Basketball Sports

Jaheem Joseph dominates, no matter the circumstances.

The second-year basketball Stinger is a top scorer, despite being blind in one eye.

Jaheem Joseph plays basketball using one eye, and he has scored the most points in the RSEQ this season. The phenomenal shooting guard, in his second year at Concordia, is completely unphased by the fact that he only has five per cent vision in his right eye. It took lots of hard work to normalize his game.

Originally from Ottawa, Joseph spent his early years playing soccer. His father, a prolific basketball coach and ex-player, brought him to shoot around at their local gyms. This is where Jaheem discovered his love for basketball. He started playing on teams in his first year of secondary school, and discovered he had a talent when he was bumped up to play with older players due to his exceptional gameplay.

It was in July of 2020 that the hooper’s life would change forever. He and his friends were messing with fireworks at the park, and one flew into his right eye. At the time, he was getting ready to head to St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in New Jersey to pursue his athletic potential in America. Due to the unfortunate accident, he was now limited to rehabilitation, numerous surgical procedures and the classroom.

It was in April of the following year that Joseph would be ready to step on the hardwood again, accompanied by his high school athletic trainer Isabelle Chiasson at Saint Laurent Express. The two would spend four hours daily, every day for four months, performing sensory exercises and finding solutions to his impairment. Running, head positioning, positioning on the court and spatial awareness were their main targets for improvement.

That summer, Joseph played against Vanier College in the finals of a tournament while he was on the Red Rush Basketball Program, which is part of a grassroots leadership organization. The guard put on an incredible performance for a decisive win, and attracted attention from the CEGEP’s coach. 

“I just felt really natural. I felt like everything was just normal, like I’ve been through nothing in my life,” said the guard remembering the game. “It was just like playing basketball or just doing what I love. It was pretty normal, but when we go way back, I know it was all the work I had done with coach [Chiasson], of course.”

This 2023-24 season, Joseph dominated with the Stingers. He finished as the league’s second top-scorer, averaging 15.8 points per game. This was after being injured for two weeks after spraining his ankle playing at Université Laval on Nov. 25, before suffering a light concussion for a couple of days this past January.

Joseph was selected for the RSEQ All-Star second team, despite these outstanding statistics which he had thought sufficient to land him a place in the first team.

“I couldn’t understand why I got second team, but I feel like it’s pretty good,” he said. “I mean, I had a good season and I showed I should have been an all star this year, and then I think the next year coming up I can probably get on the first team and be MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the league one day.”

The star is grateful to have strong supportive people surrounding him, including head coach Rastko Popović, who was named RSEQ coach of the year in March. The trainer’s obsession with the game is contagious to his players. 

“[Popović] locks himself up and then just watches [game recap] film until he gets tired,” said Joseph. “You can see on film—it says he was watching a clip at 4:00 a.m., so he is crazy about details, but that’s what makes us like the number one team. So it’s really the passion, the drive that he has that really got the team going.”

Joseph is looking forward to next season, where he will be looking to prove himself all while being more supportive for the team.

Having only come up short by a hair this season when losing in the RSEQ finals to the UQAM Citadins, the Stingers team evidently has amazing potential. With more hard work, Jaheem Joseph and the men’s basketball team are sure to go the whole way next season.

Basketball Sports

Serena Tchida wins perseverance award through long-time passion for basketball

Women’s basketball star picked for RSEQ All-Star team, wins U SPORTS award.

Stingers star Serena Tchida dominated the 2023-24 basketball season, finishing with the most overall points scored and the second-highest scoring average in the league at 15.1 points per game in the RSEQ. The forward finished with the third-highest field goal percentage, and fourth place in rebounding, averaging 7.2 rebounds per game. She was selected for the RSEQ All-Star Team, along with teammates Areej Burgonio and Rowena Blais.

She performed at this level in her first year back from a season ending tear in her Achilles tendon, which she suffered in the second half of the 2022-23 season, away against ULaval’s Rouge et Or. For this impressive feat, Tchida won the Tracy MacLeod award for determination, perseverance, and an unwavering spirit while overcoming adversity.

“The first time I heard of this award was in my first year. Myriam Leclerc won the award, so I had an example of what you need to do,” Tchida said. 

Coincidentally, Leclerc won U SPORTS Rookie of the Year in 2019, and Tchida was selected for the RSEQ all-rookie team in 2021. “It was one of my goals to get that award,” she said. “I tried to focus on my work, and gave all my worries and stress to God.”

Tchida started playing basketball in her fourth year of high school. Growing up in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, she attended Saint-Luc High School, where she tried out for the school team with her friend. Her friend didn’t make the team, but Tchida did. She didn’t originally have a passion for basketball, but gradually discovered her talent along with a sense of family in her teammates, and support from her coaches which she didn’t have at home. 

One day, she was at Pagé Basketball with her friends for a shoot-around. A coach who was casually watching was impressed with her talent, and suggested that she try out for CEGEP Édouard-Montpetit. Which is what she did, and succeeded yet again. Although, for her, basketball was still only a pastime, and not pursuable in the future. 

Before her Achilles tear last season, Tchida suffered another major basketball injury in 2019, while she was playing for Édouard-Montpetit. She was anxious, as she was being scouted for the first time in her life. Coach Tenicha Gittens from Concordia University was visiting.

For the first time, she felt important, wanted, and looked forward to possibly being coached by a Black woman. Her whole career thus far, she had been coached by men. During the game, Tchida tore half of her ACL amid a scuffle on the hardwood. She shot right back up, and pushed to stay in the game. Unfortunately, her team’s athletic therapist refused. On the bright side, Gittens was convinced.

“That’s when my passion started,” Tchida said. “I saw that I was wanted by someone. [Gittens] took care of me since day one. I have a really good relationship with her… It was a dark time for me, but she didn’t let me quit, she didn’t let me go.” 

