It was another gong show week for the Concordia men’s hockey team, losing 4-3 in a thrilling shootout against the UniversitÃ© du QuÃ©bec Ã Trois-RiviÃ¨res Patriotes, winning 4-2 against the Royal Military College Paladins and finally losing 6-1 against the Carleton Ravens.
The game on Wednesday night against the Patriotes started off at a good pace. Tensions from a game a week ago poured into the contest, with the first period being dominated by speed, solid puck movement and crunching hits. Rookie Emile Bouchard, playing on a grinding line, threw a couple of crushing bodychecks that resonated up into the stands.
A solid first period of hockey saw UQTR get a lucky break and open the scoring halfway through the first. The Patriotes would keep the lead for the remainder of the period.
At 1:13 of the second, rookie Charles-Antoine Messier scored a highlight reel goal that showcased his spectacular vision and ability to read the play. After winning a face-off, he then won a foot race against the Patriotes’ blue-liners. He poked the puck free at the offensive blue line and deked his way into the defensive zone, before dangling the UQTR goalie and tying the game 1-1.
Just six minutes later, Messier potted his second of the night with assists from Daniel Michalsky and Marc-AndrÃ© Rizk to put the Stingers up 2-1. Stingers goalie Maxime Joyal stood on his head for the rest of the period, stoning a point-blank shot and slappers from the Patriotes.
Just 51 seconds into the third, the Patriotes evened up the score when Joyal went down early in the crease and the puck went sailing into the top corner.
Concordia took the lead again halfway into the third period when, off an odd-man rush, veteran Brad Gager made a sweet pass to captain Marc-AndrÃ© Element, who buried the shot.
The Patriotes evened it up once again with just under four minutes to go in the final period, when a Patriotes player was left open in the slot. Joyal forced overtime and a shootout, earning the Stingers a point, when he flashed the leather on a spectacular glove save from point-blank range.
George Lovatsis and Messier both scored for Concordia, but it was a final shot that went five-hole on Joyal that earned UQTR the extra point. It was a game that the Stingers deserved to win.
On Friday, another fast-paced game with a big win put the Stingers closer to the playoff dream. A heated rivalry with the RMC Paladins quickly took shape as the Stinger battled to a 4-2 win.
Rizk opened up scoring for the Stingers when he took a shot from his knees, off a feed from Messier. Paladins’ goaltender Andrew Flemming never even saw the puck. The Paladins took advantage of a few disciplinary troubles for the Stingers, and Landon Lavictoire evened the score 1-1 with just under three minutes to go in the first.
Fresh off a strong penalty kill, 3:35 into the second, defenceman Andrew Palombaro netted one to give the Stingers the lead again. The Paladins would strike back, with forward Mitchell Smith tying the game 2-2 late in the second.
Halfway into the third, with Paladins’ defenceman Robert Graydon in the box for hooking, Concordia’s Kyle Kelly scored the sweetest goal of the season when he roofed the puck top cheese from an impossible angle. Eric Begin and Lovatsis earned the assists on the game-winning goal that put the Stingers up 3-2.
In the dying seconds of the third, with the Paladins’ goalie pulled, it almost looked like the Stingers couldn’t buy an extra reassuring goal. Concordia rookie Peter James Corsi missed the open cage, then Element ripped a shot off the post. Lovatsis finally nailed the mesh and secured Concordia with a 4-2 win.
The Stingers play their last game of the regular season, the Corey Cup, against McGill at the Ed Meagher arena on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.