Division 2 men’s hockey is expanding in the RSEQ

Stingers’ D2 men’s hockey team during practice, 2023. Maria Bouabdo/ The Concordian

Teams in the D2 league will get to play 13 extra games against CEGEPs starting in 2023-24

Starting next season, teams in the division 2 men’s university hockey league in the RSEQ will get an extra 13 games added to their season, played against division 1 CEGEP teams.

The league currently consists of three teams: Concordia University, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC).

Instead of playing 12 games per season, which sometimes can go a couple of weeks without a game, each team will now get to play 25 games per season.

Stingers D2 forward Christopher Séguin is looking forward to seeing a busier schedule. He previously played for the Patriotes of CEGEP Saint-Laurent, and is now in his first year at Concordia studying economics but will be switching to business marketing.

“We’re happy to have more games,” Séguin said. “It’s going to give us a better pace between school and hockey, while now it felt more like school, with sometimes one game every two weeks… It can get long.”

He also hopes to see the league get bigger, with more universities joining.

“It would be more fun and I think it deserves to become a strong league,” Séguin said. “There are a lot of good players, if they don’t make it to major junior, and they play college hockey or AAA, and they don’t know what to do, this would allow them to continue their education and keep playing hockey in university.”

The Stingers’ D1 men’s hockey team coach Marc-André Elément started the D2 program in 2021-22 to give more athletes the chance to play hockey at the university level. Elément also assists with the D2 team and is the athletics department liaison.

“Our league has become so good that we only recruit from major junior [CHL],” Elément said about the OUA, the league the Stingers’ D1 team is a part of. “So most [players from] CEGEP don’t really play D1. Some can, but not a lot. There are a lot of teams at that level in CEGEP but not in university. So that’s why we started this program, it gives the opportunity to 25 more players to play hockey and practice almost every day.”

Elément looks forward to seeing more universities join the D2 league and to seeing it grow over the next couple of years, with the possibility of some D2 teams moving up to the D1 league.

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