The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team came out on top of a high-scoring affair, winning 6-5 in their home-opener on Friday against the defending national champions, the McGill Redmen.
The Stingers set the tone early in the game at the Ed Meagher Arena , as right winger Etienne Archambault was given a two minute penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct for leveling a Redmen player less than one minute into the game.
After nearly seven minutes into the first period, while Archambault was still serving his misconduct, the Redmen opened the scoring on a goal by center Jonathan Brunelle. The Stingers responded at the end of the first period with a few chances of their own. Archambault took a drop pass from his teammate with a little more than three minutes left in the period. Redmen goaltender Hubert Morin was sharp and made the save.
With less than two minutes to go, Stinger George Lovatsis equalized the score after tucking the puck into the side on a rebound scramble in front of the net.
“We took a penalty [in the first period] and we lost a player for 10 minutes, and that kind of upset our lines,” explained coach Kevin Figsby. “I think that gave the Redmen an advantage […] but by the end of the period, it was still 1-1.”
The Stingers took their first lead of the game at 17:25 of the second period on a shorthanded goal by Lovatsis, his second of the night.
The Redmen tied the game up soon after when defenseman Hugo Laporte blasted a shot past Stingers goalie Nicholas Champion from the blueline.
After two goals from each side, the Stingers regained the lead once again at 6:16 of the third period. They hung onto it until the end of the game. Youssef Kabbaj made it 4-3 Stingers when his wrist shot from the point went in five hole.
Redmen winger Justin Ducharme was sent to the penalty box during the third for roughing after the whistle, and the Stingers took full advantage of the handicap. Alexandre Monahan passed it up the wing to an open Kyle Kelly who scored to give the Stingers a 5-3 lead.
After Archambault gave his team a three goal lead five minutes later, the Redmen got goals from Brunelle and Marc-Olivier Vachon in the last three minutes. However, the Stingers were able to hold off their rivals and win.
“Offensively, we did everything we needed to do,” said Lovatsis. “We just need to tighten up defensively.”
As a whole, coach Figsby believes this win is a sign of things to come.
“You saw the grit and the determination and I think our team will have this season,” he said. “We just played the defending national champions and we beat them on home ice to start the season with our first win. I’m very pleased with the effort of all our players tonight.”
Concordia will travel to Ottawa for their next game against Carleton University on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.