Stingers winning streak snapped by Voyageurs

Laurentian came into game on 10-game losing streak

In a spirited affair, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team’s four-game winning streak came to an end. They lost 4-2 to the Laurentian Voyageurs Saturday night at the Ed Meagher Arena.

Entering the game on a 10-game losing streak, the Voyageurs were determined not to lose. Voyageurs goaltender Mackenzie Savard stopped 42 of 44 shots, and came up big with a dazzling, sprawling save late in the game to conserve the victory.

“Their goalie played really well. We have to give them credit; they played a really tight game,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement. “We will do a lot of videos, but we have to work harder over sixty minutes if you want to win.”

Indeed, the Stingers seemed to be in control of this game, dominating the Voyageurs at both ends of the ice. Yet their powerplay went cold, unable to score on any of their four opportunities. Savard went on to make key saves, especially in the first period.

“I think it got away from us in the first, and when they scored we played well from behind,” said Concordia forward Dylan McCrory. “Their goalie made some pretty big saves. You put 40 shots on a guy and they win. That’s pretty good regardless. Either we need to learn how to score better, or he played really well. Probably a bit of both.”

Down 1-0 early in the second period, the Stingers tied the game after a top-shelf from the left circle by Hugo Roy. With the tempo shifting and the young home crowd chanting, Concordia pressed with their fast and gritty style of play to end the second period.

The Stingers entered the third period laughing and laid back. But five minutes in, Voyageurs defenceman Marc-Antoine Gagnon’s wrist shot from the point beat traffic in front of the net, and eventually went past goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte. This ended up being the turning point of the game, as the Voyageurs wound up getting the last laugh.

“We couldn’t score, obviously,” said defenceman Carl Neill. “It’s kind of frustrating. We had a good sequence going the past couple of games, and I think we got a little too confident.  Doing the things we should—we weren’t doing it necessarily. I think it’s a bit of a wakeup call for us, and shows if we play a simple game, we got a chance to win.”

The Stingers did manage to make it exciting for the young fans in attendance, as the night commemorated minor hockey in the region. Stingers defenceman Bradley Lalonde scored with just under 30 seconds remaining to make it 3-2. The Voyageurs would add an empty-net goal with six seconds left in the game, for a final score of 4-2.

The Stingers face a tough test next week traveling to play against Carleton and Queen’s University.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Stingers come from behind to win third-straight

Captain Philippe Hudon: This win shows tremendous character

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team shocked their home crowd by defeating the first-place Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. With eight games remaining in the regular season, the 3-2 shootout win couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We needed more emotion. It was part of my pre-game speech,” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “We’re in front of our fans, in our barn for the first time after Christmas, it was important to get that win and play well.”

Although it was a shaky start, through the team’s strong defensive play, the Stingers managed to stay competitive by killing off four early power plays and avoiding disaster.

The Stingers won both games this weekend after being down by two goals. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Down 2-0 after the first period, the Stingers got their first goal from captain Philippe Hudon. A lucky deflection flew over the helmet of Gee-Gees goaltender Graham Hunt midway through the second period, igniting the crowd.

With the momentum shifting, and the game getting physical, assistant captain Philippe Sanche started to lead by example. His heart and tenacity were evident, which helped the Stingers’s special teams.

“We managed to win some battles down low and create some chances, and we finally got the tying goal late in the game,” said Sanche.

Nearly five minutes into the third period, Hudon capitalized on the Stingers’s only power play of the game by tying up the score with a juicy rebound shot from Sanche.

Overtime solved nothing, bringing the game to a shootout. After two saves from Stingers goalie Anthony Dumont-Bouchard, Sanche scored the only goal with a beautiful wrist shot.

“I practiced it a lot during our practices,” Sanche said. “I try to keep it simple and beat the goalie with a quick release shot—it worked again tonight.”

This is the third-straight win for the Stingers, and second in as many days after they beat the McGill Redmen 5-4 on Friday. The two big wins this weekend certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Concordia’s captain.

“It’s probably one of the toughest weekends that we’ve had on the schedule so far, and honestly it’s incredible for us to have pulled it off. It shows tremendous character,” Hudon said. “Against McGill, we were down by two goals, and were again tonight. In both games, we managed to battle back. I sure hope it’s going to give us the boost we need for the last stretch.”

With the Stingers peaking at the right time, it was an all-around team effort at both ends of the ice.

“We’re playing well as a team,” said defenceman Carl Neill. “We have a game plan and modify it against the team we play every night. Tonight, the boys stuck to it. Give credit to our special units, obviously, that’s what won the game for us—Dumont as well.”

The Stingers play twice at home next weekend, with the first game on Jan. 18 against the Queen’s Gaels at 7:30 p.m.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.



Stingers own worst enemy in 5-1 loss to Ridgebacks

Men’s hockey team have now lost three in a row, and four of last five

Unable to generate any offence, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team lost 5-1 against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks Saturday night at the Ed Meagher Arena.

Entering the game with two consecutive losses, the Stingers couldn’t generate enough shots on net and scoring chances to get the win—leading to a frustrated group of players.

“Guys are gripping their stick a little tighter,” said defenceman Carl Neill. “The past few games, we haven’t been able to put the puck in the net. Guys start to think back and worry—we’re putting too much stress on our shoulders.”

“It’s not an excuse—they played well,” said head coach Marc-André Élement about the Ridgebacks. “Their team were in the shooting lanes and played a really good game.”

The Stingers are now 4-5-1 on the season, but still sit in a playoff spot. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Down 3-0 early in the second, Neill scored a beautiful goal on a tic-tac-toe play which seemed to energize the crowd. With the momentum shifting midway through the second, the Stingers killed off an important penalty while also hitting the goal-post on a scoring chance.

Yet, with under two minutes left to play in the period, the Ridgebacks’s aggressive counter-attack led to another big penalty. On the power play, Tyler Mayea scored on a hard one-timer from the top of the right circle, a turning point in the game and a demoralizing backbreaker for the Stingers.  

Adding salt to the wound, while leaving the ice during the second intermission, Stingers’s goaltender Olivier Tremblay took an uncharacteristic roughing penalty showcasing his frustration.

“Indiscipline,” said Neill about what went wrong. “Our penalty kill isn’t doing the job and, when that’s the case, you can’t take too many penalties.”

Taking full advantage of the Stingers’s frustration and an uneventful third period, Ridgebacks defenceman Kyle Locke agitated Concordia players for the remainder of the game.

“It’s always like that in hockey, we have to keep our self-control,” said Élement. “I told the guys to relax. We’ll get back at work on Monday, do a lot of video work, and be ready for McGill next Friday.  We had a tough weekend, it happens, we just need to focus on the positives, let go of the negative and build on that.”

On a positive note, Élement showcased his leadership abilities by calling an unexpected time-out with just under 10 minutes to play. He could be seen encouraging and motivating his players with vigor, even though the game was out of reach.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen. 

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