Concordia Stingers Men’s Hockey in Italy ahead of 2023 Season

The Stingers face off against two professional European teams during training camp.

For the second year in a row, the Concordia Stingers Men’s hockey program took the trip across the Atlantic Ocean en route to Italy, where they faced off against two professional ice hockey teams.

Upon their arrival in Cortina, Italy, during the final week of August, the Stingers hit the ice at Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio for their practice sessions.

After a multi-day training camp, the Stingers traveled south to Stadio Odegar di Asiago for their matchup against Asiago HC, an Italian ice hockey club that is part of the International Central European (ICE) Hockey League.

Known as one of the higher-skilled hockey leagues in Europe, the ICE Hockey League consists of teams from Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Slovenia. Several former National Hockey League (NHL) players are currently in the league, including Asiago HC head coach Tom Barrasso, who is a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

The tough game resulted in an 8-5 loss against Asiago HC, though the Stingers continued on with their training camp. Their next and final opponent would be against Klagenfurt AC, an Austrian ICE Hockey League club.

Klagenfurt AC finished fifth out of the 13 teams in the ICE Hockey League standings in 2023, meaning it would be another tall task for the Stingers.

Some members of the Stingers taking in the view of the Alps in Italy. Photo courtesy of Stingers Men’s Hockey.

Despite losing 7-1 at Klagenfurt, the Stingers and Concordia as a whole should be proud knowing the competition they played against. For a university team, it is an amazing experience to have traveled across the ocean to go up against teams that have professional players on their rosters.

The Stingers should also come out of their Italian training camp feeling optimistic for the upcoming regular season. With many of their key players returning, combined with a trip to last season’s U Sports national championship quarterfinals, the Stingers men’s hockey program has the veteran leadership on their roster to make a run back into the national championship tournament during the 2023-2024 season.

The Stingers will come home to begin the official preseason on September 15. They will play host to three non-conference games against Saint Mary’s University and Saint Francis University. Once they wrap up the preseason at McGill, the Stingers will begin their regular season on October 5.


The Concordia Stingers dominate 42-16 against the McGill Redbirds

The Stingers’ football team comes out on top in the Homecoming game to get their first win of the season.

In Concordia’s Saturday Homecoming game, the Stingers honoured the alumni by getting a dominant 42-16 win against the McGill Redbirds at the Concordia Stadium.

The Redbirds were first to score two field goals. An early 34-yard goal and a 37-yard field goal later in the first quarter — by kicker Antoine Couture — earned the team a 6-0 lead.

After a significant drive led by Stingers’ quarterback Olivier Roy, backup quarterback Adrien Guay —  who is mostly utilized for short-yardage plays —  pierced through McGill’s defensive line to score the tying touchdown. Stingers’ kicker Ali El Sehemawi got the extra point, ending the first quarter with a 7-6 lead over the Redbirds.

At Concordia’s three-yard line, a touchdown was almost certain for McGill at the beginning of the second quarter, but the Stingers’ defence stood tall and forced their rival to kick a field goal instead.

The Redbirds weren’t done yet, scoring a touchdown on their next drive, resulting in their last points of the game.

The Stingers’ defence once again came up big, this time with halfback Derek Acheampong intercepting a pass in Concordia’s end zone, which was a turning point for the Stingers in the game.

They followed up with a strong 90-yard drive, during which wide receiver Jeremy Murphy had two receptions for 57 yards. Roy ended it with a nine-yard rush for a touchdown. With a successful kick attempt, this put the Stingers only two points behind the Redbirds at halftime.

“I think we played a good 30 minutes, the second half,” Stingers’ head coach Brad Collinson said. “The first half we were a bit sloppy. But I think coming off the bye that’s what happened. We got to clean that up and hopefully the next game we play a full 60.”

In the third quarter, after a drive led by Roy and running back Dwanté Morgan, Guay came out to replace Roy at McGill’s one-yard line and got the touchdown. With El Sehemawi’s extra point, Concordia was up 21-16.

Guay credited his teammates, saying everyone on the field did their job and made his job of scoring near the endzone “very easy.”

Morgan later scored a touchdown on the Stingers’ first drive of the fourth quarter, earning them a bigger lead.

The Stingers had everything going well for them. They got two more touchdowns, another scored by Roy and the last one by runningback Franck Tchembe, which cemented the 42-16 victory.

Quarterback Olivier Roy and slotback Jaylan Greaves celebrate a win against the McGill Redbirds on Saturday, September 17 2022. CATHERINE REYNOLDS/The Concordian

“On our offensive line we imposed our will on them and we ran the ball very well,” Collinson said. “I think that was the deciding factor in the game.”

Concordia’s defence continued its solid play and made one more end zone interception, this time by cornerback Ahmadou Boubacar.

