The past weekend was a tough one for Stingers hockey. After the women’s team went down 3-0 to Martlets on Saturday, the Stingers men’s team had a chance to prevent the McGill sweep at Ed Meagher Arena on Sunday afternoon. However, facing an equally determined team, the Stingers lost 6-2.
“It was our first game back after the holiday, so we were a little rusty, we played a little rusty. I saw some things I really liked today, and some things we need to work on. From a penalty killing perspective, we did great,” said head coach Kevin Figsby on his team’s performance.
And the Stingers did a great job of penalty killing, allowing only two goals on 12 power plays for the Redmen. However, the 36 minutes the Stingers spent in the box reflected the attitudes of the players towards their opponents.
The first period saw McGill put themselves ahead by two. The first came after a Redmen forward dodged the Stingers defenceman and stretched out Concordia goalie Maxime Joyal to net one six minutes in. The second came six minutes later when McGill made their first powerplay goal, a slapshot from Alexandre Picard-Hooper that slipped past Joyal.
At the start of the second period, Stinger Mike Stinziani found his way through the tight McGill defence and crossed the puck through the McGill crease to an outstretched Stinger stick. However, it was deftly knocked in the air and out of reach by McGill goalie Antoine Tardif.
Ten minutes in, Derek Famulare was booked for hooking. Unhappy about the call, he let the referee know, who responded by giving him an additional two minutes, and McGill a four-minute powerplay.
Stingers’ penalty kill went to work, and did a good job cutting off scoring chances, but they couldn’t stop them all and two-and-a-half minutes in to the penalty, McGill made it 3-0.
Rallying, and on a man advantage of their own, the Stingers put themselves on the board when defenceman Jesse Goodsell sniped one in the top corner past Tardif.
However, luck was not on their side as less than 30 seconds later, Picard-Hooper backhanded the puck in for his second of the game.
Trading goal for goal, the Stingers, on another powerplay, scored their second and final goal of the game on a slapshot by George Lovatsis a minute after their first goal.
With the period winding to a close, Andrew Wright of the Redmen put them back to three ahead after he picked up a good pass in front of the net.
The Stingers’ frustrations showed in the last period. Having taken half of their penalties in the third, their offence was seriously hampered.
“When the time winds down and you’re down by three goals, especially with the rivalry we have with McGill, guys get frustrated, and we take stupid penalties,” said defenceman Jesse Goodsell, who scored one of the two Stingers goals and was named the third star of the game.
Fights nearly broke out twice between the two teams. But with strong defensive play and more than a few saves by Joyal, Concordia kept the Redmen at bay, allowing only one more goal from Nicolas Biniek.
Crippled by having to play much of the third shorthanded, the Stingers offence was unable to produce, and they went down with a final score of 6-2 for the Redmen.
The Stingers will be busy this week, with a game in Trois-RiviÃ¨res facing UQTR on Wednesday, at home against Carleton on Saturday, and in Ottawa against the Gee-Gees on Sunday.