Stingers season comes to end in double overtime loss

Queen’s Gaels battled back from 3-0 deficit to sweep playoff series

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team fell short in a 5-4 double overtime thriller to the Queen’s Gaels. This put an end to the season for the Stingers as the Gaels win the best-of-three series 2-0.

Just over six minutes into the game, captain Philippe Hudon scored to give the Stingers an early lead. The momentum carried on throughout the period, where the Stingers outshot the Gaels 12-3 in the first period.

This was the third year in a row the Stingers and Gaels met in the playoffs. Concordia won in game three overtime last year. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

The beginning of the second period started similarly, as the Stingers got another early goal from Hudon, who tipped a Philippe Sanche shot in on the powerplay to make it 2-0. Only 30 seconds later, Charles-Éric Légaré beat the Gaels goalie by putting a perfect pass by Brendan Hamelin into the net.

However, just under a minute later, the Gaels got onto the board to cut the lead to 3-1. This didn’t stop the Stingers from controlling the game, as midway through the second period, the momentum changed.

The Stingers failed to convert on a 5-on-3 that lasted nearly two minutes. The momentum changed from that point, and the Gaels got a powerplay goal to cut the lead to 3-2 before the second period ended.

“Not scoring on the five-on-three gave them momentum. Had we scored, it would have been different,” said head coach Marc-André Élément. “They did a very good job and gained momentum.”  

“[The Gaels] played it really well but it isn’t really acceptable in the playoffs to not score on a 1:30 5-on-3,” said defenceman Carl Neill.

Opening the third, the Gaels left off where they finished the second, scoring only 19 seconds in to tie the game. They then proceeded to grab the lead less than two minutes into the third period with another quick goal.

The pressure on the Stingers’s backs was intense but they managed to remain calm. Sanche tied the game with eight minutes to go in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Despite a strong overtime period by the Stingers, they were unable to score. The game went to the second overtime, where the Gaels scored a minute into the period to put the Stingers’s season to bed.

This was Philippe Hudon’s final game as a Stinger. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

After the game, the team and fans cheered and thanked captain Hudon for his five years with the team. He was the first captain to take the Stingers to nationals last season. In his final game, Hudon went out with two goals and an assist. “He carried the team tonight and even last game,” said Neill on Hudon’s final performance. “Playoffs are really his thing.”

“He has been one of the best captains to wear the C on his jersey; he is up there with Olivier Hinse,” said Élément on his captain. “It is because of those guys that we were able to change the identity and culture of the program. I just told him he left a big, big footprint and I’m very proud of what he accomplished.”

An emotional Hudon came out to talk about his time as a Stinger after his final game. “It is certainly the end of an unbelievable chapter,” said Hudon. “It’s not about the sheer number of years I’ve been here; it’s about what developed over the years.”

Hudon will be missed as the team looks to the future but he hopes that his leadership on the ice sticks with the young leaders of the team. He is currently waiting to see if he will have a future in hockey over the next few months.  

“If there is one thing I want my teammates to take from me, it’s certainly not the vocals, as I’m not a vocal guy. However, it would be to work hard to the very last second,” said Hudon.

Another player who likely played his last game in a Stingers uniform is forward Légaré, who is hoping to forego his final year of OUA eligibility to play pro in Europe.  

On his time at Concordia, Légaré said, “I really enjoyed it. It has been the best four years of my life so far and it passed by so fast.”

The Stingers will come back next year with a young group led by many second and third year players.

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Corey Cup lives up to its hype in tight affair

Concordia took advantage of home crowd for 4-3 win over McGill

In front of a packed house at the Ed Meagher Arena, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team won the 32nd annual Corey Cup against the McGill Redmen. This victory makes it the Stingers’s second-straight Corey Cup win, having won 4-3 both this year and last.

“The guys were excited,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement about the Concordia-McGill rivalry. “It means a lot. With the stands packed like that it’s good for university hockey and it’s good for the city.”

The officials were quick to break up Zachary Zorn’s fight with Nicolas Poulin. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

This game had all the elements expected from a rivalry. The two teams combined for 18 penalty minutes, 14 coming in the second period. Midway through the second, McGill’s Nicolas Poulin went after Stingers forward Zachary Zorn after he delivered a huge hit. The players dropped their gloves for a fight, but were only given two minutes for roughing.

“It was cool [to see] and it kind of gets the boys going on the bench,” said rookie defenceman Bradley Lalonde. “We were proud of [Zorn] because he stood up for himself.”