Fast forward to January 2023, Tchida tore her Achilles tendon in what seemed to be an unprompted, unexplainable manner. The small-forward was frustrated, as she had caught momentum after her impressive rookie season, where she averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. 

“[Gittens] really helped me through the injury,” the All-Star forward explained. “She visited me at the hospital, she brought me to the hospital by car in Québec. She made sure that everything was on the table for me so I could just eat it. Her and my assistant coach, Shawn Browne, I’m super grateful for them because they made it so easy for me to get better. They made a good investment in me, and I was able to return it.”

Tchida said the secret to her speedy recovery was perseverance, all while staying calm and being in the present. “I didn’t put pressure on [myself],” Tchida said. “I was just going day by day and giving my all everyday. I was making sure that I gave the effort that I needed to, doing my exercise, eating good, being there for the girls, and putting 100 per cent effort.”

The leader has high expectations for her upcoming final season, and is grateful for every member of the Stingers. “I would love for us to go to nationals and play during nationals and live the experience that I lived when I went to get my award,” she said. “I want to win the championship for my coach and for my teammates and for everybody that believes in me.” 

Serena Tchida hopes to play at the professional level, and believes she will with help from her coaches.

Sports Wrestling

Alex Moore: Wrestling to Paris 2024

Former Stingers wrestler Alex Moore has qualified for his first Olympic Games this summer.

Four years ago, Alex Moore was preparing for the Canadian Olympic Trials leading to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. However, two weeks before the trials, he suffered a complete ACL tear, requiring an operation that ruled him out of the Tokyo 2020 qualifications. It was devastating news for him—he was number one in Canada in the men’s freestyle wrestling 86 kg category and felt confident in his chances of qualifying for the Olympics.

“It’s like your dreams flash before you and then kind of get crushed,” Moore said. “It was hard, and I remember the first day, I kind of felt bad for myself. I was upset. And then right away, I was like, hey, what can I do now? So I started the prehab [prehabilitation process] to strengthen my knee before I got into surgery.”

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic threw him a lifeline. With the games postponed to 2021, he had enough time to recover from his ACL tear. Moore’s previous performances in international competitions made him eligible for a wrestle-off against Clayton Pye, who had won the Canadian Olympic Trials, but failed to qualify for Canada through the Pan American Olympic Qualification Tournament. To be Canada’s representative at the 2021 World Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament, Moore had to win two fights in a row against Pye. 

Despite this opportunity, nothing seemed to work in Moore’s favour. One week before the wrestle-off, he tore his labrum in his right shoulder. It would be an understatement to say it handicapped him when it came time to wrestle against Pye.

“I didn’t know it was torn, but I couldn’t do a push-up,” Moore said. “It was hurting. I had no strength in my shoulder.”

Amateur Wrestling champion Alex Moore. Photo by Kaitlynn Rodney

Nonetheless, he still won the two matches to get to the world qualifiers, where he lost against the Armenian Hovhannes Mkhitaryan, officially ending his hopes of qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo.

After recovering from his torn labrum, he achieved many good results, including a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a silver medal at the 2023 Pan American Wrestling Championships. In 2023, he obtained his Bachelor of Commerce in Management from the John Molson School of Business. He capped off his university wrestling career by winning the U SPORTS 90 kg wrestling championship title and the Male Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Year Award, both repeats of 2019. He was also named the Stingers Male Athlete of the Year.

Everything was going well for Moore, as he was preparing for the 2024 Pan American Olympic Qualification Tournament. Then, seven weeks before the qualifiers, he competed in a “small tournament just to tune up.” There, he broke something in his right hand and was put in a cast for four weeks. He thinks it happened when he accidentally punched one of his opponent’s shin. Nonetheless, he tried to remain positive in his recovery; when discussing the situation with his coach, David Zilberman, a former Olympian.

“We were going back and forth talking about how every time something bad happened, it would just make for a better story,” Moore said. “Like, wouldn’t that be cool? You know, after everything, getting the job done.”

Five days before competing, his second time getting back on the mats in six weeks, his hand still hurt, even when practicing against lighter high school wrestlers.

“You’re pulling on people and pushing in wrestling, so I’m pulling on the guy’s neck, and I have no strength in my hand,” he said. “There’s so much pain, and I remember thinking to myself: I’m not ready for it, so that was the only time where I was kind of like broken, almost mentally for a second.”

However, Moore was determined to wrestle no matter what, saying he was “not throwing away everything” because of this injury. Through a combination of determination and painkillers, he still wrestled at the qualifiers and obtained his ticket for Paris, beating Jorge Llano of Argentina and Pedro Ceballos of Venezuela. It was the accomplishment of a lifelong dream for him.

“The feeling was insane, like indescribable, but it was weird,” he said. “I never showboat, I never do anything, I just walk off the mat. But for this one, I was yelling, I was pumped, and emotions just took over… I’ll never forget it. This is crazy.”

What is his objective for Paris?

“Just a medal, preferably gold,” Moore said. “But yeah, it’s like a lifelong dream… You want to make that 5-year-old version of yourself happy… That little kid has that dream, and I’m doing it for that guy.”

Moore, practicing at a young age Courtesy of Alex Moore

Hockey Sports

Stingers Women’s hockey team takes home gold at the National Championships

For the second time in three years, Concordia is the top team in Canada.

The Concordia Stingers Women’s Hockey team won their third-straight Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) championship on March 3. A 10-4 victory against the Université de Montréal Carabins propelled the Stingers into the U SPORTS National Championship tournament as the top-seeded team in Canada.

To advance to the next round, the Stingers’ had to take down the eighth-seeded University of Saskatchewan Huskies on March 14. The Huskies were coming off a heartbreaking series defeat in the Canada West (CW) quarterfinals, though qualified for the U SPORTS National Championship tournament as the host university.

