The Concordia Stingers women’s ice hockey team went up against their cross-town rivals the McGill Martlets for their first game of the new year on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Stingers were outmatched by their opponents, who outshot them 39-14 and ultimately took the game 3-0.
McGill wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Just over one minute in, Martlet Jordanna Peroff received a pass from her linemate in front of the Concordia net and shot it over Concordia goalie Audrey Doyon-Lessard’s glove for the first goal of the game.
Demoralized by the early goal, Holli Monahan took Concordia’s first penalty of the game when she was booked for hooking. Not long after that, Doyon-Lessard stopped an odd man rush by McGill, but she wasn’t able to cover the puck and it was pushed in after the resulting scramble in the crease. Martlet Kim Ton-That was credited with the goal and teammate Alessandra Lind-Kenny received her second point of the game after tallying assists on both goals.
Behind by two, Concordia amped up their defence. Doyon-Lessard and the Stingers defence prevented McGill from gaining a larger lead. Near the end of the second, with McGill on another power play, Doyon-Lessard made a nice glove save that kept the score 2-0 in favour of McGill going into the second.
The second period saw an invigorated Stingers offence return to the ice. When McGill took their first penalty of the game, Concordia tried to capitalize on their opportunity. A slap shot from the blue line by Stinger Moira Frier nearly broke the shutout, but goalie Charline LabontÃ© stretched and plucked the puck out of the air.
The Stingers, still looking for their first goal, worked furiously to keep the strong McGill offence from taking a three-goal lead. After another fruitless power play for Concordia, the result of a Martlet hooking penalty, Ann-Sophie Bettez of McGill had a close call, sending one ringing off the crossbar.
Shaken by the near goal, Concordia took their third penalty of the game, this time for interference. The result however, would turn out to be Concordia’s best scoring opportunity. After intercepting a pass in her own zone, Catherine Rancourt made a break for it, deked out the lone defender in her way, and sent the puck flying at the Martlet goaltender. Unfortunately for Rancourt, LabontÃ© saw it coming from a mile away and covered the puck.
Back on offence, the Martlets made a move for the net. Leslie Oles streaked towards and crashed into Doyon-Lessard. Play was called as Doyon-Lessard did not immediately get up.
However, it was not Concordia but McGill who would switch their goalie in the ensuing stoppage of play. LabontÃ©, doubled over, skated to the Martlet bench and was replaced by Andrea Weckman. She would not return to the game.
Concordia returned to the third period with a new goalie in front of them.
After taking another interference penalty, the Stingers penalty kill went to work again, and successfully kept the game to within two goals. However, with time and scoring chances running out, things looked grim.
Finally, after another failed power play and another penalty by the Stingers, the Martlets sealed the deal with a power play goal. A wrist shot from Oles at the blue line got by Doyon-Lessard with just over six minutes left in the game.
Despite coming out on the losing end of their first matchup of the year, Concordia’s goalie still received player of the game honours, having stopped 36 of 39 shots — 18 in the third period alone.
At the end of their first game of the new year against McGill, the Stingers walked away defeated, but with a great effort against a strong opponent.
The Stingers next game will be against the UniversitÃ© de MontrÃ©al Carabins on Friday night, 7:30 p.m. at CEPSUM. They return home Sunday to welcome the Carleton Ravens at 3 p.m.