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.


McGill 58-57 Concordia: Nothing comes free for Stingers in George Lengvari Cup

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team fall just short of handing the undefeated McGill Redbirds their first loss of the regular season

The third annual George Lengvari Cup was a back-and-forth affair that will surely be remembered in the storied Concordia/McGill basketball rivalry. Despite the narrow loss, the Stingers can keep their heads up high knowing they were the better club for most of the night, in a matchup against the tenth ranked team in Canada. 

“The game plan was to really hone in defensively and I think we did pretty well,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic after the game. “If you look at the final score, McGill had 58 points but they needed a big run at the end to get there. On most days we should come away with the win with the defence alone but our offence really struggled down the stretch.”

Ahead of Thursday’s matchup, McGill’s unselfish offence posed too many challenges for their opposition on most nights, particularly from three-point range. Led by their fifth-year guard Jamal Mayali, who came into the anticipated contest averaging an impressive 19.2 points-per-game, McGill coming away with the victory felt like a formality, despite Concordia occupying the second seed in the conference. On Nov. 11, the last time the rivals met, McGill convincingly won by a comfortable 15-point margin.

Concordia guard/forward Oge Nwoko (14) shoots the ball during the RSEQ Regular Season match between McGill and Concordia on Thursday. REUBEN POLANSKY-SHAPIRO

Concordia’s first possession of the contest was a beautifully drawn-up play that featured Stingers rookie guard Alec Phaneuf receiving a couple of off-ball screens in motion, which resulted in an open look from three-point range. The first-year standout assertively rose up for the jump shot like a veteran and hit nothing but net, an early sign from the Stingers that they weren’t going to back down from the favoured Redbirds.

The first half ended with Concordia leading 28-21. On defence, the Stingers were exceptional, swarming McGill’s ball handlers and forcing them into difficult, contested looks from midrange. The Redbirds made one three-pointer on ten attempts from distance, and the RSEQ’s leading scorer Mayali didn’t register a single point through 20 minutes. 

Offensively, Concordia was producing quality shot opportunities for the most part, and the team’s third-year guard Sami Jahan was able to bail the Stingers out of rough possessions by making a number of tough layups and a crowd-pleasing rainbow heave from way beyond the three-point arc. Jahan would go on to lead the Stingers in total points with 14, to go along with his three assists. 

“Back in November when we played against McGill, we got blown out. Today, we came and were the better team for 30 minutes, but we just couldn’t pull it together for the last 10 minutes. Even though we lost, we’ve come a long way and made big strides as a group,” Jahan said. 

The Stingers missed five free throw attempts in the opening quarter, which would have nearly doubled their first half lead, had they fallen. Ultimately, those misses would prove to be costly when McGill mounted their 18-point comeback late in the third quarter. 

Once the Redbirds’ looks from three started to drop, the floodgates opened and the atmosphere in the gymnasium completely shifted towards the home team. Concordia’s offence and defence simultaneously collapsed as the pressure escalated, and McGill’s raucous crowd made it difficult for the Stingers to establish themselves back into the game. Even an emphatic reverse dunk by the Stingers best performing regular season player Olivier Simon early in the quarter wasn’t enough to shift the momentum. 

Despite the disastrous fourth quarter, Concordia had possession of the ball in the dying seconds of the match. With the game in his hands, Jahan drew a shooting foul on McGill’s Cameron Elliot in isolation. He would go on to make one of his free throws, and the Redbirds went into their ensuing timeout with signs of life. A Concordia foul on McGill’s inbound play would award Quarry Whyne a trip to the free throw line, where he would go on to knock down a pair to ice the game for the Redbirds. 

“All the training and reps in the gym in practice were for moments [at the free throw line] like that. I felt comfortable, but the first one just didn’t fall my way. It’s part of the game and the process, but I will always be ready for those moments,” Jahan said. 

To say the Stingers lost solely due to their lack of precision at the charity stripe wouldn’t be doing the competitive game justice. The truth is, Concordia outworked McGill through three quarters, and showed a greater desire to win that was evident in their hustle plays throughout. But they became lackadaisical in their approach for a brief stint, and a great team like McGill will always take an inch and never look back.

“It’s almost like we were just hoping for the time to run out instead of taking full control when we were ahead. Our guys need to know that we’re as good as McGill and we know we can beat them,” Popovic said. 