As the puck dropped for the quarterfinal matchup, the Huskies came out strong on home ice. With nearly 2,400 fans in attendance, the first challenge for the Stingers was to weather the storm in the first ten minutes. Despite some close-range opportunities for the Huskies, Stingers goaltender Jordyn Verbeek kept the game scoreless.

With 11 minutes remaining in the first period, the Stingers drew their first penalty. Before the Huskies could get possession on the delayed penalty, Stingers forward and captain Emmy Fecteau took a shot that fortunately bounced over both the defenders and the Huskies goaltender, giving Concordia a 1-0 lead.

A fierce forecheck for the Stingers allowed forward Émilie Lavoie to linemate Rosalie Bégin-Cyr for the one-timer goal and the 2-0 lead. The Stingers carried this momentum into the third period with the semifinals inching closer.

Two late goals from forward Émilie Lussier capped off the shutout for Verbeek and the 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals. Two more wins and the Stingers were back on top of Canadian women’s hockey.

An off day gave the Stingers the opportunity to enjoy their win and get ready for their semifinal opponent on March 16. The Stingers had to get through the fourth-seeded University of Waterloo Warriors next if they wanted to advance to their third straight National Championship final.

Six minutes into action, the Stingers set the tone. Émilie Lavoie found forward Zoé Thibault wide open in front of the Waterloo goal crease, backhanding the puck five hole on Warriors goaltender Mikayla Schnarr to give Concordia a 1-0 lead. The Stingers were not done in the opening frame.

In what seemed like an innocent rush up the ice, Stingers forward Courtney Rice skated through the Warriors defence and rifled a shot past Schnarr to give Concordia some insurance and a 2-0 lead.

The second period saw the Stingers play a disciplined, balanced game where they outshot the Warriors 14-6 but could not add to their lead. Yet, they would retain their two-goal lead heading into the final frame.

Desperate, the Warriors came into the third period with a power play, and they took advantage almost immediately. A goal 29 seconds into the period cut the Concordia lead in half with plenty of time remaining, 2-1. Concordia responded well in the minutes that followed.

With the clock ticking down, the Warriors found themselves with a golden opportunity to tie the game—on a power play with two minutes remaining. What followed did not favour the Warriors, however.

Stingers forward Jessymaude Drapeau stole the puck, drew the Warriors goalie out of position, and buried the dagger as Concordia was now up 3-1 with one minute remaining. The defeated Warriors did not earn any late opportunities as the Stingers had now clinched a ticket to the National Championship final.

With the vibes high for Concordia, one last opponent stood in the way from being crowned Canadian champions. That final team was the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

With the stage set for the winner-takes-all game, the Stingers came out buzzing. One minute into the opening frame, Lussier scored her third of the tournament and most importantly, put her team in front 1-0 in the championship final. Just minutes later, the Stingers added to their lead.

Drapeau fired the puck from a sharp angle behind the net that found its way through Toronto goaltender Erica Fryer, making it 2-0 Concordia early. Toronto answered by sharpening up their defence to calm the storm of Stingers goals. They kept the game 2-0 until the third period.

With Concordia doubling Toronto’s shot total, the Stingers were in a good position despite not being able to add to their lead. Toronto came into the third period searching for an answer, but early penalty trouble only helped the Stingers. Bégin-Cyr corralled the puck and took a mid-slot wrister to beat Fryer. It was 3-0 Stingers with the clock on their side.

Toronto pulled their goalie as a last-ditch effort to pull off a miracle comeback, but that was stopped short as they could only get one goal before the final buzzer. 

As the scoreboard hit zero seconds, the Stingers had officially done it. One year after a heartbreaking silver-medal finish, six months after beginning a perfect regular season campaign, and one month after their playoff journey began, the Concordia Stingers had checked off the final box on their season goals list: becoming U SPORTS national champions.

Basketball Sports

The Stingers’ quest for a RSEQ basketball title ends at the final hurdle

Concordia’s men’s basketball team loses in the final, the women’s in the semifinal.

The Stingers men’s basketball team hosted the UQAM Citadins on Saturday, March 2, for the RSEQ title and a place in the 2024 U SPORTS Final 8.

It had been a successful season for the Stingers up until the final. A 12-4 league record propelled them to first place in the RSEQ in the regular season. A 77-67 win against the Université Laval Rouge et Or in the semifinal set up the provincial final against UQAM for a spot in the U SPORTS men’s basketball national championship.

This was the fourth matchup between the two teams in less than a month. The Citadins won the first one, as well as another one in November 2023. But the Stingers had won the most recent two, including one on Feb. 24 to finish the regular season. 

The Stingers came into the playoffs without their first-team all-star guard Sami Jahan, who suffered an injury in a game against McGill on Feb. 17. As such, the two key players for Concordia were Jaheem Joseph and Alec Phaneuf. They ranked second and eighth, respectively, in terms of points per game in the RSEQ during the regular season. Proving their importance, they combined for 46 of the team’s 77 points in the semifinal against Laval.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the Concordia Gymnasium, it was UQAM who would be crowned provincial champions and book their tickets for the Men’s Final 8. Leading 17-14 after the first quarter, the Citadins would never surrender the lead and ultimately win by the final score of 63-57. Karam Sahly was the Stingers’ top performer in the final, scoring 18 points.

The road ends in the semifinal for the Stingers women’s basketball team

Concordia’s women’s basketball team has had a season full of ups and downs. After finishing 2023 with a 4-2 league record, the team lost six straight games to start the new year. However, they finished the season strong, winning three of their final four games. As such, the Stingers finished the regular season with a 7-9 record, good for a third place in the RSEQ.

This third-place finish called for a trip to Lennoxville to play the Bishop’s University Gaiters, who finished second in the league with a 9-7 record. Both teams equally split their four matchups this season, with Concordia winning the first two in 2023 and Bishop’s taking the last two in early February. 