Collinson pointed out that the defence cleaned up their game in the second half.

“Kudos to them,” he said. “They relaxed, they calmed down, they played the way they were supposed to play.”

Safety Dawson Pierre said that a big part of the defence’s success was communication.

“We started talking to each other,” he said. “We stayed composed, and we just did what we had to do, and then we made plays and that’s what it was.”

Roy ended the game with 25 completed passes for 352 yards, while Murphy had eight receptions totalling 149 yards, and Morgan had nine rushes for 111 yards.

Murphy said that their game plan worked well, and getting the win felt good as it relieved a lot of pressure.

“We were more physical than them and we wanted it more,” he added.

Pierre also said it felt good to see all the work they put in so far this season and during training camp paying off.

The Stingers will be looking to get another win next week in Quebec City where they will face the Rouge et Or at Laval University.


A whole new ball game for the Concordia Stingers

A bright future lies ahead for the baseball team.

After a season-opening 6-3 win against the McGill Redbirds on Sept. 6 at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park, the Concordia Stingers and their head coach Howie Schwartz are optimistic about their upcoming season and their future in varsity baseball.

This year, the Stingers will be competing against teams from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), as well as other Quebec universities who are trying out for a potential new league for the 2023-24 season with the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).

“We have four teams now: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, McGill, Concordia, and University of Montreal. Bishop’s is going to be available next year, and then we’ll have an official league. We’re playing those three teams unofficially on a sixteen-game schedule and in the OUA on a sixteen-game schedule,” said Schwartz.

The coach also expressed a lot of satisfaction and confidence in his team, which is mostly made up of rookies.

“Our team is just much stronger defensively. We’ve had three games so far and our defence has picked up considerably from last year. I still want to see some improvement with our hitting, but even [that] has strengthened.”

Out of a roster of 40, only about 12 are returning from the 2021-22 season. However, Schwartz noticed that the rookies have been acclimating nicely to the program. Due to his heavy recruitment efforts in the off-season, some of those recruits came from as far as B.C. to play for the Stingers.

Catcher Mack Lake, a first-year student in economics from B.C., said he wanted to stay in Canada to play baseball in university. His first meeting with Schwartz cemented his decision to come to Concordia.

“Howie was just wonderful. Talking to him was really nice and I felt like he wanted me to come,” said Lake, a baseball player for almost a decade.

“Most of all, on the mound, we have a much stronger and deep pitching staff, and, at this level, pitching is going to make a difference. I’m very pleased with our pitchers this year,” continued Schwartz.

Against McGill, such a bullpen was beneficial to the team. Due to a rotation of five talented pitchers, the Redbirds’ batting lineup could never get used to any one of them. But that same bullpen will be stretched thinner as they prepare for an intense week ahead.

The Stingers will be facing the Redbirds for the third time this season on Sept. 20.

“They’re surely going to be ready for us. They don’t like losing to us and we don’t like losing to them,” said Schwartz with a chuckle.

On Sept. 12, the Stingers played an exhibition game against the John Abbott College Islanders that resulted in a 10-8 win for Concordia. The Stingers will be headed to Trois-Rivières for an exhibition double-header against Collège Laflèche on Saturday, while their next league double-header will take place on Sunday in Ottawa against Carleton University.


Update on the basketball/hockey winter season schedule

Ongoing and evolving COVID-19 developments have made the eventual return of university sports a complicated process

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Concordia Stingers basketball and hockey seasons will be postponed until further notice. 

The latest public update from the RSEQ was shared on Dec. 22, where they announced the suspension of all sports activities until Jan. 9 to comply with the Quebec government. Since then, a realistic timeline hasn’t been established as the RSEQ awaits the government to lift restrictions. Both of Concordia’s basketball teams, in addition to the women’s hockey team, compete in the RSEQ.

“We [RSEQ] are following guidelines specific to recreation and sports […] where indoor sports are suspended unless they involve one person, two people —in pairs — or the occupants of the same private residence,” said Benoit Doloreux, the RSEQ’s university director.

The men’s hockey team play in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) association, which originally announced on Dec. 17 it was pausing their original schedule until at least Jan. 24. Catherine Grace, the Stingers communications and media officer, said she has yet to hear anything definitive about the upcoming hockey and basketball seasons.

“I have been informed the teams require two weeks of practice before resuming games. They are not currently practicing. With that in mind, the earliest they can hold games is the week of Jan. 25. Until we hear more from the RSEQ and OUA, there’s no way to tell if that will happen,” Grace shared in an email to The Concordian earlier this week. 

Once the student-athletes are permitted to train as a team in athletic facilities, the winter seasons will resume following the two-week training window. The OUA is pushing for government restrictions to be lifted sooner so teams can practice immediately and the league can forgo delaying the schedule further, although there has been no response from the province. 