Luckily for the Stingers, the playoff stakes couldn’t have been lower, as the RSEQ standings have already been decided for both teams.

Though the Stingers will have to wait until next year to recapture the Lengvari Cup, Concordia will have another opportunity to upset McGill for bragging rights at home on Saturday afternoon.

Photograph by Reuben Polanski-Shapiro


Concordia’s special units put to work in dominant 7-4 win over McGill

The Stingers men’s hockey team get the win in their first game back since Dec. 4, 2021

The Stingers dominated a very fast-paced and physical game against the McGill Redbirds on Feb. 15, ultimately taking the 7-4 victory in their first game in over two months.

“It just feels good to be back on the ice, to be able to play a game was awesome,” said Stingers captain Phélix Martineau. “It was really fun to be able to play with the boys again, and to get out with a win was good too.”

Concordia capitalized early on, with a goal by Paycen Bjorklund. Even though McGill responded quickly, the Stingers kept pressuring their opponents.

It took less than three minutes for Nathan Lavoie to find the back of the net and for the Stingers to regain the lead. Jeffrey Durocher would later score on the power play, for what would be the Stingers’ first of four powerplay goals of the night.

After 20 minutes of play, the Stingers outshot McGill 19-3, and had a 3-1 lead.

The second period wasn’t as smooth as the first, with intensity rising between the two rival teams. It started with a couple of penalties against McGill, giving Concordia a bit of time with a 5-on-3 advantage, on which Martineau capitalized. A few seconds later, Tyler Hylland scored on the one-man advantage.

After the Stingers’ fifth goal, the Redbirds switched goalies at the midway mark of the game. As the night went on, the intensity and physicality increased, as the two teams faced off for the fifth (and last) time this season.

It was the Stingers’ turn to find themselves short-handed, and the momentum seemed to change in the Redbirds’ favour, who proceeded to score to cut their deficit in half, as the second frame ended with the Stingers ahead 5-3.

“We started well, but then we took a lot of penalties,” said Martineau. “But we ended up on top so it’s a good win for us, a good way to get back at it.”

Seven minutes into the third period, the Redbirds scored, finding themselves only one goal away from tying the game. About a minute later, McGill once again found themselves shorthanded and Charles Tremblay scored the Stingers’ fourth and final powerplay goal of the night.

“We’ve been working on special units,” Stingers head coach Marc-André Elément said. “We’re going to have to look at some stuff… but overall it was a good game.”

The last seven minutes of the game were the most intense, with frustrations building and many penalties taken on both sides.

If there was a chance for McGill to come back, it was denied by Isiah Campbell who gave Concordia a three-goal lead with about four minutes remaining.

At the end of the night, Tremblay had a powerplay goal and two assists, and Alexander Katerinakis three assists.

The special units the Stingers have been working on got tested in this game, in which a total of 20 penalties were called, 12 for McGill and eight for Concordia.

“We’ve been working on our powerplay since the last game we played, we’re trying some new stuff so it’s good to be able to build off that for the nine games we have left,” Martineau said.

The team is now looking forward to finishing the season after it was disrupted by the Omicron wave in December.

“All the guys were excited, I think we had a really good start, a couple breakdowns afterwards, but I’m really proud. It wasn’t an easy situation with [going from] practicing every day, not knowing what was going to happen, and then not practicing at all,” Elément said. “I’m really happy, the guys are happy that we’re back, and hopefully, we’re going to keep going.”


Photograph by Matt Garies / McGill Athletics 


McGill 77, Concordia 62: Stingers rookies impress in disappointing start to season

The Stingers lose their season opener against last season’s top-seeded Redbirds

The Stingers began the 2021⁠–22 RSEQ regular season with a disappointing loss to their rival Redbirds on Thursday night. In the 77⁠–62 loss, Concordia’s rookies played major minutes and kept the team in the game, while the team’s senior players struggled with consistency.

“It’s encouraging to see our first-year guys play well,” said Rastko Popovic, head coach of the Stingers men’s basketball team. “But I thought our seniors just did not do the job tonight. We can’t expect our first-year guys to lead us to wins, especially when McGill’s two best players, especially Jamal Mayali, were outstanding tonight.” 