Indiscipline also played a factor in this game. McGill’s opening goal late in the first period was scored on a power play, and gave them a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. After forward Charles-Éric Legaré tied the game early in the second, McGill retook the lead with another power-play goal after Zorn’s penalty.

Third-year forward Philippe Sanche scored his 12th of the season to tie the game 2-2 with eight seconds left in the second period, also on the power play. “[Sanche] has been playing amazing,” Élement said. “He’s a huge leader and that was an amazing goal.”

Charles-Éric Legaré scored at the beginning of the second and third periods. Photo by Hannah Ewen.

Legaré scored his second of the game, and 11th of the season, early in the third period to give the Stingers a 3-2 lead. In eight regular-season games against McGill these past two years, Legaré has five goals and an assist, including a goal in last year’s Corey Cup. Élement said Legaré plays his best hockey against McGill because he enjoys the large crowds.

Stingers Captain Philippe Hudon played in his fifth and final Corey Cup, and it’s the third time he’s won it. He said he’s proud he’s been able to win the trophy in front of the home crowd two years in a row.

“It’s something that kind of rivals the Montreal [Canadiens]-Boston [Bruins] rivalry,” Hudon said. “Throughout the years, I’ve grown to not like McGill and really stick it to them every single game […] I’m happy a lot of people are coming because there should be more exposure to this kind of hockey.”

Midway through the third period, with the game tied 3-3, Hudon skated wide into McGill’s zone and dropped a pass for Hugo Roy. Roy blasted the puck past Louis-Philippe Guindon, igniting the crowd with the eventual game-winning goal. Hudon said he didn’t see the puck go in but heard the crowd’s roar, and celebrated like he scored a goal.

“It was a relief because it was such a back-and-forth hockey game,” Hudon said. “We were able to get the one-goal lead near the end, then bare down for the rest of the game.”

With the game tied three times, Lalonde said it helped to have the crowd behind them the whole game. “It’s a rivalry, so we know we’re never going to get behind no matter what happens, especially with the crowd into it,” Lalonde said.

With the win, the Stingers improve to 15-9-2 on the season and are in fifth place in the Ontario University Association (OUA) East with 32 points and two games left. McGill sits in fourth with 36 points, so the two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. McGill beat them in the OUA East final last year.

“This is what I live for; take ‘em on,” Hudon said. “If we play them this year, I’m giving it all I have.”

Main photo by Hannah Ewen.


Joel Slavik opens up after losing friend to suicide

Receiver wants to continue the conversation about mental illnesses

The Concordia Stingers hosted their annual Bell Let’s Talk game when the men’s hockey team played the Queen’s Gaels on Jan. 18.

In past seasons, Stingers men’s hockey team captain Philippe Hudon has made his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder public. He’s been the Stingers’s ambassador for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign in the past, and has seen his teammates open up.

Though an arena might not be the most common place to have a conversation about mental health, Hudon has seen people opening up. “Not in my locker room,” said Hudon when asked if there’s still a stigma. “I think we’re pretty open about it. No matter the sport, I think it’s becoming more normal in a sense.”

This year, Joel Slavik, a slotback on the football team, opened up on social media with his own personal story. He lost a friend to suicide last March, and wanted to share his friend’s story.

“It’s the first Bell Let’s Talk day since he passed, and I just wanted to bring a little bit more awareness to the issue itself,” Slavik said. “I found the best way with dealing with it is just to talk about it, and bring it to light.”

After Slavik lost his friend, he started asking a lot of questions about mental illness to better understand what his friend went through. “How I dealt with it was talking to his family, and his brother reached out too,” Slavik added.

“When someone is dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts, it’s really easy [for them] to think that their problems [are] the end of the world, and will never get better,” Slavik said. “But I would just let them know it’s just a rough patch and won’t be something they will be going through for the rest of their life. It’s something I wish I could have told [my friend] at the time, but not many people knew about it.”

Bell Let’s Talk aims to end the stigma around mental illness and encourage conversations surrounding it. Clara Hughes, a former Summer and Winter Olympian, battled depression and helped start Bell Let’s Talk in 2010. Since then, more athletes have become involved in the campaign, including former Montreal Alouettes safety Étienne Boulay and Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock.

“With sports, there’s the whole, ‘Get over it, next-play’ mentality, which is great in sports,” Slavik said. “Overall, when something that significant happens, it’s really important to see how it affects you and how it affects others, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.”

Slavik wants to see people be more open to sharing, but he wants to see it throughout the whole year, not just on Bell Let’s Talk day. “If you’re feeling this kind of way, there are resources and there are people who want you to talk about it and be vocal,” Slavik said.

