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 


Concordia’s women’s hockey team sweeps Montreal in RSEQ semifinals

After winning their series against Montreal, Concordia will be facing McGill in the RSEQ finals.

The Concordia Stingers got a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Carabins on Saturday, winning the best-of-three series to complete the sweep after their 3-0 victory on Mar. 3.

After being down 0-1 in the series, Montreal started on a fast pace and they were able to open the scoring early on, with a powerplay opportunity a little less than three minutes into the game.

The rest of the period wasn’t too busy, until the very end when Montreal was handed a couple of penalties which led to Concordia starting the second frame with a 5-on-3. The Stingers would capitalize on the powerplay with a goal by Jessymaude Drapeau to tie the game.

“I think for us, our powerplay at the beginning of the season was doing good things but it wasn’t really clicking,” Stingers head coach Julie Chu said. “So we talked a lot and we worked a lot with our powerplay to just stay patient and to trust that when we need it, it’s going to come up big for us, and it did today and [last game].”

After the power play goal, the momentum shifted towards Concordia and they seized control of the game.

“Starting on the 5-on-3 and the big goal, it put us back on track,” said Audrey Belzile, captain and forward for the Stingers. “After that, we were just rolling and they were the ones who had to keep up with us, so that was a game changer.”

Concordia kept the momentum until the very end of the period, with Belzile scoring what would be the game-winning goal with about three minutes remaining in the period.

“We came back in the room… We were like ‘one period and we got this,’” Belzile said. “[Montreal] had to play with pressure and we just had to play a good game.”

After the game, Chu emphasized the importance of continuing to push the pace and attack while ahead. In the final period, the Stingers didn’t allow many chances for the Carabins to score, by not only playing responsible defence, but by keeping the pressure on their opponents.

“We had said in the room that every little detail matters,” Belzile said. “So every blocked shot, every chip that gets the puck out of the zone, were the plays we had to make. And I think we did that perfectly, and we won the game at the end, so that’s good.”

The Stingers will face off against the McGill Martlets for the RSEQ finals in another best-of-three series next week. Game 1 will take place on Mar. 10 at McGill.


Photograph by Nicolas Raffin


Audrey Belzile’s last dance

The captain of the Stingers female hockey team looks back on her university career and what to expect in her final season

As her custom Concordia maroon and yellow painted skates touch the ice, Stingers captain Audrey Belzile is dialled in. From warmups to the start of the national anthem, no one can deter her from playing her game. A mix of physicality and finesse, aggressive forechecking and backchecking, Belzile is a leader that demonstrates on a nightly basis to the rest of the team how to be an all-around contributor.

Growing up in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Belzile’s affinity for hockey was passed down by her mother. With hockey clearly in the family lineage, Belzile received her first pair of skates from her mom at five years old. Every opportunity she had to hop on the ice blossomed her love for skating. 

“Every time we went outside during the winter, I always wanted to continue skating. I liked it so much she registered me for hockey.”

Belzile eventually grew into an effective player all throughout the amateur level.  Her consistency secured a position playing for the Cégep St-Laurent Patriotes, where she broke out as a player, tallying 59 points in 39 games. Her two seasons playing there garnered the attention of high-level American colleges, providing the next step in Belzile’s career.

Teams from Yale, Clarkson, and Maine were all interested in Belzile, but language was the ultimate deterrent from attaining her goal. Choosing Boston University as her preferred team, the university recommended that Belzile undergo an English exam to be granted a scholarship. The minimum grade to be accepted was 80 per cent — Belzile scored 76 per cent. Boston University recommended that Belzile return to CEGEP to practice her English and retake the test the year after in order to be eligible. 

“If you don’t succeed in class, for them it’s a loss of money,” Belzile said. “Admissions didn’t feel comfortable in giving a full scholarship.”

The increased level of competition in female hockey in Quebec influenced Belzile to return and play at a university level in the province. Many players from Quebec decide to play for domestic universities, upping the level of hockey comparable to the NCAA. 

“The teams are super good now because lots of girls decided to stay in Quebec,” Belzile said. 

Visiting both McGill and Concordia, she ultimately chose the Stingers. “I chose Concordia not only for the coaching staff, but because when I came on the team, the girls made it feel like I was already a part of the team.”

