Stingers’ forward Maxim Trépanier’s hat trick helps Concordia get an important win for the upcoming playoffs
Last Friday night, the Concordia Stingers’ men’s hockey team stunned the Ottawa Gee-Gees by scoring four unanswered goals in the third period at the Ed Meagher Arena, thereby securing the second spot in the OUA East.
The Stingers and the Gee-Gees followed each other closely during the first period. The tension was high, but neither team could capitalize on their respective power plays. The first period ended with 11 unsuccessful shots for Concordia and eight for Ottawa.
Only in the second period was Gee-Gees’ forward Anthony Poulin able to score the first goal of the game against Stingers’ goaltender Jonathan Lemieux. Concordia, however, still couldn’t get on the board by the end of the period, with a total of 26 shots over 40 minutes.
The Stingers made crucial changes to their gameplay in the third period, allowing them to take the lead over the Gee-Gees.
“I told the guys to be honest with their performance and to step up their game and they did it,” said Stingers’ head coach Marc-André Elément. “We looked at some videos and the guys were playing on the outside, they weren’t staying in front of the goaltender. In the third period we went in there and that’s how we scored some goals.”
And score goals, they did.
Four minutes into the third period, Stingers’ forward Maxim Trépanier scored a first goal and tied the game after receiving a pass from Stinger’s defender Simon Lavigne and sliding it past Gee-Gees’ goaltender Christian Sbaraglia. He scored again three minutes later, giving Concordia the lead. This time centre Tyler Hylland and defender Sean Larochelle got the assists.
A few minutes later, Stingers’ centre and captain Phélix Martineau scored and furthered Concordia’s lead with help from Stingers’ right-winger Charles Tremblay and left-winger Isiah Campbell.
Two minutes before the end of the game, Trépanier received valuable passes from Lemieux and Stingers’ defender Kyle Havlena and took one final shot at an empty Gee-Gees’ net, setting the final mark of 4-1. It marked Trépanier’s second hat trick in two consecutive games and Lemieux’s second assist as a goaltender.
“It’s teamwork, it’s my job to start the game and the guys take care of the rest,” said Lemieux. “In an empty net situation, we have more chances to [score], but to do it for the hat trick of a teammate is really fun.”
Trépanier mentioned that the positive attitude in the locker room during the second intermission helped the team get the win.
“We knew after the first two periods that we weren’t playing our best game, but I think that we really stepped it up in the third period,” said Lemieux.
The goaltender also added that his teammates made his job much easier, allowing him to face only six shots in the last period.
Despite the big win, the team remains focused on the important games ahead.
“We still have work to do this week for the playoffs, but we are getting close to where we want [our performance] to be,” said Trépanier.
Friday’s win guaranteed a first-round playoff bye for the Stingers, and their Saturday 3-2 victory against the Carleton Ravens marked their fifth consecutive win.
The Stingers’ last regular season game will be disputed at home on Feb. 10 against the Queen’s Gaels.