It was a see-saw game for the Concordia Stingers as they lost a high-scoring game 6-4 to the Laurier Golden Hawks, Friday Nov. 8, in their first game back at Ed Meagher Arena after renovations were completed.
The Stingers were slow out of the gate to start the game, falling behind 2-0 before the game was seven minutes in, but Stingers centre Olivier Hinse was able to finish off a nice passing play with centre Kyle Armstrong to cut the deficit to 2-1 before the first period was over.
The Stingers dominated early in the second, scoring twice with goals by left-wingers Kieran O’Neil and Dany Potvin, taking a 3-2 lead. However, the Golden Hawks scored twice before the period was over and reclaimed the lead.
The Stingers tried furiously to tie up the game in the third, but a controversial goal by Laurier’s left-winger Derek Schoenmakers didn’t help. The Golden Hawks were thought to have gone offside after turning the puck over in the Stingers’ zone, and so the Stingers players all stood around waiting for the referee to blow his whistle, but the whistle never came.
Schoenmakers took advantage by stealing the puck and scoring his fourth goal of the night. The Stingers were up in arms against the referee, but as head coach Kevin Figsby later clarified, the referee hadn’t yelled “offside.”
“The problem is, on a play like that, you can’t stop playing the puck,” said Figsby.
The Stingers’ left-winger Taylor Lambke scored late to reduce the deficit to 5-4, but it wasn’t enough as the Golden Hawks left-winger Greg Cerilli would add an empty net goal to wrap up their first victory of the season.
The Stingers had a difficult time killing penalties on this night, as the Golden Hawks went three for three on the powerplay on three goals by Schoenmakers. The Stingers went two for five, but it wasn’t good enough to win the game.
Stingers goaltender Antonio Mastropietro let in five goals on 29 shots, but coach Figsby said this doesn’t concern him.
“Antonio’s been a mainstay for us since the beginning of the year,” he said. “He knows the way he played tonight and he’ll probably want one of those goals back, but there’s no faulting our goaltender tonight.”
Figsby added that there were several other aspects of the game that were lacking on this night.
“I think we over forechecked and we were giving up too many three on two’s tonight, it’s something we talked about and something we worked on this week and we just didn’t execute.”
The Stingers now have a 2-3-2 record, a point which coach Figsby emphasized, since the two overtime losses constituted two big points for the team.
He said every loss the team has suffered this season has essentially been a one-goal loss and his team has lost three of their top players over their last three games, something that has obviously been having an effect on the team’s performance on the ice.
“It’s a 28-game season and we’re a young team and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes, we’ve made mistakes tonight and we didn’t stop trying, and that’s the key,” said Figsby. “I thought we competed tonight but I think we made some mistakes that were controllable mistakes, and, unfortunately, one mistake too many as one goal too many tonight.”
The Stingers play next against the Lakehead Thunderwolves Friday Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m..