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Concordia prepares for season with victory

by Archives October 7, 2008

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team is back for a new season with a brand new look.
A booming, slamming, hard-hitting look.
The Stingers were busy in the off-season, adding four new defencemen – the average height of which is 6’3″. They showed off their new style of play during their final exhibition game against the UQTR Patriotes on Wednesday night. With the revamped blue line and a more aggressive system of play, Concordia took the game 2-1.
The opening period set the quick pace for the game, when Stingers veteran forward Brad Gager picked up a loose puck and fired it at the Patriotes goalie, who fumbled it before getting the early whistle.
The game’s first goal came at the first period’s halfway mark, when a Patriotes forward wristed the puck that went high, before bouncing off of Stingers goalie Sheldon Baerg and ending up behind his head and in the net. Baerg quickly composed himself, making a series of three incredible stops to prevent another one from going in.
With 5:53 left on the clock in the first period, forward Mike Baslyk took a pass from defenceman Eric Begin and flew down on the wing, firing a backhand that evened up the score at 1-1.
The second period saw no goals, but was littered with penalties as emotions started to take over the game. Both teams switched goalies midway through the second.
Four minutes into the third period, an awkward bounce off the walls almost gave Concordia an easy goal, as it shot back out behind the Patriotes’ goalie, who almost kicked it in with his skate. The winning goal would come soon after, when Patriotes’ forward Steve Bellefleur was whistled down for a hook.
With just under five minutes left to go in the game, the Stingers parked in front of the net and shovelled away at a loose puck until it crossed the goal line, giving them a 2-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Part of our plan this year was to play aggressively,” head coach Kevin Figsby said. “We want to get to the loose pucks first, to play physically. We did that tonight.”
“So far, right from training camp, I’ve seen a group of players that come in and are ready to work, and willing to win,” he said.
Captain Simon-Pierre Sauvé would be one of those players. In his final year at Concordia, he has one goal in mind.
“We want to win,” he said. “We already have so much chemistry and character as a team, we want to go all the way.”

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