How does Concordia’s COVID-19 response compare to other Canadian universities?

Concordia has postponed classes for two weeks. Other Canadian universities have taken different measures

Concordia University announced on March 13 that classes and exams would be postponed for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. The announcement came after the Quebec Premier Francois Legault said in a press conference that all schools would be closed for that time period while imposing limits on gatherings of more than 250 people.

Concordia president Graham Carr penned an online letter to the university’s community which stated the following;

“Dear members of the Concordia community,

I am writing to update you following the Government of Quebec’s announcement earlier today that all schools and universities in Quebec are closing for two weeks until Monday, March 30.

I understand that the current situation is causing stress and anxiety for many people. At the same time, I appreciate the patience and perseverance of the community as we work through this situation in coordination with the ministries of education and public health.”

So how does Concordia’s COVID-19 response compare to Canadian post-secondary institutions?

NOTE: Information and news surrounding COVID-19 is rapidly emerging and constantly changing. The attached hyperlinks will be updated by the following universities as responses change or become updated.

In Quebec, universities are following government directions. McGill, Université de Montreal, Laval and Sherbrooke and have all stated that they will be postponing classes for two weeks.

Outside of the province, universities have offered varying responses. In the Maritimes, St. FX has suspended classes until March 20, Saint Mary’s has suspended classes until March 16. Dalhousie has cancelled all in-person classes for the rest of the semester, and stated that some may be moved to online platforms.

In Ontario, Carleton has cancelled in person courses and has moved to online classes for the remainder of the semester. Western has also moved all of its classes online, and all final exams will not take place in-person. As well, students who have already left campus will not be required to return to take those finals. Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Ryerson and York and  has also adopted those same measures. Queen’s has suspended all undergraduate classes for one week starting March 16.

The University of Manitoba has suspended all in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. Brandon University and Red River College has suspended classes for a one week period.

In the prairies, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and Mount Royal University will be moving to online classes for the rest of the semester.

Further west in the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University and the University of Victoria have all followed suit and moved to online classes for the rest of the semester.

All universities linked in this article have stated that essential services such as health services, cafeterias and security on their campuses will remain open, as of March 15.

The federal government has stated that the “PHAC has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly.”

The PHAC has recommended that Canadians wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching their faces, and clean all high-touch frequency objects like phones and door handles regularly.


Graphic by Ana Bilokin

News Sports

Update: U Sports has cancelled its men’s and women’s national championships

UPDATE: U Sports has officially cancelled their national championship tournaments in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official statement from Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U Sports’ Chief Sport Officer:

“As proud partner of Hockey Canada, we understand how difficult a decision this was to make. We understand the disappointment felt by our student-athletes, coaches, officials and wonderful hosts however the decision was made with the best interest of all participants in mind.”


Original article:

U Sports has told The Concordian that all of its national championships will go forward, and that the organization is in close contact with Public Health Officials across the country. 

Official statement from the organization:

“U SPORTS and our championship hosts are in contact with Public Health Officials in each province where we are hosting national championships this weekend. As of 9:45 this morning, we still have clearance from Public Health to go forward with the championships.
We will provide an update if anything changes. In the meantime, you can read more on the steps U SPORTS and its members are taking to deal with COVID-19 by visiting our website at:”
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reflecting on the Stingers women’s hockey team’s breakthrough season

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team spent all but one week as the best team in U Sports during the 2019-20 season.

For 14 weeks straight, the Stingers were voted to the No. 1 spot—and for good reason. This was the best regular season of Julie Chu’s head coaching tenure. The Stingers finished as the top team in the RSEQ (arguably the toughest division in U Sports) with a 15-3-1-1 record.

The Stingers were forced to hold off the Université de Montreal (UdeM) Carabins and McGill Martlets. All three of these teams should have consistently been ranked in the U Sports top five every week this season. All season long, not only did the Stingers survive those games against UdeM and McGill, they thrived, consistently winning hard-fought matches. The Stingers won the RSEQ division title for the first time since 2004-05.

Even though this team preached the “one game at a time” mentality, going into the playoffs, the expectations were that the Stingers would be heading to Charlottetown, P.E.I., to push for a national championship. Those expectations came to a crashing halt during the semi-finals of the RSEQ playoffs when the Stingers lost the best-of-three series to the Carabins.


Let’s start with the positives: they scored goals like nobody’s business, they fired a TON of shots on net. The systems on special teams figured themselves out and proved to be impactful. I’m sure if U Sports kept track of possession numbers, the Stingers would be close to the top as well. But the Stingers’ success this season was in large part due to the following two reasons.

Proving themselves

Three seasons ago, the Stingers won bronze at nationals. If that proved that the Stingers had the ability to compete with top teams, this season proved that they are a top team.

