The Concordia men’s hockey team had a grueling week, battling through three games, two shootouts and a fistfight, all in five days. The team faced cross-town rivals the McGill Redmen on Wednesday, the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Friday, and finally returned home to face the Carleton Ravens Sunday afternoon.
A gong-show game at McGill during their frosh week quickly escalated out of control for a number of reasons- poor security and drunk frat girls played no small part in the equation. Despite a solid first period, emotions ran high and the Stingers were blown out 12-3 by the end. They lost their game early in the second; their trademark strong defensive plays and break-out passes succumbed to an uncharacteristic meltdown.
With little time to regroup, the Stingers came out flying in Ottawa and played their most solid 60 minutes of hockey all season. Goalie Maxime Joyal was outstanding, and the team’s speed and strong play along the boards fueled their game. The Gee-Gees opened scoring 3:11 in the first, off a sweet dangle from forward Simren Sandhu. The Stingers responded quickly and netted one of their own a few minutes later.
Halfway into the first, Ottawa blueliner Gabriel Houde lowered the boom on Stingers rookie Kyle Kelly, sending him crashing to the ice. Sticking up for his teammate, veteran Nicolas Sciangula shoved and chirped Houde before both players threw off their gloves and went at it. Despite OUA regulations banning fighting, the linesmen let the two players swap punches for well over a minute in what will probably go down as the best fight in OUA history. It seemed to be a draw by the time both players were out of breath – a feat for the Stinger considering Houde has a good four inches and 30lbs on him. But Sciangula landed a final blow to the chops that sent Houde down to the ice.
The fight lit a spark for the Stingers, and Concordia potted another goal with just over five minutes left in the period. The lead was short-lived however, and Ottawa evened it up at 2-2 by the end of the first.
Another Concordia goal early in the second put the Stingers up by one, only to have Ottawa even it out again by the end of the third. When overtime failed to resolve the tie, the game went into three rounds of the shootout, with the Gee-Gees stealing a win that the Stingers deserved.
“It’s tough when you dominate a game but the tying goal hits a skate and goes in, then you hit four posts in the shootout,” head coach Kevin Figsby said, “but I’m proud of the way the team played. We had great chemistry, and we had a really, really solid effort from everybody tonight.”