Home Sports Five-year losing streak to McGill continues

Five-year losing streak to McGill continues

by The Concordian October 11, 2011
Five-year losing streak to McGill continues

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team lost their 38th straight game to the McGill Martlets on Friday at McGill’s McConnell Arena.

Concordia's run of futility continued in opener. Photo by Navneet Pall

The Stingers have not beaten McGill since 2006, and have not won on the road against the Martlets since November 2004. For over half a decade now, McConnell Arena has been as welcoming to the Stingers as Mordor is to hobbits.
Friday’s game was the regular season opener for both teams, with McGill coming in as the defending national champions, riding a 105-game winning streak against their Quebec Conference opponents.
McGill took a 2-0 lead midway through the first period on two power play goals after consecutive Concordia penalties handed the potent McGill power play a two-man advantage.
Audrey Gariepy would score for the Stingers just under two minutes later at the 14:57 mark of the first period.
However, McGill was quick to answer. Stingers’ goalie Marie-Pier Remillard-Paquette lost sight of the puck behind the net and allowed a bad angle shot from the goal-line from Ionna Cagianos to sneak past her, sending the Stingers into intermission down 3-1.
“We never got any momentum in our play,” said Stingers’ coach Les Lawton. “We’d score a goal and they’d come right back after. I thought mentally, we were pretty soft.”
Leslie Oles would score her second goal of the game for McGill, on way to a hat-trick, at the nine minute mark of the second period. Just over three minutes later, Oles would assist on Chelsey Saunders’ shorthanded goal that put McGill up 5-1, in a game that had the makings of a blow out.                                                                                                                          Lawton believed the shorthanded goal was a “big turning point in the game.”
The Stingers would show resiliency, though, and managed to make it a 5-3 game by the 6:50 mark of the third period on goals by Moira Frier and Catherine Rancourt.
The feat was even more impressive due to the fact that the Stingers were facing Charline Labonté, the McGill goalie who has spent time with the Canadian women’s Olympic team.
Unfortunately for the Stingers, though, they simply could not contain McGill’s potent offence in the third period.
The Martlets scored twelve seconds after Concordia’s third goal and 50 seconds after Concordia made the game 6-4.
Alyssa Sherrard would score Concordia’s fifth and final goal at the 10:52 mark of the third period to make the game 7-5, prompting McGill head coach Peter Smith to call a timeout and remove Labonté from the game.
“[Labonté] has been a little ill lately,” said Smith. “She was feeling a little stiff out there in the third and you could see she was having a hard time moving so we had to make a change.”
The third period saw a total of five goals scored in just over four minutes of play.
“We’re proud we were able to score five goals on an Olympic goaltender,” said Lawton. “Obviously she wasn’t on her game tonight, but we still took advantage of that.”
Despite the loss, Concordia took away many positives from the game.
Both coaches commended Remillard-Paquette for her strong play in goal. Though she allowed seven goals, she faced 44 shots and made many difficult saves.
Fifth-year Stingers defenceman Meghan George, who has spent half a decade witnessing McGill’s dominance, likes what she sees from this year’s squad.
“This year we have a better balance [of rookies and veterans],” she said. “I don’t remember a time team chemistry has been this good. You can’t point someone out and say that there is a bad egg on this team because there isn’t.”
It has been a long, long time since McGill has watched Concordia celebrate a victory. Maybe this is the year.

The Stingers play next at Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.

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