Despite not making it to the national championship this season, the Stingers proved themselves as a force in U Sports. No other team in Canada would have fared as well in the RSEQ as they did. Chu has built a team designed for long-term success in a gruelling division. She’s brought in rookies capable of immediately becoming impact players. Veterans play key roles in creating that winning culture. Goaltending continues to be one of the most underrated aspects of this team.


Individual talent


The Stingers played well as a team all season, but it didn’t hurt to have some of the top players in the country either. Rosalie Bégin-Cyr led the RSEQ in points with 28 in 20 games (she also led the U Sports top scorers in PPG).

Claudia Dubois capped off her five-year run with Concordia by being named team captain and becoming one of the best two-way forwards in U Sports. She also put up 23 points—the highest point total of her career—to finish second in RSEQ scoring, only behind Bégin-Cyr.

Audrey Belzile continues to be one of the most exciting players in U Sports and scored 22 points during the season. Brigitte Laganière exploded for 18 assists on defence, all while becoming one of the premier defenders in the division.


Alice Philbert went 12-4, sported a 1.99 GAA and 0.921 SV% while backstopping the Stingers to a division title. On any other team, Philbert is THE star player. On the Stingers, she flies under the radar more than she should. Emmy Fecteau led all RSEQ rookies with 17 points and played on the top line for a good chunk of the season.

So it shouldn’t come as a shock that the team cleaned up at the RSEQ awards. Chu won her second Coach of the Year award, Bégin-Cyr was named the division’s MVP and Fecteau was named RSEQ Rookie of the Year. Bégin-Cyr, Belzile and Laganière were all named First Team All-Stars. Alexandra Nikolidakis and Dubois were named Second Team All-Stars.

Now, remember that this team is only losing two players to graduation this year. With this type of talent returning to the roster, the expectations for next season are already sky-high.

Six-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has a great quote in the Netflix series Drive to Survive that goes “It’s easier to chase than to lead.” I think that sentiment sums up the Stingers pretty well this year.

They were vaulted to the top of the U Sports rankings in Week 2 and they held the position until the end of the regular season. For 14 weeks, the Stingers played with a target on their back. They managed to push past this, but you could tell that they were getting their opponents’ best every single night. Not many teams took days off against Concordia.

Despite this, even from a critical standpoint, the Stingers’ faults were either minor or addressed.

By no means did the Stingers get complacent—quite the opposite is true. All season, Chu spoke about how she and her team were focused on fixing the chinks in their armour. As the season progressed, the team won games by playing faster than anyone else. And all season long, that style and mentality worked. The team won a lot. They scored a lot. They played their game. Even the Stingers’ power play struggles managed to turn around and the team finished at 15 per cent.

Unfortunately, sometimes you play a team that just figures it out.

In the semi-finals, the Stingers struggled to gain momentum against the Carabins because they played a different style. While the Stingers focused on getting the pucks to the slot through speed, the Carabins played along the boards, keeping the Stingers to the outside and forcing the puck into scoring chances. The Game 3 shot map shows this well.

During the regular season, the Stingers were able to win those battles. In the playoffs, it was the Carabins who won those same battles. Credit where credit’s due, the Carabins played a great playoff series, a series that can be added to the ever-growing rivalry between the two squads.

While the Stingers are probably disappointed in how their season ended, there’s no way this stops the momentum the program has built over the past three seasons.

Even though the Stingers won’t be making the trip to P.E.I., make no mistake—this is a team capable of competing for a national championship next season.

Photos by Cecilia Piga


Montreal 3, Concordia 2: Stingers season ends in heartbreaking Game 3 loss to the Carabins

The number one ranked Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team’s season is over.

The Stingers lost 3-2 in game three of the RSEQ semi-finals to the Université de Montreal Carabins.

“It’s hard, we’re devastated for sure,” said head coach Julie Chu. “We always took it one game at a time, and we had belief that our team could go really far into nationals. But we also know that we play in the best conference in U Sports. To get out of our conference is always tough to do, especially against a great rival.”

The first period saw the Stingers start where they left things off after Saturday’s 5-3 game two win. They managed quality chances against the Carabins and were executing their zone entries perfectly. With four minutes left in the frame, Stingers captain Claudia Dubois wired home a one-timer to give the Stingers the lead.

In the second period, the Carabins flipped the script.

A power play goal four minutes in, and an in-tight goal with two minutes left in the period gave the Carabins all of the momentum.

Blaming the refs for a loss is never the answer, but it should be said that there were some extremely questionable calls on both teams. Take the Stingers tying goal for example. A seemingly innocent shot from Audrey-Ann Rodrigue squeaked past Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan, but the puck fell right behind the goalie, but never cleared the goal line and was clearly still in the blue paint (I asked four other media members who all said that the puck didn’t cross the line).

Chaos ensues after the ref calls the play dead, the refs convene at centre ice, the Stingers fans go crazy while waiting for the decision. The refs finally decided that the shot went in (it didn’t). It really seemed like the refs were peer pressured by the crowd to make that call.