However, the Stingers could not avoid a third defeat in 28 days against the Gaiters, losing 77-67. This final game concluded the season for the women’s basketball team.

There are still some positives to take away from the women’s team’s season. Serena Tchida is a RSEQ first-team all-star. Her 15.1 point-per-game average places her second in the province. She is also the RSEQ nominee for the U SPORTS Tracy MacLeod Award, which “rewards determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit.” She could become the second Stinger to win this award after Myriam Leclerc in 2021-22.

Areej Burgonio and Rowena Blais were also named on the RSEQ second all-star team.

Hockey News Sports

The three-peat is complete: Stingers women’s hockey wins RSEQ championship

Stingers beat Université de Montréal Carabins in winner-take-all game three.

Following a series win against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team shifted their focus to their next and final opponent in the RSEQ final— the Université de Montréal Carabins.

Though both Montréal and Concordia had clinched their tickets to the U SPORTS National Championship tournament by becoming provincial finalists, there was plenty at stake coming into this series. For the Stingers, a series win would make it their third straight RSEQ championship, a feat that has not been accomplished by Concordia since 2002. On the Montréal side, a first RSEQ title since 2019 was up for grabs, as well as revenge from last year’s heartbreaking final that saw them lose to the Stingers in three games.

The first game of the 2024 RSEQ final took place at the Ed Meagher Arena on Thursday, Feb. 29. Defense on both sides was the story of the first period. Concordia was held to 10 shots while Montréal only managed to total five, meaning quality scoring opportunities were minimal. The first period would come to a close as a scoreless draw.

Thirteen minutes into the second frame, Stingers forward and assistant captain Rosalie Bégin-Cyr broke the deadlock. Forward Jessymaude Drapeau patiently held onto the puck before finding her linemate who buried a shot past Carabins goaltender Aube Racine.

It did not take long before the Carabins evened up the game. A deflected shot from the point found its way past Stingers goaltender Jordyn Verbeek, tying the game 1-1 late in the second period.

As the third period got underway, Montréal took its first lead of the series, scoring one minute into the frame. The Stingers began to show desperation as they fired everything they had at Racine. With five minutes remaining in regulation, a golden opportunity emerged as the Stingers earned a late power play.

On the ensuing advantage, the Stingers tied it. Forward Émilie Lavoie scored on a seeing-eye wrister from the blue line, tying the game 2-2. Unfortunately, the momentum of the Stingers was short-lived.

With less than one minute on the clock, a deflected shot from the Carabins found its way into the Stingers’ cage, sealing game one for the Carabins. Stingers head coach Julie Chu offered some insight on what the message would be going into game two.

“I said to the team [today] the same as I did against Ottawa— ‘we have to reset, we have to get going and make sure that this loss is just a loss for today. So process it as you need to and don’t let it hit your heart,’” Chu shared after the loss. The message sent was received for the Stingers in game two.

As the first period got underway at CEPSUM Arena at the Université de Montréal on Saturday, March 2, the pace of play was the epitome of playoff hockey—fast-paced, physical and scoring opportunities at both ends. The Carabins came out of the gate firing, knowing the RSEQ title was in their hands with a win; but the Stingers knew if they lacked effort, their RSEQ season would end. Despite the quality chances, the first period ended 0-0.

Five minutes into the second period, the Stingers broke the tie. Forward Megan Bureau-Gagnon parked in front of the Montréal net and capitalized on a perfect deflection off a shot from forward Émilie Lussier. Bureau-Gagnon spoke on what it meant to score the opening goal.

“It felt good. The couple of shifts before the goal, we were buzzing around them so it was just a question of timing—and to put that [goal] in, it gave us a little room and we started to play freely which was great.” Once going up 1-0, the Stingers did not look back.

A goal by Drapeau in the second period and a goal by Lavoie in the third gave the Stingers the insurance they needed to close out game two. The Carabins got a goal of their own to narrow the deficit to two, but the Stingers would add an empty netter and win the game by a score of 4-1. Coach Chu spoke about returning home for the winner-take-all game three.

“We love playing at home. For us, we’re going to enjoy [the win] today but we’re going to turn the page really quick because [game three] tomorrow is going to come fast.”

The Ed Meagher Arena saw a packed crowd for the rubber match of the provincial final on Sunday, March 3. As fans supporting both sides piled in, the puck dropped to begin action. In what became a theme in the series, the first period resulted in both goalies making key saves to keep the game scoreless. This would change drastically in period two.

Three minutes into the middle frame, Montréal opened the scoring on a rebound that was put home by forward Marie Terriault. The lead for the Carabins, however, would not last long.

For a second game in a row, Bureau-Gagnon netted a huge goal for the Stingers, this time tying the game 1-1. This ignited the Stingers to take over the play overwhelmingly, resulting in an onslaught of goals.

Four goals by the Stingers over the next 12 minutes put them in command up 5-2, heading into the final period with the championship in their sight. For the players, the three goal lead, although nice, was not satisfying enough.

Following two goals by Drapeau and one from Lussier, defender Camille Richard and forward Emmy Fecteau, Concordia put the game to rest. The Stingers defeated the Carabins soundly by a score of 10-4, clinching their third straight RSEQ title. Coach Chu closed out the RSEQ season by sharing what this win means to the team heading into the National Championship.

“Anytime you win, it builds momentum. If anything, it helps us feel confident that we can go through a game where we are down a goal, where we are going through ups and downs of emotions, where the fans are incredible and the energy is great.”

The U SPORTS National Championship will be the next stop for the Stingers women’s hockey team. The team will head out to the University of Saskatchewan for March 14 where they will face the best university hockey teams from around Canada. The matchups and game times are still to be determined.

Football Sports

The new Stingers football recruits seem promising

Stingers football head coach Brad Collinson is confident with the 19 new offseason additions.

