For the first time in history, the Stingers men’s hockey team took on the Harvard Crimson in a hard-fought battle ending in a home loss for Concordia.
The exhibition game, while it did not count on the teams’ records for the season, was still a competitive match-up.
This was the third game in three days for the Stingers, a feat that is “just not done” at this level, according to head coach Kevin Figsby.
“[This was] an opportunity now for us to create an annual event with Harvard,” he said. “If we had said no to the game we’d never be able to get that back on our schedule, so we took our third game in three days.”
Despite arriving back at Concordia at 1:30 a.m. the night before, the Stingers had a lot of energy when the puck dropped at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19 at the Ed Meagher Arena.
However, that energy was matched by the Crimson who spent the first five minutes pinning the Stingers in their own zone. Seven and a half minutes in, the Stingers iced the puck, and on the ensuing play, Harvard forward Brayden Jaw put the puck in the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Stingers forward Victor Provencher was denied on a breakaway by the Crimson’s goaltender.
Halfway through the first, a Stingers player was sent to the sin bin for holding, and Harvard made them pay, putting it past Concordia’s netminder Robin Billingham with 30 seconds left on the penalty kill.
At the end of the first, Concordia only had three shots on goal, compared to 11 for Harvard.
The Stingers’ woes followed them into the second period, and two-and-a-half minutes in, Harvard’s Wiley Sherman managed to sneak around Concordia’s defence, but was brought down with a hook. On the ensuing penalty shot, Sherman put the puck past Billingham, making the score 3-0.
Just over four minutes later the Stingers showed signs of life. After firing a shot wide of the net, Charles-Alexander Plaisir picked up his own rebound from behind Harvard’s net. Moments later, he tucked the puck behind Harvard’s goalie to notch Concordia’s first goal of the game.
Despite some big saves from Billingham during the period, the Crimson managed to sneak two more past the Stingers’ netminder. However, the Stingers were quick to respond; about 20 seconds later, a shot from the right wing made its way into the back of Harvard’s net, making the score 5-2 with just over four minutes left in the period. That goal gave the Stingers the energy to push the pace of the game at the end of the period, but to no avail.
The beginning of the third spelled trouble for the Stingers. Despite starting the period with a powerplay, Concordia didn’t get a single shot on goal, and ninety seconds into the period, Sherman scored another goal for the Crimson. That marked the end for the Stingers, who conceded one more goal before the end of the game, making the final score 7-2.
“[The] guys gave more than they had today. That’s a tremendous sign of character,” said Figsby.