Mix in some blatant missed calls on both teams, and you’re left with a game that wasn’t exactly decided by the refs, but their handprints are there. Chu has never been one to make excuses and that didn’t change after this game.

“It went both ways,” said Chu. “For us we always talk about controlling what we can control. The big part of what we do control is our ability to work hard, execute and do the little things really well. Unfortunately I think we got away from that a little bit.”

The Stingers struggled to generate momentum and chances in close against Trevisan. They were outshot 28-23 by the Carabins, and Stingers goalie Alice Philbert had to bail her team out a couple of times.

Graphic by Matthew Coyte

Shortly after tying the game up in the third period, the Carabins re-took the lead. A shot towards the front of the net took a strange bounce, the puck popped up and dropped right behind Philbert and into the net. Philbert would make 25 saves on 28 shots. Trevisan would make 21 on 23 shots.

Credit to the Carabins though, after getting outskated in game two, they came out and stuck to their game plan; heavy hockey. The Carabins won key puck battles, blocked a hell of alot of shots, forechecked hard and took advantage of their chances.

This ending is especially heartbreaking for Dubois. This was her last game in a Stingers jersey. The captain was lights-out all season and during this playoff series. Dubois is the defining player of Chu’s tenure as head coach. The same way Phil Hudon represented a new era of Stingers’ men’s hockey, Dubois embodied the winning culture that’s been built at Concordia over the past five years. The coach had nothing but praise for her captain post-game.

“She’s the one who’s going to make me cry when she leaves,” said Chu. “When she came [into the program], we were still figuring out how to win, how to build a culture, how to take things to the next level. She’s a huge reason why we got to this next level. Every day, from when she came in as a first-year, to this last game, she’s given us everything. She’s prepared, she works, she wants to win, she’s gritty. For us, that’s become the core of who we are. She’s the one who leads the team and she’s the strongest voice in that locker room. We’re going to miss her.”

This is a disappointing finish for the team. Not many people would have expected a 2020 U Sports national championship without the number one ranked team. Despite this, this season was important for the Stingers.

“Our biggest thing is to hold our head up high,” said Chu. “It’s going to sting for a while, but that’s okay. When we care about what we’re doing, we’re passionate, we put in the time and effort, it’s going to hurt when we don’t get the results we want. We wanted [the team] to feel like they should be proud of everything they’ve given up. They’ve given into this program this year. We’re really proud of them.”

The Carabins will play the McGill Martlets in the RSEQ finals later this week. Both teams will also advance to the U Sports national championship taking place in P.E.I. in March.


  • The Stingers have been the most exciting Montreal hockey team this year. It’s sad to see them end the season this way, but you’ll never hear anyone say that they didn’t put their heart into every single game.
  • Claudia Dubois and defender Erica Starnino are the only fifth-year players on the Stingers. That means that most of the core that made the Stingers so deadly will be returning.

Feature photo by Britanny Clarke


Concordia 5, Montreal 3: Stingers beat the Carabins in Game 2 of the RSEQ semi-finals

After the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team lost in game one of the RSEQ semi-finals to the Université de Montreal Carabins on Thursday, head coach Julie Chu promised that the game plan wasn’t about to suddenly change.

“I was really happy with how we played on Thursday,” says Chu. “We had a good reset day yesterday. Our players knew what was on the line. We just stayed the course.”

The first period of game two at UDEM’s CEPSUM arena didn’t start out great for the Stingers. The outlet passes weren’t hitting sticks, the Carabins were forechecking their way into long offensive possessions and the Stingers weren’t able to generate much momentum.

With six minutes left in the opening frame, defender Brigite Laganiere changed that.

Laganiere had a very strong regular season, putting up 18 assists while being relied defensively as the top defender on the team.

Despite the effort and consistency, Laganiere wasn’t able to score a goal.

During some neutral zone confusion, Laganiere took off alone against two Carabins players, wound up, and wired a clapper over the glove of Maude Trevisan.

From there, the Stingers took off.

Stéphanie Lalancette and Léonie Philbert added goals in the first period to extend the Stingers’ lead to 3-0 going into the second period.

“We weren’t putting in pucks 5-on-5,” said Chu. “That was a really important aspect that we had to find. Get to the net, create chaos, win some of those netfront battles. Being able to get there, maybe getting some of the bounces that go in.”

After the first period tallies, the Stingers promptly welcomed Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan to the second period when Belzile finished a nice lil saucer pass from Emmy Fecteau just 44 seconds into the frame. The Carabins would replace Trevisan with Aube Racine after the goal.

“Playing a fast game is always helpful,” said Chu. “We talk about transitioning quickly both ways. We’ve got talented teams in this league. The way you make teams or anyone uncomfortable is by using speed, taking away time and space.”

