Goaltending chess match decided in shootouts

Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Stingers offense continues to sputter at the end of the regular season

Playoffs are nearly upon Concordia’s women’s hockey team and the Stingers are stumbling towards the end of the regular season. Hosting the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Ed Meagher Arena, Concordia dropped its third straight regular season game losing 2-1 in shootouts.

Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Now sitting in third place of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division with a record of 6-7-5, the Stingers have just two games left in the regular season. As they continue to get stellar play from their rookie goaltender Katherine Purchase, the Stingers’ goal-scoring ability has been their biggest downfall as of late. Concordia has only managed to score two goals in their last three defeats. If not for their defense and netminder, the outcomes could have looked a lot worse.

Both goalies were tested early in Sunday’s affair between the Stingers and the Gee-Gees. In the first period alone, the teams combined for 17 shots on goal. While Purchase turned aside all seven shots that she faced in the opening 20 minutes, Ottawa’s goaltender Maude Lévesque-Ryan was even more impressive. Spectators could sense that the Stingers were yearning for an early goal, a feat that Concordia has had trouble with during their current slump. Unfortunate for Concordia’s attackers, Lévesque-Ryan stopped all 10 shots to keep it 0-0 after the first period.

Three minutes into the second period, Gee-Gees forward Cindy Laurin was given a two-minute penalty for body checking and handed the Stingers a power play. Stingers centre Devon Thompson scored her sixth goal of the season on the advantage and gave her team the 1-0 edge.

The lead didn’t last long for Concordia though as less than two minutes later the Gee-Gees answered back. Forward Camille Pauck-Therrien tied the game with her sixth goal of the year, beating Purchase to make it 1-1.

The third period was an all-out attack on both fronts. The Stingers threw 13 shots on target at Lévesque-Ryan while the Gee-Gees bombarded Purchase with 10 of their own. With all the back-and-forth traffic, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before one team would break the tie. And yet, neither goalie flinched.

Lévesque-Ryan and Purchase were the two brightest stars of the game. Both goalies gave their teams a chance to win and left shooters frustrated every time they returned to their bench.

After neither team could solve the opposition’s netminder in overtime, the game headed to a shootout. Two out of Ottawa’s five shooters beat Purchase and it was just enough to give the Gee-Gees the shootout victory.

If Concordia can find their scoring touch within the next week and into the playoffs, their solid goaltending and impenetrable defense can take them on an unexpected playoff run. Purchase just needs to make sure that the talent in front of her can hold up their end of the deal.

Concordia will visit the Carleton Ravens on Friday, Feb. 20, before playing their final game of the regular season at the Ed Meagher Arena on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. versus the Carabins of the UdeM.


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