In any sport, if a team does not play from the first to the final whistle, odds are that team is going to lose. The Stingers men’s hockey team found out the hard way Friday night, when they hosted the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Despite controlling the last two periods, the Stingers could not overcome a slow start and lost 5-3.
Ottawa scored 32 seconds into the game and the Stingers were down before the home crowd at Ed Meagher Arena had settled into their seats. The Gee-Gees outshot the Stingers 14-5 and went two-for-two on power-play opportunities in the period, however, Concordia did not capitalize on theirs. By the end of the first period the Stingers were down 4-0 and could never come all the way back.
“I don’t think we came out the way we should have come out tonight,” said Concordia’s head coach Kevin Figsby. “For some reason we didn’t have that intensity in the first 20 minutes.”
Stingers starting goaltender Antonio Mastropietro had a short night as he gave up three goals on his first six shots. He was replaced by Loic Boivin who had a great game off the bench. Boivin saved 26 out of the 28 shots that he face and gave Concordia a chance to come back.
Once the Stingers stepped onto the ice to start the second period, the momentum changed. Etienne Archambault scored for the Stingers 43 seconds into the second and gave the home crowd life for the first time during the game. From then on, the Stingers took it to the Gee-Gees and out shot them 22-20 in the final two periods. Alexandre Monahan scored a shorthanded goal late in the second period and then Youssef Kabbaj scored three minutes into the third to cut the deficit to two.
“I am proud of the way the guys bounced back, I am proud of the intensity that we showed in the second period,” said Figsby. “For 40 minutes we were the better team on the ice.”
Although that was as close as it got for Concordia, there was reason for optimism. Most teams would have given up after falling behind 4-0, but the Stingers fought hard and made a game of it. If it was not for Concordia’s slow start, it would have been an entirely different game.
“It’s young in the season,” Figsby said. “We got to learn as a young team to play consistently for 60 minutes, we didn’t do it tonight and it hurt us.”
The team has a week to rest before playing a home-and-away double-header with the RMC Paladins. The Stingers will play host first on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Ed Meagher Arena. Both teams will face off again on Saturday at RMC at 7 p.m.