After Slavik’s video was published on social media, he received support from friends in his hometown of Calgary, and from other Stingers athletes. “I just wanted to do it for [my friend] and just to prevent it from happening in the future,” Slavik said.

Bell Let’s Talk day is Jan. 30, and Concordia students struggling with their own mental health and wellness can visit the counselling services offered by the school, or call Concordia Students’ Nightline.

Main photo by Kyran Thicke / Concordia Stingers.


Stingers win again after falling behind early

Men’s hockey team getting hot with final push towards the playoffs

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team beat the Queen’s Gaels 4-3 in comeback fashion on Friday night at the Ed Meagher Arena.  

The Stingers win after finding themselves down 2-0 when the Gaels scored two quick power-play goals on penalties from Philippe Sanche and Anthony Dumont-Bouchard in the first period. This was the third consecutive win in which the Stingers trailed by two goals at some point in the game.

Following the second goal, the Stingers got back to their game plan, and came out hard in second period.

“After the two quick goals, we had to find our game quickly,” said captain Philippe Hudon. “I think we executed the game plan perfectly but we need to work on not falling behind early.”

Defenceman Carl Neill extended his team lead in points to 24. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

Five minutes into second period, Jean-Philippe Beaulieu put the Stingers on the board. The Stingers continued to press throughout the second, which led to a power-play goal from defenceman Simon Bourque. “It felt great to score my first but the win is what matters most,” said Bourque following the game, who scored his first goal as a Stingers.

With only 17 seconds left in the second period, the Gaels regained the lead with a scramble in front of the net. The Stingers came back in the third, and tied it up almost immediately with a perfectly placed shot by forward Zachary Zorn.  

“Zorn and his line had a really good game and that’s why you need depth in the lineup,” said had coach Marc-André Élement.  “Zorn hadn’t played much since Christmas but he stood out when we needed him most tonight.”

Defenceman Carl Neill, who leads the team in points, scored the game-winner with just over four minutes to go in regulation. He finished the game with a goal and an assist. Neill was a leader for the Stingers’s defence that went short a player early when Philippe Charbonneau left the game with an injury.

“We have to give the [defence] credit, they played very well as five [players],” said Élement. Along with Charbonneau, goaltender Anthony Dumont-Bouchard was also pulled out after the second period due to injury. Both players will be evaluated before Saturday’s game.  

This was also a Stingers game in collaboration with Bell Let’s Talk, in efforts of raising awareness about mental illness. Fans at the game received hats and noisemakers as part of the campaign.

With the win, the Stingers have now won four-straight games and eight of their last 10. They are hoping to build on their recent success Saturday night against the Laurentian Voyageurs at 7:30 p.m. at the Ed Meagher arena.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.


Stingers men’s hockey team wants to improve on bronze medal

Head coach Marc-André Élement excited by some rookies at training camp

The puck drops on the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey season on Oct. 4. Head coach Marc-André Élement might be facing some challenges with all the changes from last year’s team.

Anthony Beauregard, U Sports leading scorer and MVP from last season, signed a professional contract with the Brampton Beast in the ECHL. Massimo Carozza, whose 35 points were second on the team to Beauregard’s 60, is playing hockey in Italy now.

This will be Philippe Hudon’s second season as captain, and last with the team. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

Élement appeared on CJLO Sports on Sept. 17 and spoke about how his team will need to adjust without his offensive stars. He said the team defencemen will need to join in on the attack.

“We need more offence from everyone,” Élement sad. “We’re changing stuff in our game to have the defencemen join the rush a little bit more. It’s going to be something we’re going to be working on.”

A few other veterans from the team also graduated at the end of last season. Forwards Raphaël Lafontaine, Scott Oke, Antoine Masson, Dominic Beauchemin and goalie Antoine Dagenais aren’t on this year’s team. Élement always spoke highly of Lafontaine, who was an assistant captain last season.

“Lafontaine was giving his 110 per cent every game; you know he was there every game” Élement said. “That’s what you want from every other player, so Lafontaine’s intensity and work ethic will be missed for sure.”

Defenceman Carl Neill will be an assistant captain in his second season with the Stingers. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

Part of having so many players leave is new players coming in. According to Canadian University Sports Network (CUSN), the Stingers recruited 12 new players, which includes eight forwards, three defencemen and a goalie. One of the first recruits the Stingers announced in April, centre Hugo Roy, is the player Élement is most excited about. Roy is one of four recruits from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QJMHL). He played for the Sherbrooke Phoenix and scored 107 points in 132 games in the past two seasons.