In Belzile’s five seasons, the Stingers have had great success, usually finishing as a top team in the regular season. She can’t credit the coaching staff enough, for not only her growth as a hockey player, but also for the invaluable knowledge of the game that they passed onto her . This season, Belzile and the team are trying to relive what they experienced in 2017–18, winning the RSEQ Championship and bronze in the U SPORTS Championship.

The COVID-19 pandemic not only robbed Belzile of her final year with the Stingers but also her chance at captaincy, and another shot at the championship.

“I was just not ready to close the chapter of my life in hockey when I didn’t know it was the end. I didn’t know that I played my last game, I didn’t know that it was my last year.” 

She missed the daily morning practices with teammates and the whole routine of it all. The sudden unexpectedness of not being able to play made Belzile want to get on the ice that much more.

Luckily for Belzile, one year of eligibility was granted by the RSEQ, allowing fifth-year players the chance of returning for their final season. 

“I was supposed to be done in the COVID year, but because we could come back, I added another minor this year in political science.” 

Many of her other fifth-year teammates decided to also play through their extra year of eligibility. Belzile described her five years with the team as one big family and was not yet prepared to move on. Hesitant at first, they all decided to return for their last season playing altogether.

“When we all said to each other that we all wanted to come back, it just clarified things and made us say okay let’s go for one last ride and try to win it.”

In the past, Belzile claimed that a major obstacle for the team’s success was envisioning the goal instead of concentrating on the present. She highlighted that the key to success this season is taking things one game at a time and avoiding looking too much into the future. Belzile can’t stress enough that this is a very talented team, and they have a great opportunity of going far this year.  

Though Belzile once dreamt of playing hockey professionally, she’d rather concentrate on pursuing a career in management than juggling a schedule of games and practices.

A graduate of international business with a minor in entrepreneurship, Belzile hopes to apply some of what she has learned as a captain in her future job hoping to work with an international company in management. Transitioning from sports to business, she’s adamant on putting the same level of determination that she has had in hockey for so long, in pursuing a successful career beyond it.


Photograph by Kaitlynn Rodney


The Buzz: Stingers weekend recap

Football, rugby, and soccer wrap up their respective postseasons, and regular season hockey is underway

Stingers men’s rugby wins fourth consecutive RSEQ title

Stingers defeated McGill 33-0 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Jean-Christophe Vinette led the Stingers with two tries, and Luca Milne earned MVP honours in a game in which the Redbirds never took off. 

McGill and Concordia finished the regular season at 5-1 apiece, but the Redbirds went into the postseason as the first seed. The Stingers’ dominant showing was another feather on the cap for Concordia’s rugby dynasty. 

RSEQ football semifinals versus Laval ends Stingers season early 

Also on Saturday, the Stingers football team travelled to TELUS Stadium to face the Laval Rouge et Or, where Concordia ultimately lost 30-10. 

The Stingers offence led the RSEQ in many major aspects, but was essentially shut down by Laval. Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy threw for 283 passing yards but couldn’t score a touchdown and was sacked four times. 

The Stingers ended the 2021 RSEQ regular season at 4-4, an improvement from their performance in 2019, where they finished the season at 2-6.  

Concordia men’s soccer lose in RSEQ semifinal to Montreal

Concordia faced the first-placed Carabins in the playoffs on Friday at CEPSUM, where the Stingers lost 2-0. 

Stingers midfielder Anthony Phelps was the team’s MVP of the match, while Carabins’ Quentin Paumier earned the honour for Montreal by securing the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match. 

Concordia finished the regular season with a 5-4-3 record, and Stingers fourth-year midfielder Mohammad Reza Nafar led the RSEQ regular season in goals (7) and points (11).

Stingers men’s and women’s hockey seasons start strong

As sports gradually make the transition to indoor activity with winter around the corner, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams took to the ice over the weekend. 

Looking to bounce back from the loss in their home opener versus McGill on Nov. 3, the men’s team did just that in their 3-0 victory over the UQTR Patriotes on Friday. Stingers rookie Maxim Trépanier scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of the second period on the power-play.

