Sometimes three periods of hockey isn’t enough, and you have to go to overtime.
Then double overtime.
Then a shootout.
That’s what it took for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, as they beat the McGill Martlets 2-1 at McConnell Arena in a shootout in what was a season-opener to remember.
“That was an awesome hockey game,” said head coach Julie Chu after the marathon match. “The whole team played really well. Both teams played really well, both had moments of momentum and moments to take advantage. It was a good hard fought game and we’re really happy for the first one of the season.”
McGill jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead in the second period on a goal from Jade Downie-Landry. The goal came after the Stingers were unable to convert on a pair of back-to-back power plays.
A minute later, the Stingers responded.
On another powerplay, Concordia kept the puck moving, inching forward before defender Brigitte Lagagniére found Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, who fired a wrister past McGill goalie Tricia Deguire. Deguire would make 41 saves throughout the five periods of play.
That would be the only goal on the power play for the Stingers despite getting seven opportunities with the extra attacker, including a four-minute power play that ended with the Stingers spending more time in their end than the Martlet’s.
“Our third period power plays, we needed better energy,” said Chu. “Especially the four minute one. That’s our opportunity to really take advantage of that moment. Because we had that struggle in the first two minutes of the four, we let it affect us. When you’re on the power play, technically, you fail more than you succeed.”
Across the ice, Stingers goalie Alice Philbert was forced to stand on her head a couple of times. Most notably during a botched Stingers power play breakout that led to a breakaway, Philbert stretched her pad and denied the attempt. Philbert ended the game with 32 saves.
“I thought [Philbert] was great,” said Chu of the third-year tendy. “She’s developed into a tremendous level at the university level. Her first year, she came in as a young person who needed to gain some strength and experience. I thought she was really solid today, was calm, made some big saves for us and obviously in the shootout she was really good.”
The Stingers 5-on-5 played well. Veterans like Audrey Belzile used her speed and power to generate more than a few scoring chances. Former Martlet Olivia Atkinson showed flashes of her CWHL-level skill. Rookie Emmy Fecteau was able to dangle through waves of Martlets at times. While there were more than a few solid individual efforts, rookie Léonie Philbert was one to really stand out. Playing both defence and forward at different points of the game, Philbert battled hard along the boards, managed to get a breakaway opportunity and was a general pain in the ass of the Martlets.
After regulation, the game headed to overtime. Both teams went back and forth, and both teams had chances to put the game away, but the goalies said otherwise. So off to a shootout we go.
Fecteau and Atkinson both were unable to score in the shootout. Philbert denied first two shooters as well. It was Bégin-Cyr who finally managed to put the Stingers ahead, snapping a shot five-hole as the third shooter. McGill’s Kellyanne Lecours was than calmly stopped by Philbert, giving the Stingers their first win of the season and putting an end to a low-scoring slugfest of a game.
“It was a really good team win, regardless of it ending up in a shootout,” said Chu.
- I’m tracking shots and shot location for this upcoming Stingers whky season. It’s not going to be perfect, but should be interesting.
- Please inject this type of hockey directly into my veins.
Photos by Mackenzie Lad