Olivia Atkinson would push the Stingers total to five goals early in the third. The Stingers would rattle off 32 shots. The Carabins would score a goal in the second and make a push with two goals late in the third period, but the Stingers lead never seemed in doubt.

Stingers goalie Alice Philbert stood out tonight, stopping 20 of 23 stops. In-between fighting for looks through traffic and making a fleury of in-tight

“Alice, and all of our players, do a great job of reseting and refocusing,” said Chu. “She’s been going out there and playing some big, awesome hockey for us”

“We’re really pumped for tomorrow, to get a chance to play hard against a great cross-town rival.”

Game three of the RSEQ semi-finals will take place on Sunday, at the Ed Meagher Arena at 3 p.m.


  • Julie Chu is playing her cards close to the chest on her plan for game three. “Staying the course” might be an accurate retroactive slogan for the Stingers 2019-20 season.
  • Game three is going to be very cool, show up.

Feature photo by Mackenzie Lad


Ottawa 3, Concordia 1: Penalties kill the Stingers against the Gee-Gees

I just want to start off by rescinding a take I made on Twitter before Sunday’s game between the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. 

The last time I saw Ottawa play Concordia was a 6-2 Stingers win in early January. On Sunday, I went on Twitter and commented on how Ottawa (currently the #3 seed in the RSEQ) would be a better match-up for the Stingers than Montreal or McGill.

I’d like to take that back now.

The Stingers took six penalties and just seemed to be a step behind all game against the Gee-Gees. To Ottawa’s much deserved credit, they did everything that the Stingers usually do so well. They got shots off in dangerous areas, disrupted the Stingers zone entries, and drew penalties when it mattered.

The Gee-Gees (21 points) are now riding a five-game win streak and moved past Montreal (20 points) in the standings.  They look like a team with a purpose. They move the puck extremely well, play with speed and work their special teams with efficiency. This is a dangerous team. With two games left in their season, they could technically even pass McGill (24 points) for second place.

Ottawa clearly had fresher legs after their Friday game against the Carabins was cancelled due to weather. Stingers head coach Julie Chu wasn’t making any excuses though.

“I don’t know if it was fatigue,” said Chu after the game. “I didn’t like the jump at the beginning of the second period. We just took penalties…We took six penalties, and they were all deserved. For a team that’s really good like Ottawa, they got good goaltending, they work hard, they can put pucks away.”

Stingers captain Claudia Dubois picked up her third goal of the weekend on a power play goal early in the first period. She’s up to 12 on the year now. After that, Ottawa controlled most of the pace.

“We had our power play opportunities in the first, we scored one which was good,” said Chu. “The key is in the second we had two breakaways, a pretty good rush and another backdoor play. I’d say four really good scoring chances. We have to put one or two of those away.”

Alice Philbert made the saves she could, but Ottawa hammered away around the net. Despite being outshot by the Stingers 30-22, the Gee-Gees looked like the more dangerous team. Sophie Gareau, Christine Deaudelin, and Melina Roy were Ottawa’s goal scorers.

The Stingers only have one game left in the regular season, a Valentine’s Day match against the last-placed Carleton Ravens. Even with playoffs looming, Chu isn’t looking past the regular season quite yet.

“We have our eyes set to do everything possible to make sure our team is feeling good and playing great hockey,” said Chu. “We have a big game against Carleton, and we’ll shift our focus after that […] That’s been one of our keys this year is that we haven’t been looking way down the road. We haven’t been talking about RSEQ championships, or nationals, or playoffs. We’ve been taking it one game at a time, and today was a big part of that.”


  • The RSEQ is in a blender. If I’m Julie Chu and the Stingers, there’s no clear advantage to any of the potential matchups. Ottawa is getting hot at the right time. Montreal is a tough, experienced squad with a proven track record, McGill is relentless on the forecheck. Every series is going to be a marathon, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Feature photo by Britanny Clarke


Concordia 4, McGill 1: Stingers dispatch Martlets in seventh annual Pink in the Rink game

On the seventh annual Pink in the Rink match, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team came out on top with a 4-1 win over the McGill Martlets. The Pink in the Rink game serves as a fundraiser for the CURE Foundation for breast cancer.

“It’s incredible what our players do,” said head coach Julie Chu after the win. “The amount of effort that they put into it. They work the men’s game, make sure to decorate the rink, bake stuff, try to promote it, and raise as much money as possible. On top of preparing as student-athletes for their classes and their games. It’s a really important game and it’s awesome to see what a great job they do with it.”

While the season series between Concordia and McGill has been extremely close, this game felt different. The Stingers, all wearing pink laces, came out flying, disrupting passing lanes, blocking shots, and making life just generally unpleasant for McGill goalie Tricia Deguire. Sandrine Lavictoire scored her first goal of the season to open up the game in the first period with a shot from the point that made its way through traffic and into the back of the net. Captain Claudia Dubois would add another one for the Stingers after she finished a nice passing play from linelinemate Audrey Belzile. Dubois would score another goal in the second period off of a great effort play by Belzile.

