Concordia’s men’s and women’s hockey teams advance in the playoffs

Both Stingers hockey teams sweep their opponents in their best-of-three series

Stingers men’s hockey will play UQTR in OUA semifinals

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team sweeps McGill in a best-of-three series in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarterfinals. The Stingers will be facing off against the Patriotes of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR) in the OUA semifinals.

Game 1 will be taking place in Trois-Rivières next Wednesday, March 1, with Game 2 at Concordia on March 3, and Game 3 back at UQTR on March 5 if necessary.

The Stingers finished the regular season ranked second in the OUA East division, right between UQTR and McGill, with both the Stingers and the Patriotes earning themselves a first-round bye and sweeping their opponents in the quarterfinals.

In what was an intense and physical battle, the Stingers came out on top, beating the McGill Redbirds 6-3 in Game 1 and 4-0 in Game 2.

Although the Stingers had a 1-3 record against the Patriotes this regular season, they have shown, night in and night out, that you can’t count them out. They always come out to play, especially in the third period, and this could be a game-changer for them in this series.

Concordia Stingers women’s hockey vs. Bishop’s Gaiters in RSEQ semifinals, 2023. Kyran Thicke/ Concordia Athletics

Stingers women’s hockey will face Montreal in RSEQ final

For the second year in a row, the Stingers’ women’s hockey team is headed to the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) final. This year, it was following a sweep of the Bishop’s University Gaiters in a best-of-three series.

The Stingers have also clinched a spot in the U Sports National Championship, starting on March 16.

The defending provincial and national champs will be facing the University of Montreal Carabins in the RSEQ final.

Game 1 vs. Montreal will be taking place on Thursday, March 2 at the Ed Meagher Arena, Game 2 on March 4 at the CEPSUM arena, and Game 3 back at Concordia on March 5 if necessary.

The Stingers finished the regular season first in the RSEQ, with the University of Montreal in second place, giving Concordia home-ice advantage.

The Stingers dominated the series against the Gaiters, winning both games with a score of 5-1. The Montreal vs. Ottawa series needed overtime in the third game to determine the winner.

Concordia had a 3-2 record against Montreal in the regular season. As it’s been the case all season long, Stingers hockey never disappoints, so this will make for an entertaining RSEQ final.


Stingers’ 4-1 victory over McGill crowns Concordia RSEQ champions

The Concordia women’s hockey team sweeps the McGill Martlets to continue their undefeated playoff run.

The Concordia Stingers defeated the McGill Martlets 4-1 in the second part of back-to-back games after shutting them out 3-0 on Thursday. Concordia completed their second sweep and remain undefeated in the playoffs this year as they were crowned RSEQ champions on Friday.

The game started at a quick pace, with Concordia wanting to end the series, and McGill desperately trying to hang on.

The first goal came right after an offensive zone faceoff win by McGill. Stingers forward Rosalie Bégin-Cyr stole the puck, shooting it directly on net and giving her team a 1-0 lead with about six minutes left in the period.

The Stingers got their second penalty of the night shortly after, but their penalty kill did the work and goaltender Alice Philbert made all the necessary saves.

As Stingers forward Audrey-Ann Rodrigue was looking to clear the zone on the penalty kill, forward Emmy Fecteau was already in the neutral zone, collecting the pass from Rodrigue with a breakaway chance that developed into a 1-on-1. Her initial shot was saved by McGill goaltender Tricia Deguire, but Fecteau had joined her teammate just in time to score on the rebound, collecting a shorthanded goal and doubling the Stingers’ lead only a minute and a half after their first goal.

Concordia was handed three more penalties in the first half of the second period, which led to a powerplay goal by McGill forward Jade Downie-Landry.

It was McGill’s turn to be undisciplined in the second half of the frame, and Concordia forward Stéphanie Lalancette capitalized on the last second of a 5-on-3 with six seconds remaining in the period.

“Special teams are important in the postseason,” Stingers head coach Julie Chu said. “Obviously 5-on-5 too, but special teams are going to be the difference-makers when you have really good teams that are well-matched. So it was a good battle and I thought McGill had a really great game.”

Being up 3-1 with 20 minutes left to play, the Stingers played a defensive third period, while the Martlets were pushing to tie the game. The Stingers did everything they had to do, even pushing to get a bigger lead.

