Concordia Stingers women’s hockey banner raising and home opener

Stingers’ forward Émilie Lavoie and other returning champions waiting to get called on the ice to join the graduating students, new students, and coaching staff for the U Sports championship banner reveal.

The 2021-22 Concordia Stingers’ women’s hockey team looking up at the hidden banners in anticipation of the big reveal at the Ed Meagher Arena on Oct. 30, 2022.

“I didn’t expect I’d get a little emotional because we really got to celebrate last year… but it was really special,” said Stingers’ head coach Julie Chu. “I think it was a really proud moment also to see the faces of our players.”

The 2022 U Sports women’s hockey champions (right) and this season’s rookies (left) in front of the championship banner at the banner-raising ceremony before the home opener.

“It’s a lot of emotions for sure,” Stingers’ goaltender Alice Philbert said. “But we knew we had a game to play after so we enjoyed the moment but after that we had to reset… But it was fun to have players from last year coming back to experience this and for sure tears in our eyes, a little emotional.”

“We have a title to defend and I think that’s what we’re going to do this year.”

The class of 2022 added to the conference and national championship banners, and a new 2022 champions’ banner.

Stingers’ defender Sandrine Veillette celebrating with her teammates after scoring and earning a 2-1 lead early in the second period vs. the Bishop’s Gaiters.

The crowd of 290 people cheering on the Stingers in their home opener vs. the Bishop’s Gaiters.

The Stingers celebrating forward Emmy Fecteau’s game-winning goal.

The Stingers and Gaiters lining up to shake hands after the 3-2 Stingers’ victory.


Men’s basketball team heads to second-straight final

79-71 win against Bishop’s Gaiters a result of team effort

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team advanced to the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) final for a second year in a row. They beat the Bishop’s Gaiters 79-71 in the semi-final on Wednesday night at the Concordia Gym.

The Stingers will now host the RSEQ final after playing it at McGill last year. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

“So many guys stepped up; it’s a great win. I am really proud of the guys,” said head coach Rastko Popovic. “It’s all about team culture. Guys understand that they need to work hard; they want to listen. We pushed them to be the best.”

The Stingers had the lead for most of the game, except at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Gaiters pushed back for a four-point lead.

That did not last long because the Stingers were hot from three-point range, finishing 11 three-point shots in the game. One of those was a highlight-reel from centre-court by Adrian Armstrong, who finished the game with 22 points.

After last year’s defeat in the final against McGill, the Stingers know what they must do to win the title. “Guys were not celebrating in the locker room. They know that it’s not our goal,” Popovic said. “That’s what I like about our guys”.

Adrian Armstrong made six of his 14 shots from three-point range. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

The Stingers now host the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins, who beat McGill in the first semi-final, Saturday night at 7 p.m..

“We know that they are going to come hard; they have nothing to lose, it’s in our home court,” the head coach added. “We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Armstrong was happy about his performance but he is focusing on the next game. “It’s day-to-day. Now we focus on UQAM,” Armstrong said. “We know it’s going to be a tough game.”

In four games against the Citadins this season, the Stingers went 2-2, winning both games at home.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.


Stingers teams continue rolling with doubleheader wins against Bishop’s

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams improve to 5-1

Both Concordia Stingers basketball teams walked away with a win against the Bishop’s Gaiters Thursday night at the Concordia Gym. It was the first ff a back-to-back games between the schools, as they meet again on Sat. Jan. 12 in Sherbrooke.

Women’s game

The Stingers women’s basketball team won 66-53 with a good performance in their first game after the holiday break. The Stingers held a 28-point lead at halftime after having dominated the first half.

The momentum of the game change in the second half as Bishop’s dominated the last portion of the game. Despite giving up points in second half, the Stingers were able to hold on to a comfortable lead and found a way to win.

“I think on the first half we came out with a lot of energy,” said head coach Tenicha Gittens about her team’s performance. “Especially on the defensive end.”

What started off looking like a potential blow-out win turned into a tight game during the second half. The Stingers were slower and gave many turnovers to their opponents, opening the door for a big offensive push by the Gaiters.

“We did not stick to our game plan and we did not take care of the ball offensively so it caused turnovers,” Gittens said. “At the end of the day, you want the W and that’s what we want.”

Both guard Myriam Leclerc and forward Coralie Dumont led the Stingers offensively with 19 and 18 points respectively. Dumont scored 16 of her points in the first half alone.

“The first half was really good and that what we practiced in defence paid off,” Dumont said. “Yes we won, but it’s disappointing to win by that margin when we were up by a lot more. We will look back at the second half and will make sure we are ready for Saturday’s game.”

She continued to say that the Stingers dropped off in the second half because they “had no legs and [Bishop’s] played without fear.”

