When the Concordia Stingers and Université de Montreal Carabins played on Nov. 1, the Stingers and Carabins went off for what is an early candidate for game-of-the-year.
A 4-3, double overtime win, tons of shots, back-and-forth play, it was everything you could have asked from the country’s top two teams. It took the Stingers nearly 70 minutes to edge out the win.
The extra time wasn’t necessary in the rematch.
In a rivalry that has been defined by close, one-goal games over the past couple of years, the Stingers took control of this game and never let their foot off the gas pedal, powering their way to a 4-0 win. The Stingers instead turned in a solid team win, thanks to great play from their star players. Rosalie Bégin-Cyr scored twice, captain Claudia Dubois had two goals and an assist, rookie Emmy Fecteau added two apples and goalie Alice Philbert stopped all 27 Carabins shots. The second shutout in a row for Philbert helped the Stingers improve to 6-0 on the season.
“[Alice] was really good,” said head coach Julie Chu after the game. “I think especially in the second period, when we were up 2-0 and they had their power-plays, and we needed some big plays. She made some big saves that would’ve otherwise changed the momentum of the game. She’s playing great hockey, and the team played a more complete game than we did on Friday.”
The game went back-and-forth to start, with neither team really maintaining pressure. The Carabins started to establish themselves about halfway through the frame, setting up in the Stingers defensive-zone, but the Stingers managed to hold the #2-ranked team in the country to five low-quality chances. Bégin-Cyr broke the tie and got the Stingers on the board first with seven minutes left in the first courtesy of a cross-crease pass from captain Claudia Dubois.
Bégin-Cyr would grab her second of the night in the second period, when she grabbed a rebound, and buried a wraparound. She now leads the RSEQ with five goals.
“The best part of today was a really complete team game,” said Chu. “I think we can look through our entire roster and think that we played really well. There are a lot of good plays that are happening on the defensive side, and on the forecheck side, which is creating a lot of momentum for the team and gives us opportunities to score as well.”
The Stingers kept the pressure coming. Fecteau and Dubois connected for a nice 2-on-1 finish that put the team up by three. The Carabins pulled goalie Aube Racine for the extra attacker, but it was Dubois again who closed out the game with an empty-netter to make it 4-0.
“It was a really nice game,” said Fecteau. “It keeps getting better and better. I try to work hard every shift, and to participate in every game. For sure, I try to get involved physically, but I think the energy I bring can help the team.”
Special teams were a key part of this Stingers win. The penalty-kill looked more like a power-kill, frustrating the Carabins on both of their power-plays, including a 4-minute kill in the second period.
“Montreal’s always had a great power-play,” said Chu. “It’s really about making small adjustments. We did a great job on the first four minutes, on that one we were off on some small adjustments that maybe made things more chaotic than they needed to be.”
Despite going 0/3 on the power-play, the team’s power-play was streets ahead of where it was even Friday. Chu made the necessary adjustments, and it looks like they’ve settled on a system that plays to their strengths, focusing on south-east puck movement, before causing chaos in front.
“It was a good night overall,” said Chu. “We were really happy with the compete level of our team, which was something we were lacking a little bit on the Friday night.”
The Stingers next home game is on Nov. 22 against the Carleton Ravens.
- The Stingers are 6-0 and the top-ranked team in the country. This team looks for real. Beating UDEM and McGill twice early in the season can only help the team’s confidence.
- Chu made great adjustments on the power-play this game by having the play move more east-west than north-south. Even if they didn’t score, the PP looked way better.
Feature photo by Cecilia Piga