“He’s a guy that will play both ways and he will be our number-one centre,” Élement said. “He’s going to bring a lot of offence, and defensively, he plays really well. He’s a complete player.”

Élement was also surprised by another Roy during training camp. He said rookie defenceman Charlie Roy is doing all the right things in the team’s exhibition games.

“He’s a low-profile defenceman,” Élement added. “He plays well defensively; he’s hard to beat one-on-one. He’s a low-key guy that you’re not going to notice in practice or games but he’s doing well.”

After a season with injuries, forward Philippe Sanche is back as an assistant captain. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

The Stingers started training camp earlier this year because Élement wanted all his players, new and old, to bond with each other. They had a beach volleyball tournament and other team-bonding activities during training camp. The head coach said he likes what he’s seen from his leadership group, composed of captain Philippe Hudon and assistant captains Carl Neill, Philippe Sanche and Alexandre Gosselin.

“They’re doing an amazing job in the locker room,” Élement added. “I think all those guys are well-respected and it’s going really well.”

Last season, the Stingers won the bronze medal in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference and finished in eighth place at nationals. It was the first time Concordia’s men’s hockey team played at nationals in 34 years, but Élement wants to make it two years in a row.

Expect defenceman Alexandre Gosselin to play be a key player for this team. Archive photo by Alex Hutchins.

“Our expectations are always the same, we always want to go all the way,” Élement said. “With the young group we have, we see that they’re really intense so we want to have that in our game […] We want to put on a good show and have our guys compete every night.”

The Stingers visit the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins for the season-opener on Oct. 4, but have their home-opener on Oct. 6 against the Carleton Ravens.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.


Hudon ready for an adventure with his brothers

Head coach says trip to nationals has been a long time coming for the Stingers

For the first time since 1984, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team is going to the U Sports national championship.

“I haven’t been this far in playoffs in a very long time, so this is quite special for me,” said captain Philippe Hudon. “What are we now? One of the top eight teams in the nation right now […] It’s huge for the program, and it’s huge for all of us.”

Philippe Hudon will be the first Stingers captain to bring his team to nationals since 1984. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

The Stingers qualified for nationals after beating the York Lions 3-2 in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze-medal game on March 9 at the Ed Meagher Arena. The University of New Brunswick (UNB) hosts the tournament in Fredericton from March 15 to 18, which features three teams from the OUA, three from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and two from the Canada West conference.

Head coach Marc-André Élement said he has been waiting to qualify for nationals ever since he played for the Stingers from 2007 to 2011.

“I’m really happy and really excited,” Élement said. “We have a good culture and a good base, and you can say we’re one of the top teams in the country.”

The Stingers pose for a team picture following their bronze-medal win. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Throughout the season, and more recently during the playoffs, both Hudon and Élement have talked about how well the whole team gets along on and off the ice.

“At the beginning of 2018, I stood up in the [locker] room, which is something I normally don’t do, and said, ‘We have a special group of guys,’” Hudon told reporters after game one of the OUA East final against the McGill Redmen. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of this group. With all of the people we have, we just have to put everything in the same basket and just keep pushing. ”

Even though the Stingers eventually lost that OUA East final against the Redmen in three games and settled for bronze, Hudon hasn’t changed his thoughts about his team. After the bronze-medal win, he said he and his teammates will give their full effort at nationals because they are proud to be Stingers.

“I’m going on an adventure with 20-odd of my brothers, so it’s going to be a hell of a ride,” Hudon said. “It’s the last few games of the season, so if we’re not giving our all, that trip won’t mean anything.”

The Stingers have been building towards this since Élement took over as head coach prior to the 2015-16 season. He has recruited top players, including second-year forward Anthony Beauregard, who scored 60 points this season. The Stingers are a young team, with 14 players in their first or second year, and four players in the fourth year. Élement credits the team’s veteran leadership for their success, and said Hudon has been an amazing leader.

The team celebrates their 3-2 win against the York Lions on March 9. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

“I have to give him the credit,” Élement said. “He’s doing a great job as a leader of the team, and he’s well-respected. This is why we’re having success.”

Rookie forward Jean-Philippe Beaulieu said the team learns from leaders like Hudon, who has scored 12 points in nine playoff games.

“We’ve been together since August, and we’ve built something as a group and as a team,” Beaulieu said.

The Stingers are ranked as the eighth seed, and will play the UNB Varsity Reds on March 15 in the quarter-final of the national championship.

“We’re going there to cause a surprise,” Élement added. “I just want my guys to battle every night.”

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.