Good rebound control and ball possession combined with speed made a big difference during the first two quarters, and allowed the Stingers to win the game.

Garry Merisier started for the Stingers and was one of four players to score more than 10 points. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

Men’s game

The men’s team also picked up a win following the women’s game, by a score of 78-68. It was a really tight game, as there were 15 lead changes during the game. The Stingers took a seven-point lead during the first quarter, but lifted their foot off the gas at the beginning of the second half. This allowed the Gaiters to came back in the game and take the lead for a little while.

Sami Ghandour’s buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter allowed Concordia to regain some momentum. They readjusted and showcased toughness for the end of the game.

“We played hard, we competed, we had a good start on defence,” said head coach Rastko Popovic, who was happy with his team’s performance. “We did not pay attention on the scouting report details and it made us look bad on defence. You can’t relax at basketball.”

Popovic thought his team bounced back really well at the end of the game. “In the fourth quarter we played really well defensively; we showed some toughness and character and we found a way to win,” the coach added. “It’s never easy to win by a lot. If you relax any team can come back.”

Popovic was happy by the defensive performances from Ricardo Monge and Cedrick Coriolan. “The key was that we made good plays; many of them made a big difference both offensively and defensively,” he said. “There is some plays you don’t see on the score sheet but we know they made a difference.”

During the holiday break, the Stingers played three exhibition games in Florida. Popovic contributed their second-half success to their trip. “The trip allowed us to be prepared for the second half, because it’s tough if you don’t play during the break,” he said.

Forward Olivier Simon, who finished the game with 21 points, said key three-point shots helped the team win. They went 9-for-25 from three-point shooting.

“We need to be more tough mentally and be focused, and that’s what we have been able to do during the last five minutes of the game,” Simon added.

Moving to their game against Bishop’s on Saturday, Popovic is looking forward to how his team responds. “We have to watch video, we have to take care of the basketball better. It’s like a challenge and I am looking forward to that game,” Popovic said.

Simon is also looking forward to it. “I am really confident for Saturday. We will look at video and have a good practice,” he said. “We will showcase that we deserve our ninth spot in Canada.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams improved to a 5-1 record this season.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.


Stingers win back-to-back RSEQ championships

Men’s rugby goes undefeated two years running

The Concordia Stingers men’s rugby team won their second-consecutive Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) title Saturday, beating the Bishop’s University Gaiters 22-20 at Concordia Stadium.

The Stingers haven’t lost a game since Oct. 2016. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

A successful three-point penalty kick by the Stingers with six minutes left to play made the difference in what was a really tight game from start to finish. The Gaiters controlled most of the first half, scoring first on a try from Robert McGovern. They led 14-12 at halftime.

“We weren’t really happy with our ball skills,” said Stingers head coach Craig Beemer after the game. “We were playing a little too loose and made extra passes. We really focused on our body height [in the second half]. We made sure in contacts that we were holding on to the ball.”

The game was played in windy conditions, which led to dropped balls and even missed penalty kicks on both sides.

“We knew there would be a lot of wind today,” said Stingers’s back row Zachary Pelletier. “The kicks have been so important today for our teams. We had to work hard until the end.”

That win against the Gaiters also confirmed back-to-back undefeated RSEQ seasons for the Stingers. They haven’t lost a game since October 2016, when the Gaiters beat them in overtime of the quarter-final.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into this,” Beemer said. “It’s really a long process. I have a lot of coaches who did an amazing job and, more importantly, I had 50 players, on a weekly basis, working hard to get better.”
Beemer said his team’s depth has grown in his three years with the Stingers, and has played a big role in the back-to-back titles.

“We’re also not really looking at what other people are doing, but looking internally [at] how can we get better every day,” Beemer said. “Winning is a result, but that’s all it is for us. It’s what we do on week-to-week, how we build to become better individuals and then, by becoming better individuals, putting in the team concept.”

The Stingers needed a strong second half after trailing at halftime. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

The Stingers are now heading to the 2018 Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, held in Victoria, BC from Nov. 21-25.

“This is something that was on our minds at the beginning of the season,” Beemer said. “However, we haven’t talked about it in the last weeks. The [players] knew it was something they could have the opportunity [to play] for at the end of the year.”

The Stingers lost their two games played in last year’s tournament. Beemer added that the team knows what to expect and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“We’re looking to build on momentum from last year,” Beemer said. “We know there’s gonna be a lot of great teams out there.”

Pelletier said his team will use the next days to make sure they are ready for their opponents.

“We have two other weeks to work [before the Championship],” Pelletier said. “There will be really good teams there. We have to be ready. We just need to keep working hard.”

Main photos by Hannah Ewen.

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