Anthony Beauregard and Massimo Carozza’s point production gave team a chance to win
It was a regular season to remember for forwards Anthony Beauregard and Massimo Carozza on the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team. Beauregard led all of U Sports in points with 60 (19 goals and 41 assists), while Carozza’s 35 points (15 goals and 20 assists) were the most among rookies in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference.
The two players on the Stingers’s top line benefitted from each other’s success for most of the season. However, at the beginning of the season, both were playing centre on different lines. Beauregard, who joined the Stingers midway through last season and scored 17 goals in 11 games, had four goals and four assists in the first five games of this season. He played with a few different wingers, including Philippe Hudon, Alexis Pépin and Scott Oke.
Carozza played his first five games centering Antoine Masson and Charles-Éric Légaré. He started his season well for a rookie, scoring two goals and two assists.
However, in the Stingers’s sixth game of the season, on Oct. 28 away against the Queen’s Gaels, head coach Marc-André Élement decided to mix his lines up. He put Beauregard and Carozza on a line together for the first time.
“Carozza was a centre, and we just decided to put him on the wing. He has a lot of speed,” Élement said. “Those two click together and they [had] success, and I’m really happy about their season.”
In that game against Queen’s, Carozza and Beauregard assisted on three goals together. Two of them were to Dominic Beauchemin, and the third was on the overtime-winning goal to defenceman Carl Neill. Their next game, on Nov. 3 at home against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks, the Stingers won 6-2. Beauregard had two goals and four assists, while Carozza scored three goals, all of which were assisted by Beauregard.
The way they played told the rest of the league they were a threat offensively, and they haven’t been separated since. They have played 23 games together, with Beauregard scoring 15 goals and 37 assists for 52 points, and Carozza scoring 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points. Between the two of them, they have either scored or assisted on 57 of the Stingers’s 91 goals since they were put together, with both players getting points on 26 of those goals (Figure 1).
“He’s such a good player,” Beauregard said about Carozza. “He has good speed and good hands, and we try to keep the momentum [going] every game.”
According to Carozza, it didn’t take much time to get used to playing with Beauregard once they were put together. They already knew each other from training over the summer, and Carozza said he developed chemistry with Beauregard after only a few practices.
“We’re really good friends. We like to joke around a lot, we’re both jokers, and we clicked right away,” Carozza said. “On the ice, we try to take it serious.”
It takes a company of three to make a line, and they’ve played with Philippe Sanche for most of the season. He scored 15 goals in the regular season, with 14 of his goals assisted by either Beauregard or Carozza, including six from both his linemates (Figure 2). Sanche missed a few games near the beginning and end of the season. When he was out, captain Hudon played on the top line.
“With both Phils—Hudon and Sanche, whoever comes on our line—we produce,” Carozza said. “It’s been easy for me. We work well together, and it shows on the ice.”
The Stingers had success when their top line scored. When Beauregard scored a goal, the Stingers went 12-2-1. Considering their total record of 18-7-3, when he didn’t score, they went 6-5-2. As for when Carozza scored a goal, Concordia had a 8-2-1 record (Figure 3).
With so many wins attributed to the pair’s scoring, head coach Élement knows how valuable they are to the team. He said, ideally, both Carozza and Beauregard will remain with the Stingers next season, but he knows each of them could leave the team to play professionally.
Beauregard said he doesn’t know what his Concordia future holds.
“I’m just concentrated on this year,” the second-year forward said. “You never know what’s going to happen in two months or next year. I just try to be focused here.”
Carozza, on the other hand, said he wants to get his degree first. He’s currently in independent studies. He added that he has an Italian passport and would consider playing in Europe.
“I want to continue playing hockey,” he said. “Just because I didn’t get a pro contract this year doesn’t mean I can’t get it in two, three or four years.”
The Stingers play the McGill Redmen in the OUA East final, starting Feb. 28.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.