While Belzile’s been getting some points out of her play (7pts in her last 8 games), her effort is not rewarded on the scoresheet nearly enough. This game, it was. The Stingers have a much harder time beating the Martlets if she isn’t making the type of effort plays that she did. Her two assists both game from using her awareness and skill to set up Dubois. The first was a behind-the-back-no-looker from the corner, right to the stick of Dubois for the tap-in. The second apple was pure hustle. With Stephanie Lalancette just looking to ice the puck, Belzile outraced the McGill defenders, got the icing waved off, collected the puck, turned, and fired a pass right to Dubois for the easy tap-in as she crashed into the boards.

It was plays like those that had Chu praising her team’s effort.

“Last weekend, there were two areas that we didn’t do well in,” said Chu. “The first was our backcheck. That was something we worked on a lot, we watched the video on it. The other was releasing shots and releasing pucks quicker. Those were our keys to success, and we were able to capitalize on them.”

McGill would add a goal of their own thanks to Marika Labrecque’s slot wrister that beat Stingers goalie Alice Philbert. She would finish the game with 26 saves on 27 shots. The second-year goalie now has 11 wins on the season. Amélie Lemay would add a power play marker to make it four on the night for the Stingers.

This was the type of win that shows the rest of U Sports that the Stingers aren’t just the top-ranked team in the country because they play in a tough division. McGill is a great team (although this game they were missing key player Jade Downie-Landry), and for the Stingers to win the way they did sends a message.

After claiming the RSEQ title last weekend against Carleton, the Stingers have done all they can to show that they’ve separated themselves from McGill and Montreal. With only two games left in the season, the only thing left for this team is to finish strong and see who the #4-seed in the RSEQ will be for the playoffs.


  • No notes this time, but enjoy this photo of Julie Chu and her daughter Liv.
    Photo by Matthew Coyte


Feature photo by Cecilia Piga


Concordia 2, Montreal 1: Stingers outlast Carabins in statement win

After losing to the McGill Martlets yesterday, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team had just 24 hours to prepare for the other titan in the RSEQ; the Université de Montreal Carabins. 

“I still thought we played pretty well yesterday,” said head coach Julie Chu post-game. “Special teams needed to be better, but in general I think we just wanted to reset and refocus.”

The message got through to the Stingers, who managed to outlast the Carabins through two periods of overtime to take the win in the shootout. Emmy Fecteau provided the game-winning goal in the shootout thanks to a sneaky backhand shot through the five-hole of Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan. Trevisan finished the game with 40 saves on 41 shots.

“That’s really not the move I do usually,” said Fecteau. “Usually I go right, and this time I went left, but I knew what I was going to do. I talked to [Stingers goalie Alice Philbert] about what I should do, and she told me to go five-hole and that’s what I did.”

“We know we’re in a great league,” said Chu. “Even in the first half, we had like four overtimes or shootout situations. Sometimes they go our way, sometimes they don’t.”

The first period didn’t see either team pick up too much momentum, although the pendulum was definitely leaning towards the Carabins early. UDEM captain Catherine Dubois was a force, powering her way through Stingers defenders and driving play the whole game. But no goals after one period.

It took the Stingers two minutes to break the deadlock in the second period. Rosalie Bégin-Cyr continued her scoring streak when she found herself all alone in front with the puck. Not in a rush, the forward outwaited Trevisan and buried the puck to get the Stingers up by one.

It took the Carabins 18 seconds to tie the game up, and of course it was UDEM’s captain. Dubois came down on Stingers’ goalie Madison Oakes, and ripped a shot short side to tie it back up.

But that’s all that would get by Oakes. The second-year goalie has been the team’s main backup this season. Tonight she made 36 saves on 37 shots to snatch the win. In what was just the third game of her U Sports career, Oakes was the reason the Stingers were able to win this game. Her game tape will include an incredible blocker stop in the third period (“What’s going through my head, I probably can’t say,” said Oakes. “But like, damn. How’d I do that?”), as well as blanking all three Carabins shootout attempts.

“Honestly, I had a pretty good warm-up so I was feeling pretty good going into the game,” said Oakes. “I was a lot more calm than my game against Carleton. [I] come out decently far in the shootout. I’m a relatively small goalie, so I just stay calm and read what they do.”

“For a goaltender that maybe hasn’t played as many games for our program, those first couple of shots are the biggest,” said Chu. “It’s kind of like your first shift back after not playing for a while. But I think she settled in really well as the game went on. She’s a gamer. I think anytime our goaltenders are able to make big saves, that gives us a boost of energy.”

With the win, the Stingers extend their lead on first-place in the RSEQ to five points. The team in second? The Carabins.

