Redmen stun capacity crowd with overtime win against Stingers

Stingers captain Philippe Hudon scored a goal in game two, but it wasn’t enough for the win. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

OUA East final now heading to a deciding game three

Jerome Verrier’s overtime goal gave the McGill Redmen a 3-2 win over the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team Friday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. The best-of-three Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East final is now tied, with the series going to a deciding game three.

The Ed Meagher Arena, which has a capacity of about 800 people, sold out for the game. For the fans who showed up a bit later, they had to stand along the boards, in the rows or sit on stairs. The crowd was full of energy for the whole game.

“We’re sorry we didn’t end up winning for [the fans],” said Stingers captain Philippe Hudon about the packed arena.

The Ed Meagher Arena was standing room only on Friday night. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Hudon opened the scoring five minutes into the game with a power-play goal, and the pro-Concordia crowd erupted into a frenzy. Hudon described the atmosphere as “unbelievable.”

“It gives you that constant drive even though we played nearly four whole periods,” he said.

The Redmen responded a minute after Hudon’s goal, with Guillaume Gauthier beating Marc-Antoine Turcotte with a high shot. The Stingers were undisciplined in the first period, with forward Alexis Pépin taking two penalties, and forward Massimo Carozza had another. The Redmen went 0/4 on their power-play opportunities all game.

Turcotte, who was the game-one star with 43 saves in the win, was not the better of the two goalies in game two. Although he had a fantastic game, making 44 saves, McGill’s Louis-Philip Guindon won the goaltending duel, with 50 saves. He made several important saves in overtime too.

The Concordia Stingers shot tracker on Louis-Philip Guindon. Bolded are the goals. Tracked by Matthew Coyte.

“He was strong, but we have to take advantage of his weaknesses,” Hudon said about Guindon. “He really played an unbelievable game, just as much as Turcotte did, but we just have to keep firing away. We know we could beat this guy, but it’s just a question of being in his face at all times.”

The Redmen took their first lead of the series in the second period, when Michael Cramarossa scored seven minutes in. With five minutes left in the second, Cramarossa took an interference penalty, and the Stingers took advantage when Carozza scored a goal from the high slot to tie the game.

Both of the Stingers’s goals in the game came from a power play. Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement said he isn’t worried his team couldn’t score on five-on-five.

“We just have to put more pucks on net,” Élement said. “We’re going to watch video and analyze our game, but I think putting more pucks on net [during] five-on-five will be the key.”

After winning game one on the road at McGill’s McConnell Arena, the Stingers will have to go back there to close off the series. This is not a situation they’re unfamiliar with, as they had to do it in the last series against the Queen’s Gaels. The Stingers won both games on the road, including game three in overtime. In the playoffs, Concordia is undefeated on the road.

“It’s a positive thing that we didn’t lose any away games, and I’m confident we’re going to bounce back from this tough one,” Élement said. “They have a good team, and it’s not easy to win two games [in a row] against those guys.”

The Stingers opened their regular season in October away against the Redmen, and won 3-2. Now, they don’t want their season to end where it started: on enemy territory.

Game three is on Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the McConnell Arena.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.

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