Stingers lose OUA East final against Redmen

oua east final
The Concordia Stingers huddle around goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte after being eliminated from the playoffs. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

McGill dominated after Pépin was tossed from game

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team were overwhelmed by the McGill Redmen Sunday night at the McConnell Arena, losing 6-2. The Redmen won the best-of-three Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East final, advancing to the Queen’s Cup next weekend against the Brock Badgers.

“It was like a game seven,” said Stingers forward Anthony Beauregard. “For sure we were a bit stressed, but we just tried to push hard. Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted.”

The Stingers got off to the start they wanted, with captain Philippe Hudon scoring just 31 seconds into the game. However, less than two minutes later, Stingers forward Alexis Pépin was ejected from the game for a hit to Quinn Syrydiuk’s head.

“We had a good start, but that was a hit that [deserved] five minutes [major penalty],” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “It’s a good call, and we have to live with it […] I don’t want to blame Pépin because he’s a physical guy, and the other guy was in a vulnerable position, but that’s hockey.”

oua east final
Players on both teams didn’t forget about their rivalry in game three. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

The penalty gave the Redmen a five-minute power play that would continue if they scored. And they capitalized twice. Defenceman Nikolas Brouillard and forward Jerome Verrier—the game two overtime hero—both beat Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte on the blocker side. These goals got over 1,000 people at the arena fired up, and put the Stingers on their heels.

OUA East Final
The Stingers shot chart. By Matthew Coyte

Despite Stingers defenceman Philippe Charbonneau tying the game midway through the first period, the Redmen regained the lead a minute later with a goal by Jan Kaminsky. That goal was all the Redmen needed, as they scored one more in the second and two more in the third, to beat their cross-town rivals.

oua east final
The Stingers just couldn’t capitalize on their scoring chances. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

In the second period, the Stingers continued to get penalized when defenceman Alexandre Gosselin received a 10-minute major for hitting from behind. Élement said his players were undisciplined.

“Sometimes, in a game like that of high-intensity, the emotions are really high,” Élement added.

The Redmen are a team full of veterans, while the Stingers have many players still in their first and second years of eligibility. McGill’s composure in this series showed, considering they were a shot away from losing in overtime in game two, and climbed back to win.

“Our playoff run was huge for our program,” Élement said. “I’ve got to give them credit, they have a really good team. You know what, I hope they win the Queen’s Cup. I know it’s always a rivalry between us and them, but I hope a Quebec team wins.”

While the Redmen travel to Brock University to play the Badgers in the Queen’s Cup, the Stingers will host the York Lions

While the Redmen travel to Brock University to play the Badgers in the Queen’s Cup, the Stingers will host the York Lions on Friday, March 9 at the Ed Meagher Arena, in a bronze-medal match. The winner of that game will join the Redmen and the Badgers at nationals.

“We’re going to be ready for Friday,” Élement said. “We just hope we get the chance to win it on Friday and play [the Redmen] at nationals.”

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.

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