This past 2023 season was one of the Stingers football team’s best seasons in years, as they finished with a 5-3 record, beating a top-two USports team in the Montreal Carabins. This brought in a hefty influx of quality recruits, which will pad the existing talent. So far, 18 recruits have been announced, and a couple of coaching changes have occurred.

With veteran wide receiver Ezechiel Tiede on the way out to the CFL Combine, the Stingers need reinforcement in the wideout role, as the ground game seemed to be where the offense was most comfortable this season. Five new players have committed to Concordia. 

Mikka Thibodeau dominated RSEQ division two football with CEGEP St-Hyacinthe, picking up 31 receptions and 342 yards throughout the season, classing him in the division’s top 20 receivers. Marcus Lynch seems promising as well, as he was the number one overall in receptions in his division of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) with 39—10 more receptions than his runner-up in two less games. He also finished third in punt returning yards. 

CEGEP St. Jean’s Félix Joly is the most eye-catching of all, as he finished sixth overall in receiving yards in RSEQ division one football, and 30 catches throughout the season.

As an offensive line specialist, Stingers head coach Brad Collinson spoke highly of the three commits that he will be spending the most time with—Vincent Coulombe, Justin Frattaroli and Ryan Fadlallah. The latter two shined amidst the two teams that struggled the most in the RSEQ’s D1. 

Student Athlete: Justin Frattoroli Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“They’re aggressive guys […] We really wanted to recruit those two to bring that attitude to the offensive line,” Collinson said. “It just helps that whenever you have kids that are already like that, you don’t have to cultivate it.”

Three running backs have been recruited since last September. Édouard Montpetit’s William Chamberland finished with the most running back touchdowns in the RSEQ’s D2—a total of eight— and had the fourth-highest number of yards at 714. To Collinson, Chamberland is a “swiss army knife,” as he has many capabilities due to his past experience as a wideout.  

John Abbott College tandem Alexandre Marchand and Reid Walker together carried for 1,147 yards this past season. Walker also finished with 7.4 average yards per carry, which is in the top-three throughout D2. 

That being said, Franck Tchembe and Dwanté Morgan had greatly established roles on the team this past season. “We want competition and we want those guys to be pushed to get better,” said the head coach. “I think that these kids that were brought in will do that, and we’ll know more whenever we start practising with them.” 

Marchand is already studying at Concordia, so he will be practicing with the team this spring, getting a feel for the culture, and displaying where he will fit in the team.

As for spring training, the team has already been training five days a week for about a month. The team is focused on the Rouge et Or of ULaval, as they’re seeking revenge on their season opener at home. This is the time to be introspective, and focus on the team. 

Student Athlete: Émile Deslauriers Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“It’s a time in the season where we can really be creative and, you know, kind of try and test things out, things that we don’t have time to do in August, because we’re getting ready for the season,” head coach Colinson confirmed.

To help out with improvement, some coaching adjustments have been made, including the addition of ex-Stinger Samuel Thomassin as offensive line coach, and the promotion of receiver coach Justin Chapdelaine to offensive coordinator, replacing Alex Suprenant. 

Collinson is excited to have hired Thomassin as part of the staff, for the former had coached him as a player on multiple teams and remains familiar with his football knowledge. “Having a young guy at that position to help coach, it’s extremely important.” Collinson said. “I think the kids gravitate towards what [Thomassin] does, you know, to have him on staff again is very beneficial for us.” 

The Stingers seem to be only headed upwards. Let’s see if they surpass our expectations once again come August.

Hockey Sports

Senior night success for Stingers hockey

Both Stingers hockey teams came away with wins to close out last home games of regular season.

The Concordia Stingers men’s and women’s hockey teams both played their final home games of the regular season at the Ed Meagher Arena. With these being the final home games of the regular season, the graduating players of both Stingers teams were celebrated after their games.

After the men’s team took to the ice on Feb. 8, upcoming graduates, namely, forward Charles-Antoine Giguère, forward and assistant captain Tyler Hylland, andforward and captain Phélix Martineau, were commemorated. It was an emotional night for head coach Marc-André Elément. 

“The players gave so much time, energy and passion to our program, we always have to acknowledge that,” said Elément post game. “It is such a huge commitment to play hockey and be a student athlete, I am just so proud of them.”

If the Stingers wanted to head into the playoffs on a high note, they would have to beat the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes– the first-placed team in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division standings. 

The Stingers took command early. Forward Nicholas Girouard opened the scoring on a shot that beat Patriotes goaltender Alexis Gravel, Concordia a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game. Nobody would find the back of the net until the early stages of the second period.

The Patriotes’ second-highest point-scorer, forward Conor Frenette, capitalized on the power play to knot the game at one goal apiece. Scoring opportunities would continue to come at a premium, as the high-powered offence of each team was held to just 14 shots a piece through two periods.

The defence of both sides had the game locked in a stalemate for the first 15 minutes of the third period. Finally, the Concordia broke through. Stingers forward Édouard Charron received a pass from defender Simon Lavigne and scored on a close-range shot past Gravel, opening up a 2-1 Concordia lead.

The Patriotes would pull their goalie and fire all they could at Stingers goaltender Nikolas Hurtubise, but it would not be enough. The Stingers held on to a 2-1 win and closed out their regular season by beating OUA’s top team in the East division.

The Stingers men’s team will return home to Ed Meagher Arena on Friday, Feb. 16 when they take on the the Queen’s University Gaels in game two of the OUA East quarterfinals. On Feb. 14, the Stingers took the first game of the best-of-three series by a score of 3-1. Concordia will look to close out the series this Friday at 7 p.m.

On Feb. 9, it was the Stingers women’s team’s turn to celebrate their seniors. The graduates include defender Sandrine Veillette, goaltender Madison Oakes, forward and assistant captain Justine Yelle, forward and assistant captain Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, as well as forward and captain Emmy Fecteau. After the game, head coach Julie Chu spoke on how much the graduates have meant to the team over the years.

