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Stingers clinch second place with 7-0 win

Three veterans honoured in final regular season game

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team concluded their regular season with a 7-0 win against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Sunday afternoon at the Ed Meagher Arena.

This was the last game of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) 2018-2019 season before the playoffs. This game meant a lot for the Stingers, who needed a win to secure home-ice advantage in their playoff semi-final matchup against the McGill Martlets.

The Stingers successfully secured a home-ice advantage with what was their seventh-consecutive win. Head coach Julie Chu said everyone is playing well right now, which explains the team’s current success.

“We’re not having lags,” Chu said. “We’re able to roll four lines right now, our three [defensive pairings] are doing a great job, and our goaltender is being really solid.”

Sophie Gagnon (#11) was one of the graduating players honoured after the game. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

All four lines contributed offensively to help the Stingers beat the Gee-Gees, including goals from five different players. Chu said it’s important to not just rely on one line scoring.

“Everyone knows they’re a valuable part of this team,” Chu said. “At different points, we’ll ask different people to be able to score, or to produce in different ways. Whatever it might be, our players buy into that. I think when you have people buying in all year long it allows us to score goals, but also to do smaller things that don’t end up the scoresheet, but are equally as important for us.”

Forward Audrey Belzile, who scored the Stingers’s third goal, said that even ahead 6-0 after two periods, players kept giving their best, knowing they had to enter the playoffs with good habits.

“We told ourselves we were preparing for Thursday,” Belzile said. “We [wanted to do those] little things and give our all until the end because we’re not a team that gives up, and it would give momentum to the opponent.”

In the victory, Stingers defenceman Sandrine Lavictoire scored her first career goal in the RSEQ. Her goal was the last of the game and came with six minutes left in the third period.

“I’m happy I did it before the season ended,” said Lavictoire. “I waited until the 20th game to do it, but I’m happy.”

After the game, the team honoured graduating players Devon Thompson, Sophie Gagnon, Melinda Prévost and Katherine Purchase, who registered her third shutout of the season. Chu said these players can serve as an extra motivation for the playoffs.

“Those four graduating players have done a lot for this program,” Chu said. “They monitor themselves in that locker room. We don’t have to spend as much energy on making sure that the team is running strong and that the voice in the locker room is positive. They make sure it is.”

The Stingers have won two of the five games against the Martlets this season, scoring eight goals. Chu said the Stingers will face a really good team, which makes the home-ice advantage huge for that best-of-three semifinal series.

“Getting a chance to be in your own locker room, your own rink, with your fans and an environment that [you] love, it’s always a bonus,” Chu said. “However, we also know that at this point it’s going to be a war out there.”

The Stingers open their series against the Martlets Thursday night at the Ed Meagher Arena.

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.

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Sports

Stingers lose to Carabins in battle of top teams

It was the first meeting since Concordia won RSEQ final in March

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team played the Université de Montréal Carabins for the first time since the two met in the final last March. They gave the Carabins a good challenge and were in the mix until the last second of the game, but still lost 1-0 at the CEPSUM arena.

It could have been different with a goal or two on several scoring chances, and the Stingers failed to convert on power plays.

“Our girls overall did a really good job. It was what we expected, which is close and hard fought,” said head coach Julie Chu.

Forward Audrey Belzile (#17) was a huge part of the Stingers’s success against the Carabins last season. Photo by Gabe Chevalier.

The Carabins started the game with most of the possession in the Stingers’s zone. Concordia had a hard time making good passes and was victim of many turnovers created by the Carabins in the neutral zone. Montréal won the battles along the boards, which was the story of the first period.

“They looked bigger and faster than us out there,” said forward Stéphanie Lemelin.

Stingers’s goalie Alice Philbert had to make key saves to keep the score even, especially in the first 20 minutes. “Our goalie was really good tonight,” said rookie defence Sandrine Lavictoire.

The Stingers played better near the end of the first period, and the second period was evenly played. Still, despite good scoring chances on both sides, the game remained scoreless after two periods.

The turning point of the game came in the first 30 seconds of the third period. Carabins forward Estelle Duvin scored the only goal of the game on a rebound, caused by traffic in front of Philbert.

“You never want to allow a goal in the first seconds of the period and, unfortunately, that’s what happened [to us] in the third,” Chu said.

Concordia didn’t give up as they attacked throughout the third period, creating scoring chances and forcing their opponents to take penalties. Despite that, Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan kept the door shut and had good support from her defence.

“The main point is that we did not find a way to score a goal,” Lemelin said. “We had our chances on power plays but did not capitalize. Our goalie played really well and gave [us] a chance to win.”

The Stingers are now 1-1-0, and will play their home opener Sunday against the McGill Martlets.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.

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