Concordia loses in overtime thriller versus McGill
On Friday, the Concordia Stingers welcomed the McGill Martlets at the Ed Meagher Arena for the opening game of the Theresa Humes Cup. This year’s edition of the preseason tournament is hosting four teams, as Bishop’s University, University of Montreal, McGill, and Concordia face off against each other over the weekend.
The Stingers fought a tough battle, but lost to McGill 2-1. Stingers head coach Julie Chu said that with time the team will improve on their mistakes, particularly on special teams, but Chu is not worried as the season progresses.
“We’re going to get better,” Chu said. “Our special teams were a factor and are going to be a factor all year long, so we’ll keep on looking at areas we did a good job and areas we need to get better.”
In the first period, McGill forward Marika Labrecque and defensewoman Jaime Kastelic both went to the box, giving the Stingers two power play opportunities. Though Concordia created many scoring chances, the Stingers couldn’t capitalize.
In the second period, the forecheck from Concordia’s captain Audrey Belzile resulted in a defensive zone turnover from Martlets defensewoman Lydia MacLellan. Stingers rookie Émilie Lavoie had an open lane in the middle of the zone and sniped it past goaltender Tricia Deguire.
Later in the period, it was the Stingers’ turn to head to the penalty box. Despite the fact that McGill spent the majority of the power plays in Concordia’s zone, the Martlets couldn’t take advantage. The closing score after the second period was 1-0 Concordia.
The last period was where the pace picked up. Both teams went back and forth with one another. The turning point was when Labrecque racked up her second penalty, resulting in a disadvantage for McGill going into the final 10 minutes in the game.
Though the Stingers looked solid on all their power play advantages this game and seemed poised and relaxed when settling in the zone, things changed when forward Léonie Philbert coughed the puck up at the blue line leading to a shorthanded breakaway goal from McGill forward Emma Piers, tying up the score 1-1.
At the start of the overtime period, Lavoie collided with a McGill player and received a four-minute major hit-to-the-head penalty. The penalty resulted in the Stingers suffering a 4 on 3 disadvantage for the rest of the five-minute overtime period. McGill’s special teams took over from that point on as captain Jade Downie-Landry, Katie Rankin, Labrecque, and Laura Jardin went to work.
With 1:35 left in overtime, Downie-Landry came down the wing and passed it through traffic to an open Jardin who tucked it into the net for a McGill win 2-1.
Not being able to capitalize on chances seemed to be the running theme for both teams. Concordia was great at applying pressure (especially on the forecheck) and blocking shots during the penalty kill, or blocking passing lanes towards the net. The only thing that could not be done was the most important objective in hockey: to score. Chu acknowledges that one goal won’t be enough to win games.
“We’re a team that can score goals so we want to be able to get more than one in regulation,” Chu said.
Photograph by Catherine Reynolds