“This was a fun game for people to watch,” said Chu. “I think for our team it was important. Every game is experience. Yesterday was experience losing, but bouncing back and having the experience of feeling the pressure, the intensity of overtime and all these different things.”

To finish this recap, you gotta remember that some things are bigger than hockey. That includes the news that Concordia Stingers women’s hockey coaches Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette are expecting their second child in May. Players streamed out of the dressing room post-game to do their cool-down with the couple’s gender reveal cake. Congrats to both Chu and Ouellette. Watch out, draft class of 2038.


  • Bégin-Cyr is now tied for sixth in U Sports scoring with 12 goals and 10 assists in 14 games. Every player ahead of her has played between 18 and 21 games.

Feature photo by Britanny Clarke


McGill 4, Concordia 3 (2OT): Comeback falls short as Stingers lose to the Martlets in double overtime

Down 3-1 going into the third period, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team managed a strong comeback attempt but ultimately fell to the McGill Martlets 4-3 in double overtime.

It’s the first time all season that the Stingers have dropped back-to-back games.

“We gained a really important point. That’s a good point on the road, especially being down by two,” said head coach Julie Chu post-game.

The first period was a mixed bag for the Stingers, who didn’t register a shot on net for the first eight minutes. Dubois and Belzile were responsible for generating most of the team’s chances once the Stingers got settled and started shooting. Belzile just looked like a human wrecking ball, careening around the ice, avoiding Martlet players and in some cases, definitely not avoiding them. Dubois continues to show why she wears the ‘C’, controlling play in the offensive zone and completing most of her zone entries. It’s in times like this that I wish we had advanced stats for U Sports—because even with 16 and 14 points respectively—the box score doesn’t do Dubois or Belzile justice in terms of their impact on the ice. McGill dominated much of the first period, forcing the puck deep and trying to force the puck out in front of goalie Alice Philbert. Philbert would finish the game with 23 saves on 27 shots.

Dubois and Belzile both shined, but this game belonged to Rosalie Bégin-Cyr. The RSEQ leading scorer added two goals to her total in this game and she’s now up to 11 goals and 10 assists in 13 games this season.  In this game, Bégin-Cyr’s vision to put herself in the right spots was perfectly demonstrated by her two goals. Her first was a chase-down on a puck before firing it through the pads of Martlet goalie Tricia Deguire. The second was a shot from the slot where Bégin-Cyr had movement coming across the ice and fired a cross-body shot that went off the post and in. Deguire made 36 saves on 39 shots.

“She’s only a second-year player and she’s a huge impact player for us,” said Chu about Bégin-Cyr. “I just think she’s going to continue to get better and better. The big thing about Rosalie is that she’s such a smart player. She’s skilled and talented and has a lot of great tools, but she probably has one of the best visions in the game. I think her instincts put her in good spots, and also give her linemates great opportunities as well.”

The biggest issue for the Stingers all year has been their power play. The team was 5-for-51 going into this game which adds up to a difficult 9.8% power play, worst in the division.

“It’s just repetition,” said Chu. “It’s taking a look at the game video and finding ways to make better reads. We have talented players, players that can score, pass, do all those things, but a successful power play has the ability to move the puck but ultimately read what’s the opening. I think that’s what we’ve had some trouble on.”

Now let’s combine a couple of things here. Let’s combine the Stingers’ seemingly cursed power play with the stop-at-nothing attitude that Belzile brings to her game. What comes out of the oven is a power play goal that saved the Stingers a crucial point in this game. Drawing a four-minute power play, the Stingers started out the extra player advantage similar to how they’ve done all season; they struggled. They struggled getting the puck out of their own end and they struggled moving the puck into dangerous areas. The Stingers called their time out, and pulled Philbert with over three minutes to play. With 36 seconds left on the power play, Dubois ripped a shot from the high circle, but the puck bounced off Deguire directly to Belzile who was barreling down the boards and fired a one-timer to tie it up.

“When our power play is not successful, that’s often times what’s happening, we’re not making the correct reads, maybe we’re forcing a little too much,” said Chu. “So it was good to see our girls really fight in the third, being down two goals, coming back getting one, and then plugging away and getting an opportunity on the power play at the end of that game to be successful as well.”

That was as much momentum as the Stingers would gather though. Overtime was dominated by the Martlets, first in the 4-on-4 period, and again in the 3-on-3 period. Kellyanne Lecours from McGill was the one to finally bury the puck past Philbert for the Martlets win.

“The big thing is to not hang our heads,” said Chu. “It’s a long season and we’re in a tremendous league. We know that we’re going to be in tight, hard-fought games and we gotta make sure that we continue doing the little things right and staying positive is the number one thing. We have an opportunity tomorrow to go and have a great game too.”


