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.


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 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.

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