the second, McGill center Sam Bloom streaked in and buried the puck with a lightning fast wrist shot that zoomed past Lepage. Stingers’ Marc-André Element put Concordia on the board thirty seconds later with a quick release while barrelling in at full speed to set the score at 2-1.
Lepage came up big in the third period, making sprawling saves and ensuring the Stingers a chance at victory. Four minutes into the third period forward Nicolas Lafontaine broke free and nearly poked the puck into the McGill net, but it was cleared by a Redmen defenceman.
The puck wasn’t the only thing clearing, as coach Figsby had to restrain his players from vaulting the bench after a fight broke out on the ice. Des Alliers went toe-to-toe with Redmen centre Evan Vossen with less than five minutes to go.
McGill retaliated on the scoreboard. With Blanchard in the box for goalie obstruction, Ken Morin of the Redmen fired a slapshot from the point for a power play goal, making the score 3-1.
Concordia once again showcased their penchant for physical play when Jesse Goodsell dropped the gloves with just over a minute to go in the period. Goodsell, a six-foot-three, 210-pound defenceman proved that his cannon slap shot wasn’t the only booming force exploding from his arms. Pummelling the Redmen player with solid right hooks, Goodsell won the fight easily, but the Stingers were unable to win the game.
“It’s the emotion of the game,” coach Figsby said of the fights.”It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the game.”
Blanchard agreed, “It’s not really a big part of the game in this league but it is good to get the upper hand when it happens,” adding that because the fights occurred in the last five minutes, they didn’t cause the momentum of the game to swing a whole lot. However, the Stingers face the Redmen again at the end of November and Blanchard believes the momentum will carry over then.
“For sure it will,” he said. “There’s such a huge rivalry there.”
Stingers goalie Patrick Lepage stole the show with sprawling saves on breakaways, keeping his calm while being pelted with 37 shots.
“It was the first time I had a start at the Bell Centre,” he said. “I was a little nervous before the game but I felt more in my element after awhile.”
The Stingers hit the road again on Friday, Oct. 26, to play Ottawa. Their next home game is on Friday, November 2, when they face off against Université du Québec

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