The Stingers overpower the RMC Paladins in a 7-0 victory in Concordia’s home opener

Stingers’ centre Gabriel Proulx in a game vs. the RMC Paladins on Oct. 15, 2022. Photo credit: Liam Mahoney/ Concordia Athletics

The Stingers’ men’s hockey team dominates in every aspect of the game to get its first win of the season

The Concordia Stingers started the season on a perfect note, coming out with a 7-0 victory in their home and season opener against the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins on Saturday.

Every aspect of the Stingers’ game — special teams, physicality, and discipline — was tested and they came out on top of their opponents.

The Stingers were sharp from the very beginning of the game, setting the tone early as centre Gabriel Proulx opened the scoring 3:35 into the game with a snipe from the left circle. Forty seconds later, rookie defenceman Sean Larochelle scored a wrap-around goal giving the Stingers a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

“It’s great when we start with a lead, it’s easier to play with more confidence,” Stingers’ head coach Marc-André Elément said. “We did a good job, we came out strong and the guys were ready for that one.”

A couple of penalties were given to the Paladins later that period, on which the Stingers had some good opportunities, but didn’t capitalize. RMC had a two-on-one shorthanded chance during their second penalty kill, but the Stingers’ rookie goaltender Jonathan Lemieux made a big pad save, and the Stingers ended the period with a 2-0 lead.

The physicality level increased and penalties started piling up in the second period, leading to nearly the rest of the game being played on special teams.

Stingers’ left-winger Maxim Trépanier scored two minutes into the period on a 5-on-3. Around midway through the period, Stingers’ right-winger Alexander Katerinakis scored on a one-man advantage.

The Stingers took a late penalty with 2:20 remaining in the frame, however, an RMC mistake led to a shorthanded opportunity for the Stingers after a giveaway from behind the Paladins’ net, as Stingers’ rookie forward Édouard Charron was alone in front of the net, and scored his first goal, giving Concordia the 4-0 lead. Shots were 30-10 in favour of Concordia going into the third period.

Around five minutes into the final frame, Stingers’ left-winger Isiah Campbell capitalized on a 5-on-3. He scored again six minutes later on a one-man advantage, ending the afternoon with two goals and two assists on the powerplay and earning the Stingers a 7-0 victory.

Campbell said that the team wanted to keep it simple and stay disciplined.

“We found a way to bear down on their opportunities and we let the game come to us and just had fun out there,” he said. “They were definitely a little chippy but we managed well and we stayed disciplined.”

A total of 21 penalties were handed out: 15 for RMC and six for Concordia. Eleven out of these 21 penalties were given in the last period, as the Paladins’ frustrations started to build up.

The final shots were 54-17 in favour of Concordia, who did a great job limiting RMC’s scoring chances, even when they found themselves shorthanded.

“They played really well,” Elément said. “They blocked a lot of shots, they were really competing and we didn’t give them that many shots, we didn’t give them that many scoring chances.”

It was also a big game for Lemieux, who earned a shutout in his first game with the Stingers.

“It’s fun to start the season well, I think as a team the goal is to always start with a win to gain confidence,” Lemieux said. “I didn’t face a lot of shots so it was difficult to stay focused but I think a goalie’s job, whether you face a lot of shots or not, is to be focused all throughout the game and as long as they had chances to score I had to make the saves at the right times.”

Elément was also happy with his goaltender’s first outing.

“I think he played well, he kept us in the game,” Elément said. “He made some big saves at the right moments so that’s really good.”

Campbell added that it was fun to win the home opener in front of the fans, but that there is a long season ahead of them.

With 10 freshmen on the team, this makes for a good mix of rookies and veterans, which should mean a fun season is ahead for the Stingers.

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