Photograph by Kaitlynn Rodney


Stingers football individual awards nominees

Which Stingers have the best shot at receiving awards for their individual performances this season?

The Stingers went 4-4 during the 2021 RSEQ football regular season, securing the third seed and a playoff berth for the second year in a row. On Friday, individual season awards will be announced before the Dunsmore Cup, the RSEQ title game. 

The Stingers won’t run away with every award, but the team boasts strong cases across the board. Without further ado, here’s my list of Concordia players who have the best shot at earning individual hardware.

Most Valuable Player: Olivier Roy (QB) 

Roy has come a long way from Concordia’s home opener versus Laval on Sept. 4, where his first throw as a starter was easily read by the defence and intercepted. Despite looking uncomfortable against arguably the best team in the province, Roy showed glimpses of greatness in the second half of that game, and hasn’t looked back since. 

Stingers head coach Brad Collinson said it’s the Stingers quarterback’s efforts off the field that have led to his success in games.

“[Roy] is here every day watching film with the coaches, just trying to get better,” Collinson said. “He’s never satisfied with what he’s done. His next-play mentality has been infectious for the team and critical for our success.”

Statistically, Roy’s case for RSEQ MVP is easy to vouch for. He led the conference in nearly every major passing category, including passing yards per game (308.8), passing yards (2470), and touchdowns (18). What was perhaps most impressive from his 2021 campaign, was his poise and fearlessness. Whenever the Stingers needed a big play, whether it was a breakout pass or a critical scramble from a broken play for a first-down, Roy would deliver nearly every time. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jaylan Greaves (SB)

Concordia led not only the RSEQ, but the entire nation in passing yards for the season. That’s a testament to the depth of the team’s receiving corps and quarterback Roy, but no Stingers receiver stood out more in 2021 than Greaves did as a rookie. 

“Jaylan has all the intangibles; he’s big, long, and quick. What people probably don’t realize is he wasn’t even a starter at the beginning of the year so as a coach, watching his game grow has been a pleasure,” said Collinson. 

In his first season as a Stinger, Greaves abused opposing mismatches and made the most of his receptions. For the year, he caught 27 balls for 605 receiving yards, averaging a little over 22 yards per catch. His tendency to steal the show with a highlight catch-and-run was epitomized against McGill on Oct. 23, where he caught a breakout pass for 77 yards to go along with his 116 receiving yards and touchdown for the game.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Zach Philion (LB)

This was technically Philion’s second year on Concordia’s football team, but the 2021 RSEQ season was his first year of university football due to the pandemic. While Concordia’s defence struggled at times to get stops, particularly against the conference’s stiffest competition, Philion held his own.

The Buffalo, N.Y.-native played every game for the Stingers, leading the team in tackles (35 solo, 13 assisted, 41.5 total). He also tallied a sack and an interception, and broke up six passes. Statistically, he was one of the Stingers’ best defensive backs and will look to build on what should have been his sophomore year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Khadeem Pierre (S)

The fifth-year safety for the Concordia Stingers had another solid statistical campaign for the team. He finished the year with 24.5 total tackles to go along with his four broken-up passes and one interception. 

Pierre is one of the team’s captains and was announced as a member of the RSEQ All-Star team on Thursday, along with four other Stingers. Collinson was quick to highlight Pierre’s influence on the team’s defensive identity. 

“Pierre’s the quarterback of our defence at the safety position and he always shows up for us when we need a big play,” Collinson said. 

Lineman of the Year: Maleek Desir (DT)

Linemen are critical, and often overlooked elements of football offences and defences. In many instances, they are assessed as a five-man unit as opposed to evaluating each player on the line individually. 

Desir’s play stood out among the pack however, contributing 12 total tackles, of which four and a half were tackles for loss. He also tallied a quarterback sack and was credited with a forced fumble. 

Special Teams Player of the Year: Andrew Stevens (K)

Concordia’s special teams play this season was shaky to say the least, but Stevens — the team’s lone kicker — made the most of his scoring opportunities. He made nine out of his 10 field goal attempts, and nailed every PAT. 

The Stingers relied on Stevens to handle both punting and kicking duties, whereas every other team in the RSEQ besides McGill had numerous options at the position. 

Honourable mentions: Jacob Salvail (SB), Dominic Soucy (DE), Damien Constantin (OL), Karim Brissault (OL).


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds


The Buzz: Stingers weekend recap

Football, rugby, and soccer wrap up their respective postseasons, and regular season hockey is underway

Stingers men’s rugby wins fourth consecutive RSEQ title

Stingers defeated McGill 33-0 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Jean-Christophe Vinette led the Stingers with two tries, and Luca Milne earned MVP honours in a game in which the Redbirds never took off. 

