The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team suffered a loss on Wednesday night against the Patriotes of Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres (UQTR), but came back full force to beat University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues 5-4 in a shootout on Friday night and the Ryerson Rams 5-3 on Saturday.
Wednesday night’s game against the Patriotes started out badly with goaltender Sheldon Baerg being pulled just 3:18 into the first period after letting in two goals. Patrick Lepage replaced him, but was also unable to make key saves. The Stingers were never able to come back, eventually losing 5-2.
A much better game was played on Friday night against the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues.
Toronto scored the first goal at 5:20 of the first period but Stingers’ captain Trevor Blanchard responded with a goal three minutes later. Brett Beauchamp took a one-timer that Blanchard re-directed past the goalie to even the score at one.
With only 3:45 left in the first period, the Stingers went on the powerplay after Blues’ forward Steve Morris was called for slashing. Beauchamp put the Stingers ahead with another goal.
With two minutes to go in the first Des Alliers beat the Blues goalie through the five-hole, giving the Stingers a 3-1 lead.
“That goal was just brute force all the way through,” said coach Figsby. “He almost carried the [defenceman], the puck and the goalie all the way into the net.”
The Stingers extended their lead to three goals 10:32 into the second period, when Blanchard stickhandled through nearly the entire Blues team and passed to Des Alliers, who scored on a wrist shot.
“It was nice to get two, to help the team,” Des Alliers said, and admitted that his current position wasn’t the one that he was assigned when he played juniors, but that he’s adapting quite well. “I’m getting more used to it, and it’s working well,” he said.
“He was used more as a physical presence on his last team,” coach Figsby said. “I wanted him to be a power forward, a goal scorer.”
But, with just 6:19 to go in the second period, the Blues scored on a powerplay with Stinger Andrew Palombaro sitting in the penalty box. Just three minutes later the Blues scored again, making the score to 4-3.
Just 6:11 into the third period, the Blues scored the tying goal and forcing overtime, and eventually a shootout.
Lepage was unstoppable during the shootout, stoning all three Blues players. Blanchard was the first shooter for the Stingers, but he couldn’t get it past Brownell. Mike Baslyk was next, but he too was denied. Scoring his first goal of the season and the game winner was Stinger forward Dmitri Toupikov.
“It was good for him to get one in,” said coach Figsby. “I just told him to have some fun out there. He’s got the most accurate shot in the league. I told him that if it came down to him, then it had to go in.”
Coach Figsby remains confident in his players. “I knew as soon as we went to shootout, that we were going to win.”
Saturday’s game against the Ryerson Rams was equally successful, with Concordia winning the game 5-3. The first period started off promising with Rams winger Cory Konecyn sent to the box for a double minor, just a minute in. The Stingers were unable to capitalize. Konecyn made the Stingers pay by scoring the game’s first goal halfway through the first period.
With only three minutes left to go, the Rams took a two-goal lead after Grant Buckley fired a shot from the point beating Lepage.
The Stingers came alive in the second period when Mike Baslyk scored on a poweplay two minutes into the second period. Thirty seconds later, Nicolas Lafontaine scored for the Stingers to tie the game at two. The Stingers carried the momentum scorring a minute later, when Corey Ruhnke jammed the puck past a helpless Rams goalie, taking the lead 3-2.
Ryerson showed frustration after blowing a two goal when a scrum broke out halfway through the second period. Nothing but a few minor penalties would come out of that. But with five minutes left, Rams’ Konecyn was thrown out for his third stick infraction of the game.
“We know the kind of game they play, they still have a couple of guys that just take cheap shots,” coach Figsby said.
The Stingers took a hooking penalty with four minutes left to go in the second, and Ryerson capitalized on the powerplay to tie the game again. With 2:14 left to go in the second, Concordia took the lead. Stingers forward Brad Gager dove in front of a Ryerson slap shot, and it rebounded off his ribs right onto Blanchard’s stick. Blanchard took off and beat his man one-on-one wristing it past the goaltender to regain the lead 4-3.
The third period was solid and the Stingers built on their lead. Begin sent a rink-long pass to Marc-André Element’s stick. He gained speed, beat the defenceman and scored to give the Stingers a 5-3 lead that would hold up for the win.
“This game put us right back up there,” coach Figsby said, “I’m excited about it. We were down 2-0 and we came back and just dominated the game.”
The Stingers are in Toronto next week, but return home to play Queens at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23. The Stingers play at home again on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m., against RMC.