Stingers clinch spot in nationals with 3-2 win

Captain Philippe Hudon continues playoff scoring streak with two goals

With a 3-2 win over the York Lions in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze-medal game on March 9, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team is going to its first U Sports nationals since 1984. Captain Philippe Hudon’s two goals, along with another from forward Scott Oke, will send the Stingers to Fredericton, N.B., for the national tournament from March 15 to 18.

“I wanted to go to nationals, and we’re going,” Hudon said after the win at the Ed Meagher Arena. “This team deserves to be [at nationals] more than anything else. We battled, and we got there somehow.”

The bronze-medal game featured the two teams that lost in the OUA division finals. The second-place Lions lost the West final to the fifth-place Brock Badgers in three games, while the McGill Redmen eliminated the Stingers in three games.

This bronze-medal game started with the kind of actionless hockey you would expect from two teams who just got eliminated from the playoffs a week ago. But Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement reminded his players just how fortunate they were to be in this situation.

“They were lucky to play hockey tonight,” Élement said. “There are other teams that are not playing. I also told [them] to just have fun.”

The Stingers and Lions haven’t played each other since November 2016, and it seemed like both teams were trying to figure each other out at the start. When Oke opened the scoring 12 minutes into the first period, it gave the game a boost of energy.

Concordia kept firing shots on Lions goalie Mack Shields, but York tied the game with five minutes left in the first, scoring on only their third shot. The second period didn’t feature much action either. During the second intermission, Hudon told his teammates a loss would spell the end of their season, and they had to win in order to keep playing.

“This may be our last period [of the season], and it was our last game [at home],” Hudon said. “We had an opportunity to rewrite history.”

Captain Philippe Hudon scored two goals in the game. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Hudon took it upon himself to write that history. He beat Shields with a powerful slapshot just nine seconds into the period. He scored the Stingers’s insurance goal midway through the third period, which virtually sealed their spot at nationals. In nine playoff games this season, Hudon has eight goals for 12 points—which is one point less than his regular-season total.

“The playoffs waken something in me that somehow is not present during the regular season,” Hudon said.

The Stingers head coach had high praise for his captain.

“He’s a playoff guy,” Élement said. “He’s a beast. He wants to be the best, and he is the best right now.”

Before the game, Stingers forward Anthony Beauregard was honoured for being named the OUA East Most Valuable Player on Thursday. Beauregard was also named an OUA East first-team all-star, along with defenceman Carl Neill. Neill also made the OUA East all-rookie team, joined by forward Massimo Carozza. The trio finished as the top three point-scorers on the Stingers this season and combined for 123 points.

“All three of them deserve their credits,” Hudon said about Beauregard, Neill and Carozza. “They distinguished themselves, and I’m very proud of them. These guys came in this year and they stepped up. They saw something bigger than just their own record, and they played for something big.”

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.


Redmen stun capacity crowd with overtime win against Stingers

OUA East final now heading to a deciding game three

Jerome Verrier’s overtime goal gave the McGill Redmen a 3-2 win over the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team Friday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. The best-of-three Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East final is now tied, with the series going to a deciding game three.

The Ed Meagher Arena, which has a capacity of about 800 people, sold out for the game. For the fans who showed up a bit later, they had to stand along the boards, in the rows or sit on stairs. The crowd was full of energy for the whole game.

“We’re sorry we didn’t end up winning for [the fans],” said Stingers captain Philippe Hudon about the packed arena.

The Ed Meagher Arena was standing room only on Friday night. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Hudon opened the scoring five minutes into the game with a power-play goal, and the pro-Concordia crowd erupted into a frenzy. Hudon described the atmosphere as “unbelievable.”

“It gives you that constant drive even though we played nearly four whole periods,” he said.

The Redmen responded a minute after Hudon’s goal, with Guillaume Gauthier beating Marc-Antoine Turcotte with a high shot. The Stingers were undisciplined in the first period, with forward Alexis Pépin taking two penalties, and forward Massimo Carozza had another. The Redmen went 0/4 on their power-play opportunities all game.

Turcotte, who was the game-one star with 43 saves in the win, was not the better of the two goalies in game two. Although he had a fantastic game, making 44 saves, McGill’s Louis-Philip Guindon won the goaltending duel, with 50 saves. He made several important saves in overtime too.

The Concordia Stingers shot tracker on Louis-Philip Guindon. Bolded are the goals. Tracked by Matthew Coyte.

“He was strong, but we have to take advantage of his weaknesses,” Hudon said about Guindon. “He really played an unbelievable game, just as much as Turcotte did, but we just have to keep firing away. We know we could beat this guy, but it’s just a question of being in his face at all times.”