McGill and Concordia finished the regular season at 5-1 apiece, but the Redbirds went into the postseason as the first seed. The Stingers’ dominant showing was another feather on the cap for Concordia’s rugby dynasty. 

RSEQ football semifinals versus Laval ends Stingers season early 

Also on Saturday, the Stingers football team travelled to TELUS Stadium to face the Laval Rouge et Or, where Concordia ultimately lost 30-10. 

The Stingers offence led the RSEQ in many major aspects, but was essentially shut down by Laval. Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy threw for 283 passing yards but couldn’t score a touchdown and was sacked four times. 

The Stingers ended the 2021 RSEQ regular season at 4-4, an improvement from their performance in 2019, where they finished the season at 2-6.  

Concordia men’s soccer lose in RSEQ semifinal to Montreal

Concordia faced the first-placed Carabins in the playoffs on Friday at CEPSUM, where the Stingers lost 2-0. 

Stingers midfielder Anthony Phelps was the team’s MVP of the match, while Carabins’ Quentin Paumier earned the honour for Montreal by securing the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match. 

Concordia finished the regular season with a 5-4-3 record, and Stingers fourth-year midfielder Mohammad Reza Nafar led the RSEQ regular season in goals (7) and points (11).

Stingers men’s and women’s hockey seasons start strong

As sports gradually make the transition to indoor activity with winter around the corner, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams took to the ice over the weekend. 

Looking to bounce back from the loss in their home opener versus McGill on Nov. 3, the men’s team did just that in their 3-0 victory over the UQTR Patriotes on Friday. Stingers rookie Maxim Trépanier scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of the second period on the power-play.

The women’s team went into the weekend with a disappointing 0-2 record, but returned to form on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Bishop’s at home in the Ed Meagher Arena, followed by a convincing 2-0 win on the road against Montreal on Sunday afternoon.


Graphic by James Fay


Ottawa 24, Concordia 12: Stingers come up short in competitive regular season finale

Concordia ends the regular season with a 2-4 record, will face Carleton in the opening round of the RSEQ playoffs

The Concordia Stingers women’s rugby team played their final game of the RSEQ regular season on Sunday afternoon, losing their second matchup against the Ottawa Gee-Gees by a 24-12 scoring margin. The Stingers secured the third seed in division A with the loss, ending the season with a 2-4 record and setting the stage for a quarterfinal matchup against Carleton next week.

Stingers head coach Jocelyn Barrieau said that she expects the upcoming playoff matchup to be competitive given the two teams’ recent history. 

“We have a big, physical matchup coming up against Carleton, we’re well aware of the physical nature of their game,” Barrieau said. “It’s also a rematch from the playoffs two years ago, so we know that they’ll be very fired up to come here and perform.”

The last time Ottawa and Concordia met on Oct. 2, the Stingers got shutout in a 50-0 loss on the road. Barrieau said she wanted her team to focus on the little things ahead of their second meeting of the season.

“One of our big points of emphasis this year is continuing to work on our trust in each other, in everyone’s abilities to do their jobs. Coming into today, we also changed our warmup routine, so it was those types of little adjustments that led to the better results on the field,” said Barrieau. 

The Stingers seized control of the game early, registering a try in the opening minutes of the match. Ottawa responded quickly with a try of their own, tying the game at 5-5 after both teams failed their conversion attempts. The score would remain tied through the opening 20 minutes as both sides struggled to establish their footprint on the game. 

Ottawa was able to impose their will on Concordia to end the first half, notching a pair of tries to head into halftime leading 19-5. Stingers forward Shawna Brayton would register a try at the 59 minute mark, briefly setting the stage for a potential Concordia comeback. However, a late try by Ottawa front row Anna Dodge put the game out of reach. Gee-Gees back Alexandra Ondo and Stingers back Emma Gallagher were named MVP for their respective teams. 

Barrieau said the team’s training schedule heading into the playoffs will prioritize recovery with less contact than usual. 

“This game was very physical, and we know next week will be too, so our goal is to try and keep our girls fresh.”

The Stingers will host the Carleton Ravens in the RSEQ playoff quarterfinals this Friday at Concordia Stadium.


Photograph by Aashka Tarun


Concordia comes up short against Montreal, suffering a 31-19 loss

The Stingers drop their second game in a row, failing to win in the pouring rain against the Carabins

Things didn’t go quite as planned for the Concordia Stingers on Saturday, as they weren’t able to secure a win against the Montreal Carabins, losing the match 31-19. It was a long game of catch-up for the Stingers, as they only held the lead briefly in the first quarter of the grueling contest. 

Stingers head coach Brad Collinson had high praise for his team after the game despite the loss. 

“The kids just showed some heart, they didn’t give up, they didn’t let the weather bother them, they just played,” Collinson said. 

