The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team lost both games they played this weekend in Halifax and Antigonish, N.S., but their biggest challenge might have been the weather – and the wide range of emotions that it caused.
On Friday morning, the Stingers were scheduled to fly to Halifax for a game later that afternoon against the Dalhousie Tigers. Their flight was delayed almost two hours before taking off. That was the start of their problems. About two hours and 20 minutes into their two and a half hour flight, with heavy winds causing turbulence, the pilot made the decision to turn around and return to Montreal.
“The flight was pretty tough,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton. “The turbulence was the worst I’ve ever been through and there were loud screams and drinks falling all over the place. Some of our players had to crawl to get back to their seats,” he said.
Lawton also mentioned that a parent of one of the players was driving when the plane was supposed to land and mentioned it was difficult to drive. Nevermind trying to land a plane.
Upon their return to Montreal, Lawton set out to find another flight to Halifax, but realized that finding a flight with 25 empty seats on it was not very easy.
Lawton was told that there wouldn’t be another flight until the next day at which point the team decided to cancel the trip. Concordia distribution services was called to pick up their equipment and Lawton ordered chicken for the team to be delivered to the Ed Meagher arena and proceeded to get taxis for the players.
“We were hopping on cabs, and then Les calls us back from inside the airport that there was another possibility and that Air Canada found plane and crew to take us,” said Stingers goaltender Meggy Hatin-Leveillee.
When the team found out about the new flight, they called back the distribution service truck who brought the equipment back to the airport – along with the chicken.
The day was especially tough for rookies Alynn Doiron and Maggie Mac Neil who are from Pomquet and Antigonish, N.S. respectively, and were looking forward to playing in front of friends and family.
“At the end, Maggie and Alynn were going back home and we were really happy and upset for them throughout the day,” said Hatin-Leveillee.
Despite the roller coaster of emotions, Hatin-Leveillee said the hectic day was her favourite.
“Personally, I got to know a lot of the rookies and we got to know each other in a different situation,” she said. “It was good to see how we reacted to different situations,” she said.
The Stingers were gracious through the day. They gave the representative from Air Canada a Stingers track suit for her help.
Strong play continues
The Stingers, when finally getting to Nova Scotia, continued the momentum from their 6-4 win over the Carleton Ravens.
After getting off to a sluggish start from sitting in an airport the day before, the Stingers managed to force the No. 4 Saint Francis Xavier X-Women into a shootout before falling 2-1 in the shootout.
The next day, the Stingers had more jump in their step, but had to adjust to a smaller rink before falling to the No. 9 St. Mary’s Huskies 2-0.
“The games gave us some confidence,” said Hatin-Leveillee.
“We have a big weekend coming up,” said Lawton. “We showed a lot of character coming back against St. F.X. and we need two wins this weekend against Carleton and Ottawa,” he said.
Men’s hockey team has back-to-back sweeps
For the second weekend in a row, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team had a sweep of the Toronto Varsity Blues and Ryerson Rams, this time in Toronto.
On Friday, the Stingers beat the Rams 6-5 in a shootout and on Saturday they defeated the Varsity Blues 5-3. Currently, Concordia sits one point back of first in the OUA Eastern Conference.