The Redmen took their first lead of the series in the second period, when Michael Cramarossa scored seven minutes in. With five minutes left in the second, Cramarossa took an interference penalty, and the Stingers took advantage when Carozza scored a goal from the high slot to tie the game.

Both of the Stingers’s goals in the game came from a power play. Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement said he isn’t worried his team couldn’t score on five-on-five.

“We just have to put more pucks on net,” Élement said. “We’re going to watch video and analyze our game, but I think putting more pucks on net [during] five-on-five will be the key.”

After winning game one on the road at McGill’s McConnell Arena, the Stingers will have to go back there to close off the series. This is not a situation they’re unfamiliar with, as they had to do it in the last series against the Queen’s Gaels. The Stingers won both games on the road, including game three in overtime. In the playoffs, Concordia is undefeated on the road.

“It’s a positive thing that we didn’t lose any away games, and I’m confident we’re going to bounce back from this tough one,” Élement said. “They have a good team, and it’s not easy to win two games [in a row] against those guys.”

The Stingers opened their regular season in October away against the Redmen, and won 3-2. Now, they don’t want their season to end where it started: on enemy territory.

Game three is on Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the McConnell Arena.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.


Stingers steal game one on the road

Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 43 saves against Redmen

After an overtime win in game three of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East semi-final on the road against the Queen’s Gaels on Feb. 25, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team stole a road game from the McGill Redmen three days later. The Stingers’s 3-1 win gives them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three OUA East final.

“The first game is the most important game, so we’re looking forward to [game two] and trying to finish it off there, but it won’t be easy,” said Stingers defenceman Matthieu Desautels following the win at McGill’s McConnell Arena on Feb. 28.

The Stingers started slow in the first period, allowing the Redmen to take a 16-3 lead in shots by the first intermission. But Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte made key saves to keep the game scoreless until Stingers forward Raphaël Lafontaine scored with two minutes left in the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

“For sure our guys were nervous, it’s our first final,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement. The last time Concordia made it this far in the playoffs was in 1984, while the Redmen lost in the OUA East final a year ago to the Gaels. “[The Redmen] came out really strong, and we were kind of on our heels a little bit.”

However, Stingers captain Philippe Hudon saw his teammates react calmly in the first period. “Honestly, it [wasn’t] different from any other playoff game that we’ve played so far,” Hudon said. “I think we’re just more excited about being able to play McGill in the playoffs, and we just want to stick it to them.”

The Redmen continued dominating in the first half of the second period, but Turcotte continued to make key saves. After every big stop, the McGill crowd gasped, thinking their team had just scored. When they realized Turcotte had stopped the puck from crossing the goal line, they seemed dejected.

“He was the best player on the ice,” Élement said about Turcotte, who made 43 saves in the game. “He’s been amazing all year. We talked a lot about [Anthony] Beauregard being the MVP, but [Turcotte] is right there. He kept us in games all year, and now he deserves all the credit.”

Eventually, Turcotte’s big saves sucked the energy out of the building, and didn’t give the Redmen much of a home-ice advantage. In the third period, the loudest cheers came when two fans—sitting two seats away from each other—caught two pucks that flew into the crowd almost a minute apart.

Forward Charles-Eric Legare scored the Stingers second goal, late in the second period. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

“We wouldn’t be here without [Turcotte], and we’re lucky to have him.” Desautels said. “Hopefully he plays that well too next game.”

The Stingers started creating more scoring chances in the second half of the second period. With the help of some crisp passing, the Stingers had a stretch of a few minutes when they kept the puck in the Redmen zone, but couldn’t beat goalie Louis-Philip Guindon.

Eventually, with just over three minutes left in the second period, Stingers forward Charles-Éric Légaré deked around a defenceman and fooled Guindon with a backhand to give Concordia a 2-0 lead. The Redmen cut the lead to 2-1 in the final minute of the game, but Hudon scored his third empty-net goal of the playoffs to seal the win.

The Stingers also took game one on the road against Queen’s in the last series, but lost game two at home. Hudon said they need to avoid that home loss so they don’t have to return to McGill on Sunday for game three.

“Against Queen’s, we backed off a bit. We got a little bit scared and had a little bit of nerves,” Hudon said. “It’s just going to be a question of sticking to our gameplan.”

Élement added: “The toughest thing is to win the second game.”

Game two will be on Friday, March 2 at the Ed Meagher Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.


Stingers drop game two against Queen’s Gaels

Concordia faces elimination in game three for second year in a row

Queen’s Gaels goalie Kevin Bailie secured a 3-0 win against the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team on Friday night at the Ed Meagher Arena. He stopped all 45 shots he faced, forcing a game three in the best-of-three series in the second round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs.  