It was evident from the opening kickoff that this wasn’t going to be a standard football game, as the heavy rain and wind made it extremely difficult to execute plays normally. Montreal kicked the game off with an early touchdown throw, as Carabins quarterback Jonathan Sénécal threw a 59 yard bomb to wideout Hassan Dosso. Concordia did a great job in response, as fan-favourite wide receiver Jaylan Greaves made a spectacular running catch for 72 yards. The drive was capped off with a touchdown from Jacob Salvail, who beat his defender on a gorgeous out route.

A Concordia safety gave the Stingers their first, and ultimately their only lead of the game. This newfound window of momentum was quickly slammed shut, after Stingers star quarterback Olivier Roy threw an interception which set up a field goal for Montreal, giving the visiting team a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Carabins started the second quarter off hot, driving down the field and finishing off with a touchdown score from running back Bertrand Beaulieu. The cherry on top for Montreal was the single point touchback they received during the ensuing kickoff. 

At this point in the game, the rain became a real problem and made it incredibly difficult for both sides to secure the ball. A series of turnovers in close proximity in the second quarter summed it up best, as a Concordia interception was followed by a turnover on downs, which was quickly followed by a Montreal fumble. 

This set up a quarterback sneak touchdown from Stingers backup Adrien Guay. After this score, both offences struggled greatly with advancing the ball. An ugly quarter ended with a Montreal safety, putting the Carabins up by four points and leading 20-16 to end the half.

Montreal received the second half kickoff just as the weather appeared to be calming down, and did a tremendous job capitalizing on the opportunity with their offence. A long and demanding drive was finished with Bertrand trucking his way into the Stingers’ endzone for another touchdown. He was the star of this game, finishing with 158 yards and two touchdowns. 

A field goal in the fourth quarter gave Concordia brief hope, but a single point touchback and a Montreal field goal put the game out of reach for the Stingers. 

The Stingers will look to snap their two game losing streak on Oct. 23, when the rival McGill Redbirds visit their home field.


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds


Experience and patience are keys for Stingers’ success this season

After an 18-month hiatus, the Stingers are looking to stay on top of the RSEQ standings.

As the Concordia women’s hockey team takes to the ice for the first time next week at the Theresa Humes Cup since the 18-month hiatus, Stingers head coach Julie Chu said that the anticipation to start the regular season has been overwhelming for the team. 

“Everyone was really excited to get back together again in a full season mode,” Chu said.

Fifth-year players are eligible to play in a sixth season due to the cancellation of last year’s. While some players have moved on to other things, notable players like Audrey Belzile and Brigitte Laganière will not only provide production and firepower to the roster, but also experience for the younger players coming into the rotation.

“We have a great group of veterans, [and] they’re going to be adding a level of maturity and veteran presence, especially when understanding our systems,” Chu said. The experienced veterans being paired with the youthful excitement of newly-acquired players will not only provide depth to the roster, but also an eagerness to grow and become better throughout the whole lineup.

With some experience on the lineup, important acquisitions have been made. Former NCAA defencemen Alexandra Calderone and Ariane Julien have returned home, not only providing a high level of talent, but also beefing up the Stingers’ defence “When you have players that have played at a really high level and have veteran experience, though not a veteran on our team, it helps a lot to have a great defensive core,” Chu said.

Though newly acquired players have proven themselves from a talent perspective, for Chu and her coaching staff, character is the defining asset that will dictate a player’s position on the team. 

“If they’re not a fit to our culture then it doesn’t add value to what we want to accomplish as a team,” Chu said.

Head coach Julie Chu (in purple) and the Stingers coaching staff. (Kyran Thicke / Concordia Stingers)

After taking the helm from former legendary head coach Les Lawton, Chu has had ups and downs with the team. Winning their first RSEQ playoff game in 11 years in 2016-17 and falling short against McGill provided positive experience on how to handle themselves in the second round against a dominant team. It played a big role not only for the team’s growth, but also the anticipation of knowing what to expect from their opponents deep into the playoffs. Beating McGill in the second round of the playoffs, that same year, the team won the RSEQ Championship and won bronze in the U SPORTS National Championship. Both those end of season accomplishments ultimately morphed the program overnight into a legitimate contender.

“We went on to nationals and unfortunately lost in our semi-final game in shootout to the team that went on to win,” Chu said. “What I was proud of is that our players rebounded and did an awesome job winning the bronze medal.”

In the 2019-20 season, though ranking first in the nation for 14 consecutive weeks, the loss in the playoffs as well as losing the chance to play nationals was a hard pill to swallow. Not ending the season on a high note would be demoralizing for most teams, however Chu said the Stingers are using their most recent season as motivation for what’s to come. 