(From left to right) Dave Singh, Julie Chu, Sandrine Veillette, Madison Oakes, Emmy Fecteau, Rosalie Bégin-Cyr Justine Yelle, Devon Thompson and Olivier Gervais
Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“All of [the graduates] have had such a big impact on our team’s success and have helped turn the program into what it is today,” said Chu. “Every time you have a chance to honour people who have meant so much to our program, it’s very special and we are extremely grateful for their contributions.” That same success was put onto display early into their game against the Bishop’s University Gaiters.

Stingers’ top goal-scorer, forward Émilie Lussier, scored three goals in the first 14 minutes of the game to cap off a first period hat trick. Just one minute later, forward Jessymaude Drapeau added a goal of her own, opening a 4-0 Stingers lead and forcing the Gaitors to change goaltenders.

In the second period, the Stingers began to defend their lead rather than pressing on offence. The Gaitors got one goal back in the middle frame, but the Stingers were still in command of the game. Concordia owned a 30-11 shot advantage going into the third period.

Two minutes into the final period, forward Chloé Gendreau added a fifth goal for the Stingers as she split the Bishop’s defenders and scored on a beautiful backhand shot. The Gaitors would add a goal of their own, but the Stingers skated away with a win by a score of 5-2. Chu spoke about the team’s performance during this year’s senior night.

“We used our speed and we took care of the puck,” Chu explained. “Doing the little things right will always generate a lot of offense and also allow us to spend less time in the defensive zone. I think we did a lot of that tonight.”

The Stingers women’s team still has one regular season game remaining. They will play on the road against the Université de Montréal Carabins this Friday. After that, the quest is on to defend their RSEQ provincial title.

Hockey Sports

Old-time foes meet in 2024 Corey Cup

The McGill Redbirds and the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey teams will meet on Jan. 31 for the 36th annual Corey Cup game.

Since 1988, the trophy has been given to the winner of one regular season game between McGill and Concordia. The games have been played on both Mcgill and Concordia’s campuses, as well as the historic Montreal Forum and Bell Centre. With the rivalry for what’s at stake, the excitement to win this game never seems to fade.

Looking back at the history of the event, McGill won 19 of the matchups while Concordia won 12. The Stingers hoisted the trophy in the past two Corey Cup matchups.

In 2024, there will be an additional layer of drama and competitiveness. Not only will the historic cup be up for grabs, but also a ticket to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s hockey playoffs.

As of Jan. 28, a slim four points separate first place in the OUA East division from fourth. It could be the difference between hosting a playoff series or playing on the road. The Redbirds currently sit in first place with a 18-5-2 record while the Stingers sit in fourth, four points behind the Redbirds at 16-7-2.

The Redbirds and Stingers are coming in as two of the hottest teams in the OUA East division. With eight wins in their last 10 games, McGill has sprung up four seeds into the top spot of the division since returning from the Christmas break. Winners of seven of their last 10 games, Concordia has made noise as well. They have maintained a top four position in the division all season, and are safely in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It will be a dogfight to see which teams come out on top in the tightly-contested division.

This game will also be the rubber match of the season series between the two teams. The Stingers won their first regular season game of the year when they beat McGill on Oct. 5, while the Redbirds got their revenge with a 1-0 shutout of the Stingers on Nov. 23. It will be the only game this season where the two teams meet at Ed Meagher Arena, unless a potential playoff rematch is in the cards come February.

The 2024 edition of the Corey Cup game appears to have all the ingredients of a barn-burner. As the regular season winds down and the two rivals meet one final time, the atmosphere at Ed Meagher Arena should be electric.

Hockey Sports

Stingers hockey teams split their weekend games as playoffs near

Men’s team drops defensive duel while women’s team continues its winning ways.

Ed Meagher Arena was home to a busy weekend of Stingers hockey. The men’s hockey team faced off against the Queen’s University Gaels on Jan. 20. Winners of their last six matches, the men’s hockey team sat in second place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division standings coming into the game.

Prior to puck drop, only two points separated the top spot in the division from fourth. Queen’s came in five points behind the Stingers, making this contest highly anticipated.

The first period kicked off with a Queen’s penalty that saw Concordia earn their first power play opportunity of the game. As the Stingers maintained possession in the Queen’s defensive zone, forward Vincent Nardonne found defender Simon Lavigne who fired a shot by Gaels’ goaltender Christian Purboo, making it 1-0 Concordia.

Not long after the Stingers tally, Queen’s forward Dalton Duhart, who is currently third in USports for points scored, tied the game 1-1.

As the second period got underway, the physicality between the two teams was increasing as the penalty minutes were adding up. Despite earning a four-minute double-minor power play late in the second frame, the Stingers could not capitalize. They finished the period with 19 shots but Purboo stood tall. Defensively, the Stingers kept high-danger opportunities to the outside of the Queen’s attacking zone, keeping shots away from their own goaltender Jordan Naylor. Neither team would find the back of the net in the second period.

The final frame got off to a quick start. The opportunistic Gaels team buried their second goal of the game coming just two minutes into the period. Shortly after, the Stingers earned an extended five-on-three power play with a chance to tie the game. More chances, but Queen’s made the timely saves, killing the penalty and gaining back the momentum. 

Gabriel Proulx (right) and Dalton Duhart (left) battle for the puck behind the net.
Photo Credited to Concordia Athletics

Stingers’ head coach Marc-André Élément discussed the team’s power play struggles postgame. “You have to give [Queen’s] credit,” Élément said. “They blocked a lot of shots and we will take a look at the video to see where we could improve. They did a good job and we need to execute a little bit better.”

The Stingers continued to claw away with chances in the offensive zone but could not buy a goal. The Gaels added an insurance marker and took the game by a final score of 3-1.

