Women’s team leads their division in points while men’s team trails division lead by just one point.
It is certainly an encouraging start to a season when both hockey teams in a school’s program are winning out the gate. The Concordia Stingers have done just that. While we haven’t reached the halfway point in the regular season, the men’s hockey team trails the tightly-contested Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Men’s Hockey East Division standings by a single point. On an even higher note, the women’s hockey team leads the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) hockey standings by four points. This is on top of remaining undefeated this season.
The Stingers’ women’s hockey team has been nothing short of impressive in the early going of their regular season campaign. Following a loss in the Theresa Humes Cup championship game on Oct. 1, the team won eight straight games, including six in league play.
With wins against division rivals like the Université de Montréal Carabins, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, and most recently the Bishop Gaiters, the Stingers have shown how they could compete and be successful against any team in their division. Stingers head coach Julie Chu spoke on how proud she is of the team’s hard work and success. “We have found a way to win differently in all [our] games, and that’s what I’m really proud of,” shared Chu following a 6-1 win against the Gee-Gees on Nov. 3.
While the start was a victorious one, Chu wants to make sure nobody gets ahead of themselves with it only being November. “We always come out of every game with ‘this is what we did well’ and ‘this is what we need to do better,’” she explains. “It’s always our mentality, and regardless of being undefeated and winning five games so far, it’s a long season, and where we actually want to play our best hockey is at the end of the season.”
The Stingers’ women’s team will look to keep the win streak going when they play next at McGill on Nov. 10.
The men’s team has a lot to be proud about to this point as well. Despite dropping their last two games to the East division-leading Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes, the Stingers began the season with a 6-1-0 record.
This season, the OUA expanded the amount of teams that each university plays. The East division now plays against the West in league play, which only makes the competition tougher.
That being said, the Stingers handled the change well. Concordia earned at least one point against the top two teams in the West division, beating the second place Toronto Varsity Blues 4-3 on Oct. 20 and losing in overtime to the first place Brock Badgers 3-2 on Oct. 28.
Goaltender Jordan Naylor split the games as starter with teammate Nikolas Hurtubise as the men’s team tried to find a consistent starting netminder after Jonathan Lemieux left in the offseason on a professional contract. To this point, Naylor is second amongst all OUA goaltenders in goals against average (1.98) and tied for fourth in save percentage (0.923).
Also high up on the leaderboard is Stingers’ right winger Charles-Antoine Paiement. He is currently tied for third place amongst leading goal scorers in the entire OUA.
The Stingers’ men’s team will be back in action on Nov. 10 when they travel to face the Western University Mustangs.
As the season progresses for both the women’s and men’s hockey teams, the competition will only continue to increase. But if the Stingers continue to improve on what they have already accomplished, both teams are bound to have success this season.