“COVID took away their opportunity to continue playing so now they want to make the most of it,” Chu said.  

The fact that the Stingers haven’t played an organized game in nearly two years will be the ultimate challenge. 

“We have to be patient to get back into our rhythm, we have to be patient to allow us to develop and to grow.” 

For Chu and her coaching staff, the ultimate goal is to win, but what is more important is to lay down a good foundation so that by the end of the season, they’ll be back to the level they were at, before the pandemic.

Chu emphasized that this year is unlike any other. The inability to play for a full season will prompt growing pains, especially at the beginning of the year. 

“Whether we’re a sixth-year, or a first-year player, we’re all going to come back and not be in the same place necessarily that we would if we just finished a regular season,” Chu said.

Chu is also preaching resilience to her team. Not knowing what’s in store regarding how the pandemic will play out down the road is also another complication to consider this season.

“There will be some things in our control and some things that are not so we focus on things that are in our control to make sure that we can do everything that we can,” Chu said. 

With all teams coming off an inactive year, and with Bishop’s University Gaiters now introduced into the division, Chu added that it will be harder to estimate where the team will end up.

“Usually right now I’d give you the season outlook, but I think we’re a bit in the unknown because we haven’t played,” Chu said. “For me, that is what’s most challenging.” 

The Stingers will host the Theresa Humes cup next week from Oct. 1-3 at the Ed Meagher Arena. Their first game will be against McGill at 12 p.m. 


Photograph by Gabriel Guindi


Concordia 7 Laval 33: Stingers offence struggles against the Rouge et Or

Concordia make costly mistakes in their season opener loss to Laval

The Concordia Stingers drop their season opener to the Laval Rouge et Or, 672 days after the two teams last met in the semifinals of the RSEQ playoffs in 2019. 

Concordia started the game with possession but turned the ball over on their first play of the game. Olivier Roy, the Stingers’ quarterback, threw on first down into heavy coverage. The play-action was read beautifully by the Rouge et Or, who intercepted the pass and found themselves with great field position less than a minute into the match.

After the game, Roy admitted he was disappointed about the interception considering it was his first play as Concordia’s starting quarterback, but didn’t let it affect his focus and future approach to the game.

“We always say it’s important to have short term memory,” Roy said. “Whether it’s a good play or a bad play, as a team we just have to move on to the next.” 

Laval was able to seize control early with their defence, and never took their foot off the gas. The Rouge et Or established their passing game early and often, which opened up their running options as the match progressed. The game was blown wide open in the second quarter, and went into halftime with Laval leading 17-2. 

Laval’s potent offence was led by their second-year quarterback Thomas Bolduc, who finished the game with 267 yards and threw two touchdowns passes. Meanwhile, Roy threw for 216 yards with 19 completions but tallied a pair of costly interceptions. He said the loss on Saturday boiled down to a lack of execution. 

“We haven’t played in about two years but we had a good training camp,” Roy said. “There are no excuses, we just need to be better and learn from this loss.” 

Bolduc threw questionable balls into coverage a couple of times throughout the day, but Concordia failed to pull in some easy interceptions that could have turned the tides in their favour. 

A 72-yard touchdown run by Laval’s Philippe Lessard-Vézina with less than a minute to go in the game padded the Rouge et Or’s rushing totals to 186 yards, as opposed to the Stingers’ 78 yards on the ground.

Roy said the atmosphere at the game felt normal despite the newly imposed rules and regulations.

“I know the crowd was less than usual but I honestly didn’t notice,” Roy said. “I think the fans were excited for the game so the energy was great and the crowd was loud.” 

The Stingers’ next matchup will be against the Montreal Carabins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10. 


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds


Concordia Stingers still unsure about what the next year will bring

Coaches and players remain positive that sports will be played in 2020-21

Concordia University announced earlier this month that the upcoming fall semester will be online. The official statement from the university specified that exceptions will be made for activities requiring  hands-on practice, but didn’t discuss the future of their sports teams for the 2020-21 seasons.

It’s not clear if university sports will be played in the fall, as many questions are still unanswered. Even though the fall semester will be online for many students in the province, university sports could still be played depending on the decisions of U SPORTS and the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).

However, a scenario where U SPORTS and the RSEQ would let the play go on wouldn’t automatically mean that the Concordia Stingers would play at Concordia Gym, Concordia Stadium or the Ed Meagher Arena. Montreal is currently Canada’s hot spot for confirmed COVID-19 cases, which could force the Stingers to play elsewhere during the pandemic.

Stingers coaches and players haven’t received more information since last week’s statement, but are still confident there will be a 2020-21 season. Tenicha Gittens, head coach for the women’s basketball team, believes having classes online in the fall will help ensure sports can be played during the next school year.

