The Stingers are back-to-back RSEQ champions

Concordia Stingers captain Olivia Hale lifting the Dr. Ed Enos Trophy and celebrating the RSEQ championship with her teammates. Maria Bouabdo/ The Concordian

The Stingers’ women’s hockey team is headed back to the U Sports National Championship

After a 4-1 victory against the Montreal Carabins in Game 3, the Concordia Stingers were crowned 2022-23 RSEQ champions on home ice for the second consecutive year. The defending national champs will also have a chance to two-peat at the U Sports National Championship.

This was an overall close series: the Stingers won Game 1 with a score of 2-1 at home while the Carabins took the 4-1 home win in Game 2, and Sunday’s victory earned the Stingers the Dr. Ed Enos Trophy.

Stingers forward Alexandra Boulanger opened the scoring around the midway mark of the first period. Forward Caroline Moquin-Joubert doubled their lead with five minutes remaining in the first period with a beautiful shorthanded breakaway goal.

The Stingers had to kill off two five-on-threes early on in the second period, which they did successfully, going seven for seven on the penalty kill in total.

“I think anytime you can have a penalty kill, and we block shots and we give that warrior mentality, it can be a momentum builder,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu.

But she emphasized that their discipline has to be better to avoid overplaying players too early in the game.

Goaltender Alice Philbert also praised her teammates for their effort on the two five-on-threes.

“The girls on five-on-three were incredible in front of me, they blocked so many shots,” she said. “I think [during those two five-on-threes] I faced one shot.”

The lone goal in the second period came from Carabins forward Joannie Garand later in the period, cutting their deficit in half.

However, Stingers forward Rosalie Bégin-Cyr put the team up 3-1 about 10 minutes into the final frame. Moquin-Joubert later scored her second goal of the game on the empty net, securing the Stingers’ win and title as RSEQ champs.

“This [win] means a lot,” Chu said. “We’re a really talented team, but we also had to be really patient with ourselves throughout this entire series to make sure that we were developing to get to this point.”

She added that although the team was coming off a championship win last year for both the RSEQ and nationals, they had a lot of youth on the team after many players graduated last spring.

“So, in the fall, when it would’ve been easy to be maybe distracted with the fact that we weren’t perfect in our D-zone, our breakouts were more difficult, our players stuck with it and they trusted the process, and I think they’re getting rewarded for that process right now,” she concluded.

Philbert, who’s playing her last season at Concordia, said that winning the RSEQ championship for a second year in a row is an incredible feeling and that the team hopes to win the National Championship again, too.

“Obviously, I don’t want to finish with a loss, so I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen and we’ll do our best, we’re going to work hard,” she said.

The University of Montreal is hosting the National Championship, so it will be taking place at the CEPSUM arena from March 16-19. The schedule will be announced on March 12.

“We need to be confident,” said Philbert. “I think we have the team to win again this year, and if we’re confident and we play our game and we work hard, I think nothing can stop us.”

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