Charles-Antoine Messier scored the winning goal in overtime to give the Stingers a 3-2 victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Saturday at Concordia’s Ed Meagher Arena.
Coming off another 3-2 win on Thursday against the Nipissing Lakers where Derek Famulare earned the Stingers the victory with a late goal in the third period, Concordia came back to edge the Varsity Blues.
The Stingers opened the game with good pressure in Toronto’s zone, only to be denied by Varsity Blues goaltender Andrew Martin. Concordia goaltender Maxime Joyal also shone right after, stopping two Toronto players on the same play with spectacular cross-crease saves.
Derek Famulare put the Stingers on the board after scoring a shorthanded goal at 7:11 in the first period. He beat Martin with a backhand shot on the breakaway after a sharp pass by Olivier Jannard.
Toronto didn’t lose any time before they tied the game, as they put one past Joyal just over a minute later. Varsity Blues forward Dan Brewer shot the puck in an open net for the powerplay tally after the Concordia goaltender gave up a rebound. Joel Lenius and Paul Dupont were awarded assists on the play.
After Toronto dominated the start of the second period, the game took a turn for the worse, when Stingers centre Kyle Kelly was injured after a big check from defenceman Tyler Turcotte deep in Toronto’s zone. Kelly laid on the ice for a few minutes before being carried out on a stretcher. The game was interrupted for 30 minutes.
A seemingly stunned Stingers team saw Toronto take the lead on the man advantage three minutes later. Kyle Ventura caught a rebound in front of the net and sent a weak shot past Joyal’s shoulder. Anthony Bergin was awarded an assist on the goal which was the result of great cycling in the Concordia zone by the Varsity Blues squad.
The Stingers then had a golden chance to come back in the game when Toronto defencemen Turcotte and Sean Kliewer were sent to the penalty box 30 seconds apart with a minute remaining in the period. However, goaltender Martin stopped the eight shots he faced to keep his team on top.
After failing to convert on the 5-on-3 to start the third, the Stingers worked hard to stay in the game. Their efforts came to fruition when Marc-Andre Element blasted a hard slap shot in the right corner of the Toronto net on a rush at 15:19. Messier got the assist on the tying goal.
A re-energized Stingers team tried everything to win the game in regulation, but Martin was excellent, stopping 17 shots to give his team a chance at victory.
Another Concordia player had to leave the game when veteran Kiefer Orsini was hit by Dan Brewer. No penalty was called on the play.
After Kliewer was sent to the box for holding a stick, Messier scored the winning goal at 2:57 of the overtime period. A puck rebounded on his stick right in front of the net and he put it past Martin to secure the win for the Stingers. Alexandre Monahan and Michael Blundon picked up assists on the power play winner.
Stingers coach Kevin Figsby was happy that despite “not having their A-game,” the Stingers found a way to win. “That is sometimes the sign of a great team,” he said.
Figsby updated Kelly’s condition, saying the forward might have suffered a pinched nerve and a dislocated hip.
The Stingers are back in action next Friday in an away game against Nipissing at Memorial Gardens. The game starts at 7 p.m.