As a team, McGill’s offence was firing on all cylinders, especially from the perimeter where the Redbirds went 12⁠/31 on three-point field goal attempts. Conversely, Concordia’s offence struggled with their shot from behind the arc (4⁠/24 from three) and at the free-throw line (18/28). Despite McGill’s exceptional play on both ends of the floor, Stingers guard Sami Jahan said Concordia was their own worst enemy. 

“They [McGill] didn’t do anything that surprised us. We knew they moved the ball and could hit open shots, but we just didn’t execute on our game plan tonight and do what we were supposed to do,” Jahan said. 

McGill’s fifth-year guard Mayali led the way for the Redbirds, tallying 29 points on 16 shot attempts with six made threes. Concordia rookie Olivier Koumassou Bernier led the Stingers in minutes and brought confidence and energy to the team. He finished the game with 10 points to go along with his three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. 

The first half was back and forth with McGill leading 32–30 before the break, but Concordia struggled to keep their foot on the gas once play resumed. At the start of the third quarter, McGill went on an 8–0 run which gave the Redbirds a comfortable double-digit lead that Concordia could never overcome. Jahan put the team’s slow start to the second half on himself and the Stingers veterans.

“We didn’t come out with any energy,” Jahan said. “It was really the rookies that came into the game and held down the fort for us […] but we [the veterans] let the game slip and that’s on us.” 

Thursday night was Concordia’s first game of the season, but the Stingers coaching staff were already discussing ways to improve the team amongst themselves well after the game. 

“We have to play a lot harder and execute more offensively. There’s too many small details that we’re not doing right now. Today McGill played much harder. We showed some good things early on but we didn’t compete, especially in the second half,” Popovic said.

The Stingers will look to bounce back next week when they host Bishop’s and Laval at Concordia Stadium on Thursday and Saturday respectively.


Photograph by Laurent Beausoleil


RSEQ Football Mid-Season Report Card

Where do the Concordia Stingers rank at this point in the season?

With the second half of the 2021 RSEQ football season underway, the Stingers (3-2) are in third place situated behind the powerhouse first place Montreal Carabins (4-1) and the second place Laval Rouge et Or (4-2), with the Sherbrooke Vert et Or (2-4) and McGill Redbirds (1-5) in the fourth and fifth place spots respectively.

Right now, the standings are an honest indication of the overall power rankings for the league. With the Carabins, the Rouge et Or, and the Stingers holding the top three spots, it is without a doubt that these three teams will be battling it out for the top seed. While the power rankings may label these teams in first, second, and third, the statistics suggest the rankings are much closer than they appear.

The Montreal Carabins are the team to beat and top the list coming off a bye-week. The team’s only loss was against the Stingers 31-28 in a dramatic come-from-behind win. The other close game for the Carabins came against Laval, where Montreal squeaked by with a one-point victory 18-17. Otherwise, the Carabins have balled out with three double-digit wins: two against Sherbrooke and one against McGill. The Carabins also rank third in total offence and first in total defence. With impressive numbers on both sides of the ball, this multi-dimensional team has been successful for now but is being chased down by two teams who are breathing down their necks.

The Laval Rouge et Or officially find themselves in second place, but arguably one could make the case that they are still the best team in the RSEQ. Besides their narrow defeat to Montreal, Laval suffered an upset loss against Sherbrooke 23-17, giving up 20 points to the Vert et Or in the second quarter alone. Otherwise, Laval tends to dominate; they’re used to double-digit victories, with the most significant being the 55-2 smackdown they laid on McGill in week five of the season.

Laval is the contemporary juggernaut of the RSEQ: their defence is sound, ranking second in total defence, and most notably, ranking first in interceptions and passing defensive efficiency. If the Montreal Carabins are a multi-dimensional team, the Rouge et Or are no slouches either: Laval ranks second in total offence, first in rushing offence, and first in first downs with 140. It’s fair to say, Laval can find ways to win on both sides of the ball.

If there’s any team muscling their way in this playoff race, it’s the Concordia Stingers. This team seems to be improving with each week — ever-evolving and generating momentum, which has garnered them success. Despite a disappointing 36-10 loss to Laval on Sunday, Stingers starting quarterback Olivier Roy went from his first attempted pass of the season being intercepted, to breaking the single-game RSEQ passing yards record in the span of a month. The Stingers tout a stellar offence that tends to do its best work in the second half, which has granted them their dramatic come-from-behind victories.