McGill pulled Deguire for the extra attacker with two and a half minutes remaining. However, Concordia stood tall as forward and captain Audrey Belzile scored an empty-net goal with a minute remaining, her last goal at the Ed Meagher Arena.

“It’s just incredible. After a year of COVID and the cancelled year, we came back a long way and we were ready for this year,” Belzile said. “And for all the graduating students, it was our last chance and I think we showed what this team is capable of.”

“All the girls worked so hard all year and winning this championship is everything […] I’m so proud of all of the girls,” Philbert said.

This was her second consecutive start after getting a shutout in their previous matchup. On Friday, she added to her exceptional season by allowing only one goal on 35 shots.

There was no doubt for Chu that Philbert was going to get both starts.

“She’s our goaltender and she’s proven it not only at practices every single day, and the way she pushes, but in the way that she’s competing and playing in games, so she’s going to get the nod,” Chu said.

It was bigger than just a championship for Philbert, who also got to celebrate and share the moment with her sister Léonie, who plays defence for the Stingers.

“We lost our grandmother two weeks ago, and before she passed away she told us ‘Go win it for me,’ and I know she’s been with us during those moments for the last few weeks,” Alice said. “And I’m really happy for my sister. She went from playing forward to defence and was injured for half of the season, so I’m really proud of her and everything she’s accomplished.”

Chu said it’s been a journey for everyone, from the staff and coaches, to the student-athletes, especially.

“All the pressures that they’ve had to go through, all the ups and the downs and the disappointments, to get to this point and work hard and have this final result is really awesome and we’re really pumped that we got a chance to win at home, which is special because that crowd is amazing,” Chu added.

The arena couldn’t have been any louder as “We Are The Champions” blared through the stadium and the girls celebrated on the ice.

Having hoisted the Dr. Ed Enos championship trophy, the Stingers will now be headed to the national championship at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PEI. Teams will compete for the Golden Path Trophy, which is presented annually to the U Sports women’s hockey champions.


Photograph by Kyran Thicke 


Stingers win RSEQ title in men’s basketball

Concordia beats UQAM Citadins 73-69 at home

The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team won the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) title Saturday night at the Concordia Gym. They beat the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins in the final, 73-69.

“Being a champion is the best feeling in the world,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic. “I’m so proud of our guys.”

Guard Ricardo Monge accepts the trophy from a RSEQ representative. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The Stingers finished first in the RSEQ during the regular season with an 11-5 record, and earned the right to host the game. They beat the Bishop’s Gaiters last Wednesday in the semi-final, while UQAM beat McGill in the other semi-final.

The Stingers opened the game strong, getting the home crowd behind them. They had a 13-11 advantage after the first quarter, and dominated the second to hold a 27-21 lead at halftime. They started the third quarter strong, but the Citadins battled back and kept the score close.

The Stingers celebrate with their trophy. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

A Citadins bucket cut the Stingers’s lead to two points in the final minute of the third quarter. Then, fifth-year guard Ricardo Monge hit a three-point shot to give Concordia a 48-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“That shot was big and it gave us confidence,” Popovic said. “They hung around, but then we made some monster plays down the stretch. Sam [Ghandour] had a huge three with two seconds left on the shot clock, Olivier [Simon] had a big tip-in with a backwards shot, I don’t know how that went in.”

“When I play, I just think about the play and just make reads, I couldn’t tell you what was going through my mind,” Monge said. “There’s nothing too special where I think ‘I need to make threes now.’”

Every time the Citadins cut the Stingers’ lead, Concordia scored timely baskets in the fourth quarter. Even though Simon’s behind-the-back shot looked like a lucky bounce, guard Adrian Armstrong said it shows how hard the team has worked through the years.

“He caught the ball, saw the shot clock and he knew he had to get it to the rim,” Armstrong said. “In his rookie year, I don’t know if he would have made that play.”

Simon finished the game with a double-double, collecting 18 points and 10 rebounds. Monge led the Stingers with 19 points, while Sami Ghandour had 17. The Stingers will now play at nationals in Halifax from March 7 to 10.

Women lose final

The Stingers women’s basketball team were also playing in the RSEQ final Saturday night. They lost to the Université de Laval Rouge et Or 75-55 in Quebec City.

More to come.  Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.

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