Concordia-McGill rivalry crosses the line in physical affair

As expected, the McGill-Concordia rivalry heated up when the schools face-off in men’s hockey on Nov. 9. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

75 penalty minutes as Stingers take 6-3 loss to Redmen

The McGill Redmen men’s hockey team beat the Concordia Stingers 6-3 in their first meeting since the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East final last March. But the biggest story from Friday night’s game at McGill’s McConnell Arena wasn’t the nine goals scored, it was what happened at the start and end of the game.

Olivier Tremblay had to come in to replace Marc-Antoine Turcotte in nets. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

Less than two minutes into the game, a Redmen player fell into Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte, who left the game with an injury. Stingers rookie goalie Olivier Tremblay, who started two games this season, came in to replace him, and allowed five goals on 39 shots.

“I have to look at the clips and see what happened there,” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “But Tremblay did a good job.”

In the final minute of the game, with the score 6-3 for the Redmen, Concordia’s Zachary Zorn laid a heavy hit on a Redmen who was trying to get to his bench. In reply, McGill’s Jordan Fournier went after Philippe Sanche, who was wearing a full face mask for the game. He broke Sanche’s face mask, which injured him, and both players were given two-minute minor penalties for roughing.

“When you know that there’s a player on the other side wearing a [full face mask] because he’s injured, and he goes at him […] They took advantage of that, and for me, that’s unacceptable,” Élement added.

After the scrum, the Redmen ended up on the power play for the dying seconds of the game, which confused Stingers defenceman Carl Neill.

“It’s disgusting,” Neill said. “Stuff like that doesn’t have a place in the game, especially for a guy like Sanche, who doesn’t do anything […] You have to know where to draw the line and, when he’s spitting blood after, it’s never a good sign.”

The two physical incidents were indicative of the game in between. The Stingers had 40 penalty minutes on 16 infractions, while the Redmen had 35 on 12 penalties, including a five-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct on Nikolas Brouillard for a check-to-the-head. Concordia’s Charles-Eric Légare also received a ten-minute misconduct for a hit-from-behind.

“It’s part of the game,” Neill said. “We have to regroup and come back tomorrow, nothing we can do about it now.”

Stingers rookie forward Chase Harwell played in his first game against McGill, and said it didn’t fail to live up to its hype. “I knew it was going to be crazy, all the guys told me about it,” Harwell said. “But that’s my kind of game, so I loved it.”

Special teams were the difference in this game. After Brouillard’s major penalty midway through the second period, the Stingers had a 3-2 lead and a seven-minute power play. Instead of capitalizing to put the game away, they allowed a short-handed goal and took a penalty themselves.

“Sometimes, when you don’t score on the power play, you lose the momentum and they get it,” Élement said. “Our special [teams] have to be way better, we gave up too many goals on the penalty kill and power play.”

The Redmen went 3/10 on the power play, scoring the game-winning goal on the man advantage. The Stingers went 1/7 with the extra player.

The Stingers will be able to avenge this loss next Friday, Nov. 16, when they host the Redmen at the Ed Meagher Arena. But first, they host the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks Saturday night.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.

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