One area Concordia needs to improve on to obtain the top seed, it would be their defence. Ranked fourth in total defence, fifth in rushing defence, and fourth in passing defence, the Stingers have given up an average of 445 yards per game. If the Stingers want to carry their momentum into the second half of the season, they’ll need to resolve their defensive issues.

This leaves the Sherbrooke Vert et Or and the McGill Redbirds in the fourth and fifth place slots, respectively. Sherbrooke has doled out a few upsets in an otherwise less-than-stellar first half of the season. With a win against Laval, and having gone toe-to-toe in a shootout with Concordia in week four, Sherbrooke can play heartbreaker for whichever playoff contender is yearning for that top seed.

As for the McGill Redbirds, the team’s losing record doesn’t reflect how solid their defensive core truly is. The Redbirds rank high in many defensive categories, including second in pass defence and first in sacks with 17. If it weren’t for their shaky offence, which could only register 22 points in their last three games — including a 21-13 loss to Sherbrooke on Saturday — the Redbirds would be sitting in a better position standings-wise.

After a lengthy hiatus between seasons due to the pandemic, it has been quite an eventful season, and fans can expect many more thrilling games to come.


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds


Concordia 36 McGill 33: Shaughnessy Cup ends in overtime thriller

The Stingers display their character as they edge out longtime rivals McGill Redbirds in overtime

One week after a historic win against the Université de Montréal, the Stingers overcame adversity to win the 52nd edition of the Shaughnessy Cup against the McGill Redbirds — despite being down 33-11 at one point in front of a sellout crowd of 3500 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.  

In the first half, a fumble and an interception resulted in two early touchdowns for McGill. Stingers head coach Brad Collinson said that despite the win, the team needs to improve in the early stages of games.

“Getting off to a good start is something we are constantly talking about,” Collinson said. “We’ve had two short weeks to prepare for these last two games, now with a full week to get ready [for Sherbrooke] we’re going to hammer it through and make sure the players understand.” 

The Stingers’ offence struggled early largely due to constant pressure coming from the Redbirds’ defensive front that managed to sack Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy five times throughout the game.  

Concordia trailed 16-2 at the half and continued to struggle into the third quarter. The Stingers could not move the ball and a 39-yard scoop and score from the Redbirds put McGill in front 23-4.

The Stingers hoist the Shaughnessy Cup in front of their visiting fans

But the tide of the game turned after a 50-yard touchdown grab by Stingers’ receiver Jaylan Greaves capped off a 94-yard Concordia drive to end the quarter.

McGill answered with another touchdown, but these would be the last points they would score. Down 33-11 with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Roy and his offence changed gears, scoring three touchdowns on consecutive drives to tie the game.

The first came off a 6-yard grab by Olivier Morency that followed two dropped passes by veteran receiver Jeremy Murphy in the endzone.

The next touchdown came on a skillful play by Roy who ran from sideline to sideline to avoid defenders and launched a 35-yard bomb to Jacob Salvail.

After big stops by their defence, the Stingers got the ball back — down eight points with 2:36 to go in the 4th quarter. Murphy was able to redeem himself with two huge catches on this drive, including the touchdown that set them up to tie the game. Roy took care of the two-point conversion himself and ran up the middle to force an overtime.

Following the game, Murphy said he was confident he would get an opportunity to bounce back.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Murphy said. “So I know there’s always going to be another chance for me to make a play. My guys trusted me, and I trusted my guys. I wasn’t worried about it.”

The Redbirds started off with the ball in extra time but were unable to score.

The Stingers got the ball back and completed another incredible comeback. Morency picked up a first down on a 20-yard rush that set up fifth-year kicker Andrew Stevens in perfect field position to seal the game. The veteran did not miss his opportunity and nailed a 21-yard field goal through the uprights. 

After another emotional rollercoaster of a game, Murphy summed up his thoughts on the team’s latest comeback victory.

“If we could start off our games like this, we’re looking pretty good,” Murphy said.

The Stingers will look to start strong and extend their win streak at home next week against the Sherbrooke Vert & Or.


Photographs by Catherine Reynolds

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