Stingers lose ground in battle for playoff spot

Peter Karvouniaris and the Stingers are sitting in the final playoff spot in the RSEQ. Photo by Navneet Pall

Concordia’s men’s hockey team played its fifth game in eight days on Saturday which didn’t end in the Stingers’ favour, losing 5-4 to the Carleton Ravens.

Peter Karvouniaris and the Stingers are sitting in the final playoff spot in the RSEQ. Photo by Navneet Pall

“We’re in a race for the playoffs, we needed those two points,” said captain Eric Begin. “We played good, but not good enough, I guess.” Begin scored a goal and added two assists and is leading the country in points by a defenceman.

The first period brought solid defensive play by Carleton, along with two quick goals. After some strong physical play from Begin, Concordia responded with a goal of its own, from the hands of budding star Etienne Archambault.

“[Archambault] has come in here, and he’s worked as hard as I can ask him to work,” said coach Kevin Figsby. “He’s got [six points in five games] and that to me bodes well for the future.”

Carleton also opened the second period scoring, but Concordia yet again responded quickly, adding another goal a minute and a half later. Michael Stinziani, leading scorer in the CIS, took the comeback into his own hands, skating down the right side of the ice with tremendous speed, and sending the puck into the top corner of the net making it a 3-2 game. Charles-Antoine Messier tied the game for Concordia on a power play. The tie was short lived, though, as Matt Stanisz scored to put Carleton back in front. The Ravens also scored with 15 seconds left in the period, to head into intermission with  a two goal lead.

The third period brought more solid effort by the Stingers, and outstanding goaltending from first-year Peter Karvouniaris. He stopped several sure goals on a Carleton five-on-three, allowing Concordia to score a fourth goal on a two-man advantage of its own. But, despite a hard-fought third, the home team just couldn’t get the tying goal past Ravens goalie Matthew Dopud.

“I’m really proud of our team today,” said Figsby. “That’s our fifth game in eight days, and we’ve got nine injured players right now. For us to stay on the game plan the way we did for 60 minutes today and battle as hard as we did, I’m proud. We’re upset we lost, we’re going to be upset any time we lose, but I’m proud of every kid in that dressing room for the effort they put in.”

The last few games will also test Concordia’s strength, as they are slated to take on Ottawa, UQTR, second-ranked McGill twice, and Carleton again.

Begin is confident in the talent of the team, and says this will bring them success. He also suggested the return of key players to the lineup, a welcome change that could potentially come as early as Wednesday.

The Stingers’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 25 on the road against UQTR at 7 p.m.

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