Stingers captain Philippe Hudon said he liked his team’s level of competitiveness throughout the game and fully understands they were up against a hot goaltender.

“He was outstanding,” Hudon said. “We aren’t going to cut corners on that one.” After winning game one on the road, he knew the Stingers would be facing a better Queen’s team this time around. “We certainly wanted to finish it tonight. They came out very strong and as hungry as we expected.”

The Stingers came out flying to start the game, outshooting the Gaels 14-3 in the first period. The Gaels did not get a shot in the first 15 minutes of the game. The Stingers’s aggressive play in the first caused a number of turnovers for the Gaels, but Concordia still couldn’t find a way to beat Bailie. Stingers goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte kept his team in it with a big save in the dying moments of the period.

The start of the second period saw a rejuvenated Gaels team.

“They collectively played as a five-man unit,” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élement. Gaels forward Duncan Campbell opened up the scoring two minutes into the second period off an odd-man rush. The period had quality scoring chances on both ends.

The Gaels doubled their lead late in the period with a goal by Ryan Bloom off a nice passing play. The Stingers had two power plays in the period but failed to execute due to Queen’s aggressive penalty kill.

“I guess we got a little comfortable with the game, and that didn’t help us,” said Stingers defenceman Matthieu Desautels.

After a four-goal game one, the Stingers were shutout in game two. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The Stingers were in for a scare late in the second period when Turcotte was forced to leave the game with an apparent injury after a scrum in front of his net.

“It’s never fun to see somebody go down, but he’s going to be alright,” Élement said. His status remains day-to-day. Stingers rookie back-up goalie Antoine Dagenais made his playoff debut replacing the injured Turcotte. “He gave us a chance to come back in the game,” Élement added.

Despite several chances, the Stingers just couldn’t find the back of the net. Queen’s defensive game was strong, as they limited their opposition’s scoring chances by blocking a number of shots throughout the game.

Gaels forward Darcy Greenaway scored a late power-play goal in the third to finish off a commanding victory for Queen’s.

“We’re going to have to get back to basics,” said Hudon about game three. “Nothing more complicated than that.” The Stingers played two games on the road against the Gaels this season and won both.

Élement said he is nothing but confident going into the final game of the series. “They finished above us,” he said. “They have the pressure.”

The Stingers find themselves facing elimination against the Gaels for a second-straight year. “If we don’t have fire going into Sunday, something’s wrong,” Hudon said.

The Stingers will play game three against the Queen’s Gaels on Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in Kingston, Ont.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.


Stingers sweep Ridgebacks in best-of-three series

Captain Philippe Hudon’s overtime goal sends team to second round for the second year in a row

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team eliminated the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks from the first round of the playoffs for a second year in a row. After winning game one, 4-1, on Wednesday night in Oshawa, the Stingers swept the Ridgebacks with a 3-2 overtime win in front of a near-sold-out home crowd at the Ed Meagher Arena.

At the end of the first period, the Stingers were up 1-0 after forward Raphaël Lafontaine buried a rebound off defenceman Philippe Charbonneau’s shot from the point.

A little bit more than four minutes into the second period, Stingers rookie defenceman Carl Neill scored his first goal of the playoffs on a pass from defenceman Matthieu Desautels to put the Stingers up 2-0.

“I saw it developing a bit,” Neill said about the play that led to his goal. “I saw a hole, and I know [Desautels] has got really good hockey sense. I figured I may as well try it out.”

As time passed in the period, the game became more and more physical. With the Ridgebacks facing elimination, tensions began to rise.

Just a few minutes after Neill scored, Stingers forward and U Sports leader in points Anthony Beauregard was taken down in the corner by Ridgebacks defenceman Kyle Locke. Locke threw a few punches at the Stingers star player.

Since Locke never dropped his gloves, he remained in the game, and both he and Beauregard received roughing penalties. This drew some negative reactions from the crowd, but as head coach Marc-André Élement put it, it’s all part of the game.

“It’s hockey,” Élement said. “It’s playoffs, and he’s the top scorer in the league so for sure they’re going to have an eye on him, but it’s part of the game.”

As the second period was winding down, it seemed like the Stingers would be heading into the third with a 2-0 lead. With a little over a minute remaining in the period, Ridgebacks forward Mike Robinson scored a power-play goal to cut the lead in half.

The Stingers started the third period down a man for four minutes after Beauregard got called for spearing at the end of the second period. Concordia’s penalty kill gave UOIT few chances and helped maintain the team’s lead.