The lack of scoring seen in the men’s game was thrown out the window when the women’s game took place the following day.

The Stingers women’s hockey team faced off against the Bishop’s Gaiters on Jan. 21 in hopes of keeping their undefeated record alive. Concordia entered the game with a perfect 17-0-0 record, atop the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division standings and the USports women’s hockey rankings for yet another week.

The first period got off to an action-filled start. Stingers forward Émilie Lavoie got the scoring started with a breakaway goal put top shelf behind Gaiters’ netminder Erika Gagnon. In the next five minutes of play, Bishop’s scored back to back goals to get a lead of their own, but this would be short-lived as well.

Just nine seconds after the Bishop’s go-ahead goal, Stingers defender Léonie Philbert scored to get the momentum back on the home side. Forward Rosalie Bégin-Cyr followed this up with a wrist-shot goal, giving the Stingers a 3-2 lead after the first period.

With frustration building for the Gaiters in the second frame, the penalty minutes continued to add up. The Stingers saw themselves on five power plays in the period, three of which they would score on. Both teams traded even-strength goals, resulting in a 7-3 score after 40 minutes of play.

The Stingers changed their game plan in the final period, sitting back on their offensive forecheck and maintaining solid defensive play. The Gaiters were held to just four shots in the third period, earning the Stingers the 7-3 victory on home ice.

Despite splitting the two games over the weekend, both Stingers teams sit in good positions with the playoffs around the corner. The men’s team will go on the road for the next two games and return home for their final three. They hit the ice next on Jan. 25 against the Royal Military College Paladins. Meanwhile, the women’s team sits peacefully atop their division in the RSEQ with seven regular season games remaining. They will face off against the Carleton Ravens in their next game on Jan. 26.

Football Sports

Five Concordia players announced as RSEQ football All-Stars for 2023-24

 Karim Brissault, Eric Maximuik, Loïk Gagné, Nicolas Roy and Franck Tchembe stood out across the league this season.

The Concordia Stingers shocked the university football world this past season, finishing with a winning record of 5-3. U-Sports ranked them as a non-contender, below Université de Sherbrooke at the beginning of the season, as they finished below the Vert et Or last season with a record of 2-6. 

“It was our motivation all season,” linebacker Loïk Gagné said. “We were in ‘the rest.’ We took that as a lack of respect, and we said, ‘Okay, we’re bringing it this season.’” 

The feelings among the selected players were mixed when it came to making the RSEQ All-Star team. For the offensive guard Karim Brissault and kicker-punter Eric Maximuik, it was a personal goal to earn this acclamation, but focusing on their semi-final game against Université Laval was more important. 

Eric Maximuik (left) and Karim Brissault (right). Credit: Kaitlynn Rodney

“For me, personally, it’s definitely an honour, but it wasn’t something I kept in my mind too long. I was more worried about focusing on the playoff game after [it was] announced,”  kicker-punter Maximuik expressed. He also announced that with an average 44.3 yards per punt this season, it is the most in the league.

The defensive players would trade it all away any day for a Vanier Cup.

The Stingers football team had a near-complete coaching change over the offseason—the defensive coaching staff was cleared and rebuilt from the ground up. Stingers head coach Brad Collinson added the role of head coach for the offensive line to his responsibilities, as his new assistant Fraser Baikie brought in a hands-on technical approach to that part of the lineup, according to Brissault. 

Brissault’s offensive line was involved in the number one rushing offense in the RSEQ with over 1,200 yards in just 188 attempts, averaging 151 yards per game. The o-line placed number two in the league for least sacks allowed, with only nine in total.

Third-year running back Franck Tchembe, the nucleus of this offense, was the number one in RSEQ rushing with 529 total yards, number six overall in total offensive players, as he was ranked fourth overall in all-purpose offensive players with 57 receiving yards to the season.

This drastic staff change allowed for a new culture to thrive within the team. Leadership, team bonding, healthy competition between players and self-analysis was emphasized during the campaign.

“Last summer, going into my second year, there were 10-12 guys regularly showing up and most guys were training by themselves. This year, we were thirty training together,” Brissault said.

According to the elected defensive All-Stars Nicolas Roy and Loïk Gagné, the new defensive coordinator Paul Eddy Saint-Vilien had a specific and effective vision for his group. 

“This year, the coaches adapted to us,” said Roy, who originally started as a linebacker and played the season as a defensive end with 11.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. “We had the smallest D-line in the league, and we still managed to be one of the best in the entire league because of our speed, and having had a game plan for our strengths and weaknesses.”

For example, Gagné is about 25 lbs heavier than the average linebacker, which means keeping up with speedier players and guarding man-to-man isn’t his strong suit. Saint-Vilien was aware of this and made the appropriate changes to reduce his role in man-to-man plays. He finished the season in the top two tackle leaders with 36.5 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two recovered fumbles.

There were three important games in the regular season for the Stingers, the first being a tied favorite amongst the players: the away game played against the Vert et Or of Université de Sherbrooke. It was the second game of the season and the team’s hopes weren’t high, as they had been crushed at home by Université de Montréal’s Carabins. 

The team was down by 21 points going into the second half. In the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, Maximuik converted his last extra point, sending the team to overtime at 24-24. He then outscored the opposing kicker on field goals, winning it 30-27 for the team in double-overtime. “That resilience that our team had to come back when we were losing […] for me was definitely a highlight,” he observed. 

A switch was flipped that day. According to Gagné, the bench from that point had a less apprehensive approach to players making mistakes and more of a calming, level-headed, stoic approach. Roy also said the team discovered a new-found ability to ignite a second wind in the later stages of games, which their opponents didn’t counter across most matchups. 

The final game of the season was the second team-favourite to remember, as the Stingers beat the ranked top-two Canadian overall Carabins in their home turf. Yet again, Maximuik displayed his abilities to perform under high-pressure circumstances. He scored 10 of Concordia’s 16 points, avenging their season-opening performance in the last second of the game with the winning field goal.

