The Stingers suffered a 4-1 loss to the McGill Redmen Sunday afternoon at Ed Meagher arena to surrender the Corey Cup for the eighth time since 2002. Concordia also dropped their Saturday afternoon game 5-2 against the Carleton Ravens.
The Corey Cup was created in 1988 by Ronald Corey, who was then the president and governor of the Montreal Canadiens. For 23 years, the Stingers have faced off against either McGill or UQTR in a battle for supremacy between Montreal’s university-level hockey teams.
The game was no easy task for the Stingers. McGill, the second-ranked team in the country, has been dominating the OUA East conference this year and has only suffered two regular-time losses in 28 games.
The Redmen imposed their presence early in the first period as an undisciplined Stingers team offered them a 5-on-3 opportunity for over a minute. However, Concordia goaltender Raffaele D’Orso stood strong to keep the score blank.
Five minutes later, at 10:32, McGill opened the score. Coming off the rush, Marc-Andre Dorion fired a rocket past D’Orso’s left shoulder to give his team the lead. Jean-FranÃ§ois Boisvert and Guillaume Doucet assisted on the tally.
Just over two minutes later, the Redmen doubled their lead when Doucet pulled a great forehand-to-backhand move in front of D’Orso to beat the Stingers goaltender on a breakaway.
McGill took a three-goal lead late in the frame when Boisvert beat D’Orso with a one-timer in front of the net. Simon Marcotte-LÃ©garÃ© made a good play behind the net and was able to get the puck to his teammate for the goal.
Although the Stingers had four penalties, they were able to stay perfect on the penalty kill. D’Orso stopped 17 shots and was not to blame for the McGill goals.
An energized Concordia team came out for the second and their efforts paid off. Just over three minutes in, the Stingers reduced McGill’s lead to two after Eric Begin surprised Redmen goaltender Hubert Morin with a hard slap shot from the right half-board. Alexis Piette had the only assist on the play.
However, with only 4:34 remaining in the second frame, McGill bumped their lead back to three. Christophe LongprÃ©-Poirier grabbed a rebound in front of the net and forced D’Orso to make the first move before he beat the goaltender to his left, making the score 4-1.
The third period was rather uneventful as the Redmen completely shut down the play. They put on an impressive display of defensive hockey to limit the Stingers to only six shots on net in the frame.
The Stingers pushed to come back but were stopped each time. When the tight play of the skaters wasn’t preventing the Stingers from entering the offensive zone, Redmen goaltender Morin was blocking every shot.
McGill played a perfect game on the penalty front, remaining disciplined throughout the game while Concordia was sent to the box six times.
D’Orso made 37 saves while Morin stopped 27 of the 28 pucks he faced.
The Stingers had to play without three of their regular six defencemen: Kiefer Orsini, Jesse Goodsell and Lyle Van Wieren. As a result, forwards Begin and Marc-Andre Element had to take shifts as defencemen.
“We were playing with one of our top right-wingers on the back end,” said Stingers coach Kevin Figsby. “And I still thought we handled the game pretty well. Apart from the first eight minutes, I thought we dominated the play,” he said.
Figsby said the loss was not all bad, as the Stingers will now meet UQTR in the first round of the playoffs.
“…To be brutally honest with you, we were hoping to get a matchup with UQTR too. So am I upset? No. We went in wanting to win today’s game and we played as well as we could.”
On Saturday, Francois Lanctot-Marcotte and Kyle Kelly scored for Concordia in a 5-2 loss to Carleton. The Ravens’ Jeff Hayes was the first star of the game with a four-point effort.
The Stingers open the playoffs this Wednesday as they face the UQTR Patriotes in Trois-RiviÃ¨res; the puck drops at 2 p.m. The Stingers will be at home Saturday for the second game of the best-of-three series.