The period continued with a lot of back and forth, fast-paced and physical hockey. As the clock was winding down, the Stingers played conservatively to keep their lead. With a little under three minutes left in the game, Ridgebacks forward Jack Patterson scored to tie 2-2, sending it into overtime.

As the overtime period began, the Stingers came out with a new energy after the Ridgebacks dominated the third period. Just a few minutes into the period, Stingers forward Francis Brunelle managed to draw a hooking penalty to give his team a one-man advantage.

Stingers forward Francis Brunelle drew a penalty in overtime that led to the winning goal. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

With this power-play opportunity five minutes into the overtime period, Stingers captain Philippe Hudon scored on a backhand shot for the unassisted overtime game-winner, causing the Ed Meagher Arena to erupt into a thunderous applause.

“Honestly, I couldn’t hear anything,” Hudon joked following the game, “I was just so happy. I think I had more energy at the end when I scored than I did at the beginning of the game.”

The Stingers have won their last five games and are heading into the second round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs against the Queen’s Gaels next week. The Stingers lost to the Gaels in the second round of the playoffs last year.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins. Video by Kenneth Gibson, reported by Nicholas Di Giovanni.


Stingers notch a 4-2 win over Ravens in physical game

Both captains injured in a game with 68 total penalty minutes

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team beat the Carleton Ravens 4-2 on Feb. 10 at the Ed Meagher Arena in their last game of the regular season. Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced to help lead the Stingers to victory, while back-up goalie Antoine Dagenais played the final three minutes and allowed a goal. The win put the Stingers in third place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division.

With the Stingers trailing Carleton in the standings by only one point before the game, this game was a fast-paced and physical ordeal from the opening face-off. In just under eight minutes, the Ravens took their first minor penalty. Twenty seconds later, they took another, starting a trend that would carry throughout the game.

Stingers forward Alexis Pepin seized this powerplay opportunity as he tipped in a shot from defenceman Matthieu Desautels, giving the Stingers to a 1-0 lead. The goal was the first of two for Pepin, who head coach Marc-André Élement said really stood out this game.

“Pepin made key goals, and he has a big presence. His physicality is really important for us,” Élement said.

Stingers forward Scott Oke scored his first goal in 10 games. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

As the game continued, the Ravens aggressive style of play took over. This didn’t faze the Stingers though, as they fought back with physical plays of their own. One Stinger whose physical presence was absolutely dominant throughout the game was forward Francis Brunelle, who had a major impact on the game.

“The guys on the bench are really pumped when he’s on the ice,” said Élement about Brunelle. “He motivates them, and he’s working hard.”

Brunelle was able to use his intimidating physical presence to create some good offence, and performed very well on the defensive end as well. Even with the Ravens playing an extremely aggressive style of hockey and amassing a staggering 56 penalty minutes, Brunelle’s physical play never ceased.

“Carleton is a team that plays hard, and I don’t like to be rolled over,” Brunelle said. He added that this type of physical play is his style of hockey. “It’s fun for me.”

It wasn’t all fun though.

Early in the second period, with the game tied 1-1, Stingers defencemen Philippe Charbonneau delivered a massive hit on Ravens captain Brett Welychka, forcing him to leave the game injured. As a result of the hit, the game’s aggressive and physical play got ugly, and fast.

A few minutes after Charbonneau left the ice, Stingers captain Philippe Hudon was subject to a vicious check against the boards by Brett Gustavsen, which left him sprawled on the ice with a bloody nose. Gustavsen did not get a penalty for the hit, but finished the game with 36 penalty minutes from other infractions.

Though a stretcher was brought onto the ice, Hudon gathered the strength to get back on his feet and skated to the bench with the help of his teammates. Hudon did not return to the game, but coach Élement said he will recover in time for the Stingers’ first playoff game, which should be this week.

The period finished with the Stingers up 2-1, after a late period goal from Stingers forward Philippe Sanche.

The third period was a mess from the first whistle. Carleton collected the majority of their penalty minutes in this period, receiving their first minor penalty less than two minutes in.

This continued until the end of the game, with Gustaven receiving a penalty for game misconduct at the final whistle.

Pepin and forward Scott Oke scored in the third period to give the Stingers a 4-1 lead.  A late-period power-play goal from the Ravens brought the game to a final score of 4-2.

The win marks the third in a row for the Stingers, who have built up momentum heading into the playoffs.

The Stingers will face the sixth place University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks in the first round of the playoffs. The schedule is not released yet.

Main photo by Alex Hutchins.

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