“I kind of got screenshots in my mind of seeing my target lining up, hearing the noise. I remember specifically being able to hear the crowd and how loud it was,” the kicker recalled. “Right before the snap, I smirked a little bit. I used that energy that I got from the crowd to just focus in a little bit more and from then it was kind of just a routine kick.” 

The semi-final game against the Laval Rouge et Or was just as important, as the Stingers showed that the win was possible against the other dominant RSEQ team. Although their opponents laid the hurt in the first couple of quarters, the Stingers exploded in the last few minutes of the game. Gagné threw down 9.5 tackles and a sack throughout, Roy’s defense line held the opposition’s rushing success down to about a third of what the Stingers put up. 

“Even the bench was on fire,” Brissault said, as he was sidelined due to an ankle injury. “At halftime, the coach said to not focus on what was on the board, more on what was on the field […] They’re not the Laval team I played in the first year.”

Unfortunately, Maximuik’s 41-yard field goal conversion was not enough to win the game. However, the progress made over the season was enough to satisfy the fans.

The loss of important players like Dawson Pierre, Ezechiel Tiede and Zachary Philion, all graduating this coming May, might affect the team to a certain point. However, almost all of the current players will be staying for next season and the stars all agree that the team’s display of grit and a winning record will attract major prospects entering the RSEQ. The team’s aim for the offseason is to stay as tightly-knit as they were on the field and to stay in shape.

All-in-all, the Stingers really wanted it this season and they showed real qualities of what a winning team looked like. With changes of that size, it’s clear that all the team needed was time to adapt. These All-Stars demonstrated that they will be the leaders of next year’s championship team.

Hockey Sports

Another successful weekend for Stingers hockey!

Both Stingers hockey teams are back in the win column, combined 3-0-0 record over the weekend.

It was an eventful weekend at Ed Meagher Arena—the home for the latest Stingers hockey homestand and the 2023 Pink in the Rink weekend.

For the third time in their program’s history, the Stingers hosted the Pink in the Rink event which consisted of a bake sale, an auction filled with prizes, and the women’s team sporting limited-time pink jerseys. All proceeds raised were donated to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

Head coach Julie Chu spoke on what it meant for the team to take part in an event like this for such a good cause. “When we get a chance to run events for positive change, that’s what we want to do and we take a lot of pride in that,” she said. “With everything that we put into it, we also wanted to make sure that when it came down to being great on the ice, we were able to do so.” 

The Stingers women’s team kicked off the action with their game against the Bishop’s Gaiters on Nov. 17. Prior to the opening face-off, a ceremonial puck drop took place to honour breast cancer survivors—a beautiful way to begin the weekend.

Concordia came out of the gate hemming the Gaiters in their defensive zone, outshooting them 10-0 in the first half of the opening frame. Eleven minutes in, the Stingers got rewarded with the first goal of the game off a mid-slot deflection by forward Émilie Lussier.

The Gaiters knotted it up five minutes later, but the Stingers responded with a goal of their own. This one came from forward Émilie Lavoie, bringing the score to 2-1.

The second period of the game consisted of a similar outcome. Concordia scored three unanswered goals to open a 5-1 lead towards the end of the period. The Gaiters closed the gap to 5-2, but the Stingers added another three goals in the third, securing the big 8-2 victory. 

Lussier, Lavoie, and forward Caroline Moquin-Joubert all scored multiple goals and brought momentum into their second game the following day.

After a quick turnaround, the Stingers hit the ice against the Carleton Ravens on Nov. 18. The game had a slow start compared to the day prior—the Ravens and Stingers tied at one after 20 minutes of play. The two teams exchanged goals to open the second period, followed by the Stingers’ third power play goal of the game, making the score 3-2 in favour of the home team.

In the third, the Stingers ran away with the game. Three more goals, including a hat trick from forward Jessymaude Drapeau, topped off another victory for Concordia. 

“We stuck with it. We wanted to make sure that we stayed to our habits and kept our mindset in a good spot even if we were in a tight game,”  coach Chu expressed postgame. 

The team has now improved to a perfect 10-0-0 on the season, holding first place in the RSEQ standings as well as on the U Sports’ women’s hockey power rankings list.

The Stingers men’s team then took to the ice for the second leg of the day. This game was a big one for the Stingers as they had lost four out of their last five games after starting the year 6-1-0. They faced off against Ontario University Athletics West Division opponent Lakehead Thunderwolves. The first period saw the Stingers firing on all cylinders.

A deflection by captain and forward Phélix Martineau off a seeing-eye shot from defenseman Simon Lavigne saw the Stingers jump in front of the Thunderwolves 1-0. One minute later, Stingers forward Loïck Daigle found the puck on his stick all alone in the slot and fired it past the Lakehead goaltender making it 2-0. The Stingers went on to add two more goals before the intermission, leading 4-0 after the first period.

After Lakehead got on the board early in the second period, Stingers forward Isiah Campbell responded by scoring two goals to extend the Concordia lead to 6-1 going into the third period. Despite conceding a late goal, Stingers forward Mathieu Bizier added two third-period goals to cap the 8-2 statement win. Head coach Marc-André Élément spoke postgame about his team’s victorious effort.

Isiah Campbell vs. Lakehead
Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“Tonight we played well—we managed the puck properly and that’s why we had success,” Élément said. “There were some guys on our team who scored some big goals tonight that will translate with them continuing to produce offensively, hopefully [this win] will motivate them to keep trending in the right direction going into the winter break.”

Three well-earned wins and a fundraiser for a great cause were the highlights of a very successful weekend for the Stingers hockey community. The teams will be back in action this week with the men’s team playing at McGill on Nov. 23 and the women’s team at the Université de Montréal Carabins on Nov. 24.

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