“Our players are in constant contact, as they go to class, travel from one place to the other, and play basketball,” Gittens said. “By having classes online, it eliminates many of those physical contacts between our players and other people.”

On the men’s side, head basketball coach Rastko Popovic said sports will need to follow what experts say.

We might have a full season, or perhaps a shortened season,” Popovic said. “I think it will also depend on what other provinces or schools do. It sometimes takes one school to do something, and the others follow.”

On the women’s hockey team, forwards Audrey Belzile and Emmy Fecteau said the hockey equipment used, such as the full visor for the women, should help avoid skin-to-skin contact.

“We probably won’t start in September as usual, but I think it’s still possible,” Belzile said. “It will be my last season, so it’s tough and sad to think I might have [already] played my last university game without knowing it. Yet, there are still many months before the start of the season, so I’m optimistic.”

Fecteau said it’s been hard to conclude last season without the traditional galas and team gatherings. She explained that players didn’t have time to say goodbye to each other.

“It would be too sad if the players couldn’t play their final year, and finish their university career that way,” Fecteau said.

Basketball player Olivier Simon is among those playing their last season in 2020-21. The veteran forward, who graduated at the end of the winter semester in 2019, said that with the current COVID-19 situation, he’s considering skipping next season, if there is one, and coming back for 2021-22.

“I’d have the chance to play a full season, with preseasons, tournaments and possibly nationals,” Simon said. “It’s a big decision I’ll have to make because I don’t want to end my career with a half-season and without tournaments. Yet, it’s also a tough one, as we don’t know what’s the future going to be like right now. On the academic side, I have to look at the best options. I might look for a master’s degree or something more concrete.”

The Stingers are using what many students and teachers have been using since confinement: Zoom. Coaches and players are using the communication platform each week for their meetings.

With Zoom, the ‘share screen’ button allows you to show other people in your chat what’s on your computer or cellphone screen. Popovic said his staff shares training videos to help their players stay active the best way they can from home.

We have players elsewhere in Canada and the world,” Popovic said. “We understand that some are having tougher times than others, and we are simply doing our best to help them during this difficult time.”

For men’s basketball player Sami Jahan, who recorded 147 points in his first season with the Stingers in 2019-20, it’s frustrating to look forward to a season that may not happen. However, he said that on the whole, there are things so much worse than not playing sports right now.

“For me, it’s just [important] to be patient, and to keep working on my basketball,” Jahan said. “Even as you’re training, it’s about continuing to be positive, and believing that good things will come.”

Rugby, soccer and football teams are the Stingers teams that normally play exclusively in the fall, while hockey and basketball have calendars covering both semesters. Due to the current situation, sports played in the fall could end up playing their full 2020-21 season in the winter, while those with longer calendars could be forced to play shortened seasons.






Photo from archive – by Andrej Ivanov (2015)


Mid-year Stingers grades

It’s report card time for the 11 Stingers teams


Football: C+

A lot of the positives from this season came from the individual performances of key players.  Adam Vance threw for over 2,000 yards and was a Hec Crighton finalist. James Tyrrell emerged as one of the top receivers in U Sports, and has now signed a deal with the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks. Jeremy Murphy was named the U Sports rookie of the year. Besides that, not too much worked for the Stingers on the field. The team’s defense struggled immensely, the offense faced consistency issues, and the team dropped winnable games against McGill, and ultimately posted the same record as last season. With many of his key players graduating this year, head coach Brad Collinson will have to push for another strong recruiting class.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Hockey: C-

Where to begin with this team? The season looked really promising after the first two weeks of the season. Then everything went south at the end of the fifth game (in which they actually won 6-5 in OT over Wilfrid Laurier). In the final moments of that game, Philippe Sanche, Alexander Katerinakis and Anthony Dumont-Bouchard all went down with injuries that have kept them out of the lineup ever since. Hockey is an unforgiving game and the Stingers’ 6-7-3 record is a reflection of that. Other teams don’t care about your injuries and you just have to deal with it. One of the bright spots however is rookie forward Tyler Hylland. Hylland has had a seamless transition from junior hockey to U-Sports, putting up 18 points in 16 games. The second half will be a better one for the team as they will be much healthier after the break but they’ll certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to have home-ice advantage in the playoffs – should they qualify.

