Concordia’s women’s hockey team was looking to get back to .500 on the season when they hosted the McGill Martlets on Thursday, Jan. 16. Entering the game with a 4-5 record, Concordia knew they would have their work cut out for them as McGill were coming into the game with a 9-2 record, sitting in first place in the the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division. The teams had faced off twice before this season: a 1-0 win in early November, and a 3-2 loss later that month.
A slow start by the Stingers squad turned out to be their downfall as they fell behind early in the game and were never able to come all the way back, losing 5-3 to their inter-city rivals.
Regardless of their position in the standings, whenever the Martlets and the Stingers meet it’s sure to be a tight match, and if it weren’t for the first seven minutes of the game, Concordia had a shot to pull off the upset.
Just 14 seconds into the game, McGill forward Katia Clement-Heydra flew down the ice and fired a shot past Concordia’s starting goaltender, Briar Bache. Before the fans had a chance to settle into their seats, the Stingers were already down 1-0.
McGill couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game as just six minutes later, Martlets star forward Lesile Oles made it a 2-0 game. If the Stingers weren’t already stunned, only 19 second after that, Stephanie Pohlod scored again for the Martlets to make it a three-goal game. With just 6:22 gone in the first period, McGill had a commanding 3-0 lead and looked to be in perfect position to run away with the game.
Bache faced only six shots and was pulled midway through the first period in favour of rookie goalie Katherine Purchase. Entering the first intermission, Concordia needed to regroup fast if they had any hope of catching McGill.
A different Stingers team emerged from the locker room to start the second period. The home side was much more composed and Purchase provided some stability on the back end. Just over five minutes in, Stingers forward Alexandria D’Onofrio put the Stingers on the board with a power play goal to make it 3-1. Later in the second, Concordia capitalized on another power play as Marie-Joelle Allard made it 3-2 with just under four minutes to go. The Stingers special teams would continue to play strongly all night; not only was Concordia able to capitalize on these powerplay goals, but the penalty kill was able to shut down the Martlet’s 5-on-3 advantage, not even allowing them a shot on goal.
Although it seemed as if the Stingers had all the momentum, 24 seconds later, Clement-Heydra scored her second goal of the game for McGill and led her team into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.
McGill forward Erika Pyke and Concordia forward Devon Thompson would each tally goals for their team late in the third period, but by then the game was already decided. Despite being outshot 33-19, the Stingers didn’t quit after their slow start and should be proud of the way they battled the first place Martlets to the very end.
The Stingers will next play the Carleton Ravens at Ed Meagher on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.