  • Don’t be fooled by McGill’s lower ranking on the top 10 list. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them jump a couple of spots. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Concordia loses it’s #1 ranking if they can’t definitively beat UDEM on Sunday.

Montreal 4, Concordia 3: Penalties halt Stingers momentum in loss

If you watched the Stingers play this season, you’ve seen a team that’s managed to consistently beat two of the top teams in the country. Playing in the RSEQ is gruelling. Concordia, McGill and the Universite de Montreal are all top-5 programs in Canada.

And this game against the UDEM Carabins was yet another heavyweight bout. Unfortunately for the top-ranked Stingers, they come out of this one with some bruises as they drop a 4-3 result to the number three ranked Carabins 24 hours after beating the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 6-2.

“We start off tough, we’re trying to come out of a hole and we take two penalties,” said head coach Julie Chu post-game. “We have to have an intensity and a grit and I think we just didn’t quite have it today. Part of it is the back-to-back and Montreal got the day off, yeah sure. But we’re going to see that at nationals, so there’s no excuse for this.”

Over the past 16 meetings between these two teams since 2017-18, 13 have been decided by one goal. This is only the second time out of those 16 games that UDEM has beaten Concordia in regulation.

The game started as a whirlwind as both teams traded blows. The Stingers were the first ones on the board courtesy of captain Claudia Dubois finding the puck in front of the net and powering a shot past Carabins goalie Aube Racine. Racine finished the game with 25 saves on 27 shots. Stingers goalie Alice Philbert is certainly not to blame in this loss, the Carabins made her life extremely difficult with tight screens, cross-ice passing and heavy shots. Philbert finished the game with 25 saves on 29 shots.

Graphic by Matthew Coyte

“We went through spurts where we were good,” said Chu. “But the penalties really killed us. Our power play wasn’t strong as well.”

Montreal’s Alexandra Labelle evened it up thanks to a cross-ice tap-in. Stingers’ Rosalie Begin-Cyr responded a minute later, capitalizing from the chaos caused in the slot by Dubois who took a hard hit to make the play. Begin-Cyr wired a wrister to retake the lead for the Stingers. The Carabins would tie it at two before the end of the period.

But the biggest problem for the Stingers was the special teams. In the team’s first 10 games of the season, the Stingers had only taken a league-best 25 penalties. In their first two games of 2020, they’ve taken 11, including six in this game.

“We have to play the full 60 minutes,” said Dubois post-game. “We have to avoid the penalties, that’s what really killed us. We had the momentum, then bang, we’re down by two.”

The power play wasn’t much better, and we’re at the point of the season where the benefit of the doubt for the Stingers is over. They hold a league-worst power play that’s converted just 8.8% of their powerplay chances, and went 0/4 this game.

“We have to improve the power play,” said Dubois. “It’s tough. We’re supposed to score. We’re supposed to capitalize on those chances and we’re not able to. There’s going to be changes and we’re going to try things for sure.”

The Carabins played what could have easily been their best game of the season thanks to their physical style of play and ability to take advantage of the Stingers mistakes. It often felt like Montreal had an odd-player rush while also having like six players back defending. It made no sense, but at the end of the day, the Stingers became frustrated and were baited into some unnecessary penalties.

The Stingers third goal was a weird one. Dubois was breaking into the Carabins zone and was beating the defender wide. The defender had no choice but to haul her down. The referee’s arm shot up, and everyone stopped. But no whistle. Racine moved out of the way to avoid Dubois, but by the powers of the hockey gods, the puck actually slid into the net with Dubois, cutting the Stingers deficit to one.

“We’ll take those goals, but those are definitely not normal goals,” said Dubois.

The Stingers were unable to convert a tying goal, but sometimes it’s just nice to watch some heavyweights go at it.


  • I watched the replay on Dubois’ second goal about 10 times and I still have no idea how or why every single player on the ice stopped playing before the whistle. Even the crowd thought it was dead. The hockey gods giveth (a fun goal), and the hockey gods taketh away (a loss).

Concordia 6 Ottawa 2: Explosive second period helps Stingers earn decisive win

Three goals in 41 seconds backed the Stingers to league-best 10-0-1.

The Stingers women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu expects a lot from her players. It’s why they had to be back at the rink in late December to compete in the Theresa Humes Tournament — a tournament they went 3-0 at.

“Coming out of December, it was about getting a good jump for the second half,” said Chu. “We ask our players to be back on [December] 27, which isn’t always easy. They got a good two weeks off and came back with focus and ready to go.”

Thanks to those expectations, the Stingers remain the top-ranked team in the country, and they didn’t worry about having to play any rust off in the first game of 2020. An explosive one minute stretch in the second period helped the Stingers defeat the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 6-2 on Jan. 11.

“We were excited to have this first game back,” said captain Claudia Dubois, who finished the game with a goal and an assist. “It’s been a while since we played a regular season game. It was an exciting moment for us and we were all ready for it, so it was a good game.”

