With their backs up against the wall amidst a five-game losing streak, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team pulled off an unlikely comeback win versus cross-town rivals, the McGill Redmen, 3-2 in the shootout.
“I’m really pleased with how well the guys executed the game plan tonight,” said Concordia head coach Kevin Figsby. “We worked really hard in practice this week and it paid off.”
The Stingers took the lead early in the first period when Alex Monahan scored his eighth goal of the season with a blast from the blue line that soared past Redmen goaltender Andrew Flemming.
Down early, McGill got to work, establishing a dominating offensive zone presence and had their best chance of the opening period when Redmen forward David Rose walked by three sleeping Stingers and fired one at Antonio Mastropietro. The Stingers netminder flashed the glove for the save.
In the second period, Concordia’s best chance to score came when Monahan set up Lovatsis from the half-wall for a one-time shot, only to be denied by Flemming’s shoulder save.
With momentum tilted in their favour, Stingers pugilist Corey Garland took an ill-timed, unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he showered Flemming with ice. The Redmen scored on the ensuing power-play.
The rivals treated the crowd to an entertaining third period. Both teams exchanged a number of good chances, but it wasn’t until a late Concordia penalty that McGill capitalized.
With less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Redmen forward Patrick Delisle-Houde handled a cross-crease backhand feed from Rose and ripped it top corner from the side of the net.
With time running out on the game, Concordia called a timeout.
“I just told them no shot’s a bad shot,” said coach Figsby. “Let’s put a puck on net and create an opportunity.”
And an opportunity they did create. With 35 seconds remaining, Olivier Hinse immediately put the puck on net. With several players jamming in Flemming’s crease, Lovatsis banged a loose puck to the back of the net to tie the game.
Following an uneventful overtime, the game went to a shootout. After Mastropietro shut the door on two Redmen players, Lovatsis deked Flemming and softly netted the shootout winner.
Less than 48 hours later, Concordia travelled to Ottawa to face the Gee-Gees. Although they were able to claw back from an early third period 5-3 deficit, the Stingers eventually lost 6-5 in the shootout.
The Stingers took three of four possible points this weekend and are now two points behind Ryerson for the eighth and final spot in the OUA playoffs. Concordia is already eliminated from CIS playoff contention.
Concordia will put an end to a five-game road trip when they travel to Nipissing and Ryerson this coming weekend.