Stingers lose quarter-final game at nationals against Ryerson

HALIFAX — The Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team lost 87-47 in their national quarter-final match against the Ryerson Rams at the Scotiabank Centre, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“All of our guys are here for the first time at the nationals and we were a bit nervous,” said Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic.

Popovic, who won the 2018-19 Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) coach of the year, brought the Stingers to their first nationals since 2012. They scored only six points in the first quarter and were down 26-6.

“We started off slow and, against a team like that, you can’t really have a slow start because it’ll put you down like they did,” said fourth-year guard Adrian Armstrong.

Guard Adrian Armstrong went 2/12 from three-point range in the game. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

Popovic thought the start of the game could have been different if Armstrong had mande a few early shots. Armstrong shot 38 per cent from field goal range and 16 per cent from three-point range in the game.

“I thought we had two good looks to start for Adrian. If you knock those down, then the game could go the other way,” Popovic said.

The low start didn’t discourage Armstrong, who finished with a game-high 19 points. Late in the first half, he was able to knock down a few shots. With 31 seconds left in the second quarter, Armstrong hit a mid-range jumper to give the Stingers a confidence boost. They tied the Rams 15-15 in points in the second quarter, but the score was still 41-21 at halftime.

In the second half, the Rams got off to a hot start, making three of their first four shots and getting on an early 6-1 run. The Stingers didn’t quit and kept trying to find open shots. Concordia was able to penetrate open lanes, but unable to connect on multiple occasions because of Ryerson’s size. Concordia has three players at 6’7”, but Ryerson has five players either the same height or taller.

“Their size and length forced me and others to take shots late in the [shot] clock,” said Armstrong.

Despite the Rams’s size advantage, fifth-year guard Ricardo Monge believes that the Stingers can improve on being aggressive.

“We had many wide open layups and open shots, but we have to make them,” Monge said.

Monge finally gets to nationals

In his first appearance at the tournament, Monge finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals.

“It’s a great experience to be out here and get to experience this,” said Monge, who was the RSEQ MVP this season. With just over five minutes left in the fourth, he made back-to-back layups and a shot from top of the key to keep his team going.  

“I’m very proud of everything [Monge] has accomplished,” said Popovic. “It’s great for him, in his fifth year, to get an opportunity to come here and play at the nationals. He has done so much for the program and it’s just disappointing to come here and to lose a game like this.”

The Stingers lost to the Saint-Mary’s University Huskies, 84-67, Saturday morning in the consolation semi-final at the Scotiabank Centre.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.


Stingers win against Rams in penalty-filled game

Concordia beats Ryerson 6-4 for second win in a row

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team beat the Ryerson Rams 6-4 in a penalty-ridden game at the Ed Meagher arena on Oct. 20. Both the Stingers and the Rams went into the game coming off overtime wins the night before.

“[Our team] played well,” said head coach Marc-André Élement. “We were really happy about the weekend we had, picking up a good four points.”

The Stingers scored 10 goals in two games this season. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

Much like the night before, the Stingers came out firing quickly and most of the play was in the Rams’s end. The Rams took three penalties in a row, and rookie forward Chase Harwell scored on the second power play. Forward Hugo Roy added another goal on a five-on-three to open a 2-0 lead for the Stingers, but the Rams came back within one when Hayden McCool scored a minute later. By the end of the period, with a 2-1 Stingers lead, there were a total of 16 penalty minutes.

“It was a matter of time,” said defenceman Carl Neill about the amount of scoring chances the Stingers got the past two games. “We’ve missed lot of chances this year and it took a little greasy game yesterday to get us going.”

The second period played exactly like the first, with six more minor penalties. Rams Matt Mistele and McCool added two more goals early on to momentarily take the lead. That was until forward Philippe Sanche and rookie Zachary Zorn scored two goals back-to-back midway through the period. Sanche’s goal was on the power play, while Zorn scored shorthanded.

The Stingers handed the Rams their first lost of the season. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

The Stingers were up 4-3 after two periods, but Mathew Santos scored early in the third for the Rams to tie it. The Stingers took back that lead with five minutes left in the third, as Roy scored again on the power play. As desperation set in for the Rams, Harwell scored his second goal on an empty-netter to seal the win for the Stingers.

“We were facing a lot of adversity, so we changed a bit of our game plan and the guys played well,” Élement said. “We had been practicing a lot of stuff like power play and it showed this weekend.”

By the end of the game, there were 19 minor penalties for 38 minutes, and only one goal was scored at even strength.

With the Stingers win, they improve to 3-2-0 on the season and hand the Rams their first loss of the season. The Stingers kick off a four-game road trip on Oct. 26, with their first game against the Western Mustangs.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier. 

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