The Gee-Gees battled the entire game, but found each mistake they made ending up in the back of the net. Gee-Gees goalie Jennifer Walker made 30 saves on 36 shots. Gee-Gees rookie phenom Alice Fillion was a workhorse for them, forechecking hard at 5-v-5 and on the penalty kill, and just being a general problem for the Stingers. The Gee-Gees’ two goals came with heavy traffic in front of Stingers goalie Alice Philbert. Philbert was busy herself, making 29 saves on 31 shots.

Graphic by Matthew Coyte

The first period may have been one of the best the Stingers have played in a while, and the team jumped to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Maria Manarolis and Daniela Gendron, their first goals of the season. For Gendron, it was the first U Sports goal of her career.

“I’ve had goals in the pre-season, but this was pretty exciting,” said Gendron. “It was just to keep the momentum going and it was a pretty big goal. I’m surprised it went in honestly, I didn’t think it would. I was also on the [ice] when it went in.”

Despite the lead, the Gee-Gees came roaring back in the second period, and had it not been for Philbert, that 2-0 lead could have quickly turned into a deficit for the Stingers. Instead, the Stingers weathered the storm after allowing a goal. With two minutes left in the second period, they turned the dial up a notch.

Or three notches.

Audrey-Ann Rodrigue buried a cross-ice pass to Marie-Pascale Bernier to widen the Stingers’ lead to two with 1:46 left in the frame. Before the cheering could die down, Dubois and RSEQ leading scorer Rosalie Begin-Cyr capitalized on a Gee-Gee mistake and added another goal 10 seconds later. Just 31 seconds after that, Olivia Atkinson buried yet another goal to turn the score into a 5-1 lead. That’s right, three goals in 41 seconds. Six different Stingers picked up goals in this game.

“We were off a bit to start the second period,” said Dubois. “We got a penalty and they slowed us down a little bit. We were having trouble executing passes and those simple plays, but we have a team that never gives up and gives 100 per cent effort, so we came back with a ton of momentum.It was an exciting moment. We were just going all over [Ottawa] and forced a lot of mistakes from their defence and just got the puck in the net.”

The third period was a more even frame between the Stingers and the Gee-Gees, with both teams adding a goal to their scores, but in the end, the Stingers now improve to 10-0-1 on the season, and remain atop the RSEQ standings.


  • Three goals in 41 seconds is absolutely insane and I can’t find any record of another U Sports team doing this.
  • If this is your first time reading me in 2020, I keep track of shots at these games, and my results may differ than what is registered by the RSEQ.

Feature photo by Laurence BD


Colour Commentary: The good ol’ hockey game needs to change

Hockey’s had a rocky couple of weeks.

Without even diving into the Don Cherry situation, the underbelly of hockey culture has been placed in the spotlight. The first example outside of Cherry came on Nov. 20, when the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock. Shortly afterwards, a story came to light that he had purposefully humiliated then-rookie Mitch Marner in front of the entire team. While this probably doesn’t do much more than paint a picture about the type of coach Babcock was, it was the catalyst to Akim Aliu, – currently a free agent – to tweet about how one of the coach’s “proteges” had used racial slurs towards him 10 years ago while protesting against Aliu’s choice in music.

It didn’t take long before people put two-and-two together and realized that the “protege” that Aliu was referring to was Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters. The Flames immediately launched an investigation, and surprised many by doing a thorough job. The conclusion was Peter’s admitting to using racial slurs and resigning as coach of the team. Aliu, who was born in Nigeria, but grew up in Ukraine and considers himself Ukranian-Canadian, has now met with the NHL to discuss the matter.

Let’s be honest, this has been a long time coming. Hockey has long been a predominantly white sport, and it’s clear that Aliu’s experience is more of the rule rather than the exception when it comes to racism in the sport. I’ve seen too many people defend this behaviour, using various excuses from calling the players sensitive, to claiming Aliu is seeking a payout (he isn’t) and claiming that coaches do what it takes to motivate their players.

Racism, sexism and homophobia are all far-too common parts of the culture of hockey. I’ve been called just about every name under the sun, and I’m a white guy. The experiences of these athletes who come forward and expose coaches, executives, players or whoever, should be heard and welcomed. We as fans of the game should be excited by this opportunity to root out those who use the sport to justify their behaviour. Players are looked at like employees and coaches are often looked at as bosses.

No, this isn’t hockey’s demise, as I’ve seen various social media commentators suggest. This is a conversation that should have happened years ago. Hockey has been stuck in a bubble for too long, and stories like Aliu’s are far too common. We’ve heard story after story of professional athletes describing their experiences with racism and abuse, and more are coming to light. Imagine how many stories we’ll never hear if things don’t change. To defend this type of behaviour is to accept it as acceptable, and it is not.


Photo by Mackenzie Lad

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