-Matthew Ohayon


Women’s Hockey: A

I’m not sure what more you could ask for from this team. After 10 games, the team is 9-0-1 and has been the top ranked-team in U Sports for seven straight weeks. Head coach Julie Chu continues to elevate her veterans like Audrey Belzile and Claudia Dubois while recruiting rookies who have had an immediate impact like Emmy Fecteau and Léonie Philbert. This team generates an incredible amount of chances, and have managed to shut down the best teams in the RSEQ. Even their one loss was in a shootout in a game where they managed nearly 50 shots on net. Mix in superb goaltending from Alice Philbert and division-leading scorer Rosalie Bégin-Cyr and you have a team that just overwhelms opponents. The only reason I’m not giving them an A+ is because we’re only halfway through the season. The true test for this team begins in January.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Basketball: A-

There were some question marks around the Stingers after last season’s RSEQ Championship-winning season with Ricardo Monge and Garry Merrisier both leaving the team after graduating. Well, if the first six games of the season were any indication of how the Stingers are as a team, I’d say they are doing just fine with a 5-1 record. It is impossible to pinpoint one game breaker on the team but that is certainly no knock on them. In every one of their wins, it’s been a complete team win. Rookie Ali White and second year players Nathaniel Boisvert, Aleks Simeunovich and Tariq Barki Hamad have been pitching in off the bench as well. This is an incredibly deep and talented team that looks poised to repeat as RSEQ champions. It also helps when you have a very strong coaching staff that has their players buying into the team culture. U Sports needs to start giving this team, and conference, some more respect.

-Matthew Ohayon


Women’s Basketball: C+

The case of the women’s team is an interesting one. They are coming off a very strong season that saw them make an appearance in the nationals off the backs of their big three of Coralie Dumont, Caroline Task and U Sports rookie of the year, Myriam Leclerc. This year we’re seeing just how important Dumont was for this team as they hold a 2-3 record. Perhaps the most interesting of all their games was their 70-65 loss at Laval. The Stingers held the Rouge et Or to only five points in the opening quarter and got 20 points out of Sabrina Lineus who only totalled 24 minutes of playing time. The Stingers seem to be a little bit out of sync at the moment but they are a well coached squad who will certainly put it all together for the second half of the season.

Matthew Ohayon


Men’s Rugby: A+

It’s pretty hard to find negatives in the season that team just offered. The Stingers successfully defended their RSEQ title, winning the championship a third straight year. They played solid rugby all season, and everyone contributed to the team’s success. The Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC) was played at Concordia this year, ensuring the team’s participation in the tournament regardless of their results in the RSEQ season. Yet, they proved they deserved their spot among the best of the country. They also played well at the CUMRC, winning their first game, and offering probably their best game of 2019 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, despite the loss. The semi-final loss was a hard one to swallow, but I think the team can still be proud of their accomplishments this season.

-Alec Brideau


Women’s Rugby: A

It’s always great to see both men and women perform at such a high level at the same sport. After only two wins in seven games in 2018-19, as well as not making the RSEQ playoffs, the team bounced back with a perfect 6-0 season this year. The Stingers finished first in Section B and played through the RSEQ semi-final, where they lost 50-5 against the Université Laval Rouge et Or. It’s hard to give less than an A after that season.

-Alec Brideau


Men’s Wrestling: B

The men’s wrestling team has started their season well, clocking in at number 10 on the U Sports rankings three weeks running. While they’ve managed to stick around the national rankings, this is largely due to the team’s ability to grab points and not relying on individuals to carry the team. Only Aly Barghout (120 kg) and Julien Choquette (90 kg) are ranked members of the men’s wrestling team. Despite being slightly lower on the rankings than we’ve come to expect from this squad, don’t count them out yet. Wrestlers like fourth-year Francis Carter and Jordan Steen are a constant threat and are more than capable of lifting this team up the rankings.

-Matthew Coyte


Women’s Wrestling: B+

The woman’s wrestling team’s early success has come from its ability to get results from a number of different contributors. The team is led by fourth-year —and last year’s Stingers Female Athlete of the Year, Jade Dufour, but she’s not the only one winning matches. Kaleigh Prieur is fourth in the 48kg division, Laurence Beauregard is second in the 59kg division, plus Kaya Dube-Snow (55kg) and Amanda Savard (63kg) are first in their respective divisions. They’ve moved their way into the top three teams in U Sports, and their consistency will be key for success going forward.

-Matthew Coyte


Men’s Soccer: B

It was great to see the team participate in the RSEQ playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. The Stingers faced adversity all season, and had trouble winning consecutive games. However, they still finished the season in fourth place with a 3-4-5 record, and played in the semi-final of the playoffs. I give the team a B because of their respectable season. Also, I think their playoff participation was quite huge for the men’s soccer team. The team knew it was the first time in a while, which represented a step in the right direction for the program.

-Alec Brideau


Women’s Soccer: B-

It’s been a bit harder for the women’s team in soccer. Finishing the season 2-7-5, the Stingers only won against the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or this year. They managed to get an impressive 1-1 tie against the first-ranked UQAM Carabins, but such results weren’t enough to make the RSEQ playoffs. The team has talented players and great potential. Sometimes, it’s just about luck or little details. At some point, it should click for that team.

-Alec Brideau


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