The women’s team went into the weekend with a disappointing 0-2 record, but returned to form on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Bishop’s at home in the Ed Meagher Arena, followed by a convincing 2-0 win on the road against Montreal on Sunday afternoon.


Graphic by James Fay


Experience and patience are keys for Stingers’ success this season

After an 18-month hiatus, the Stingers are looking to stay on top of the RSEQ standings.

As the Concordia women’s hockey team takes to the ice for the first time next week at the Theresa Humes Cup since the 18-month hiatus, Stingers head coach Julie Chu said that the anticipation to start the regular season has been overwhelming for the team. 

“Everyone was really excited to get back together again in a full season mode,” Chu said.

Fifth-year players are eligible to play in a sixth season due to the cancellation of last year’s. While some players have moved on to other things, notable players like Audrey Belzile and Brigitte Laganière will not only provide production and firepower to the roster, but also experience for the younger players coming into the rotation.

“We have a great group of veterans, [and] they’re going to be adding a level of maturity and veteran presence, especially when understanding our systems,” Chu said. The experienced veterans being paired with the youthful excitement of newly-acquired players will not only provide depth to the roster, but also an eagerness to grow and become better throughout the whole lineup.

With some experience on the lineup, important acquisitions have been made. Former NCAA defencemen Alexandra Calderone and Ariane Julien have returned home, not only providing a high level of talent, but also beefing up the Stingers’ defence “When you have players that have played at a really high level and have veteran experience, though not a veteran on our team, it helps a lot to have a great defensive core,” Chu said.

Though newly acquired players have proven themselves from a talent perspective, for Chu and her coaching staff, character is the defining asset that will dictate a player’s position on the team. 

“If they’re not a fit to our culture then it doesn’t add value to what we want to accomplish as a team,” Chu said.

Head coach Julie Chu (in purple) and the Stingers coaching staff. (Kyran Thicke / Concordia Stingers)

After taking the helm from former legendary head coach Les Lawton, Chu has had ups and downs with the team. Winning their first RSEQ playoff game in 11 years in 2016-17 and falling short against McGill provided positive experience on how to handle themselves in the second round against a dominant team. It played a big role not only for the team’s growth, but also the anticipation of knowing what to expect from their opponents deep into the playoffs. Beating McGill in the second round of the playoffs, that same year, the team won the RSEQ Championship and won bronze in the U SPORTS National Championship. Both those end of season accomplishments ultimately morphed the program overnight into a legitimate contender.

“We went on to nationals and unfortunately lost in our semi-final game in shootout to the team that went on to win,” Chu said. “What I was proud of is that our players rebounded and did an awesome job winning the bronze medal.”

In the 2019-20 season, though ranking first in the nation for 14 consecutive weeks, the loss in the playoffs as well as losing the chance to play nationals was a hard pill to swallow. Not ending the season on a high note would be demoralizing for most teams, however Chu said the Stingers are using their most recent season as motivation for what’s to come. 

“COVID took away their opportunity to continue playing so now they want to make the most of it,” Chu said.  

The fact that the Stingers haven’t played an organized game in nearly two years will be the ultimate challenge. 

“We have to be patient to get back into our rhythm, we have to be patient to allow us to develop and to grow.” 

For Chu and her coaching staff, the ultimate goal is to win, but what is more important is to lay down a good foundation so that by the end of the season, they’ll be back to the level they were at, before the pandemic.

Chu emphasized that this year is unlike any other. The inability to play for a full season will prompt growing pains, especially at the beginning of the year. 

“Whether we’re a sixth-year, or a first-year player, we’re all going to come back and not be in the same place necessarily that we would if we just finished a regular season,” Chu said.

Chu is also preaching resilience to her team. Not knowing what’s in store regarding how the pandemic will play out down the road is also another complication to consider this season.

“There will be some things in our control and some things that are not so we focus on things that are in our control to make sure that we can do everything that we can,” Chu said. 

With all teams coming off an inactive year, and with Bishop’s University Gaiters now introduced into the division, Chu added that it will be harder to estimate where the team will end up.

“Usually right now I’d give you the season outlook, but I think we’re a bit in the unknown because we haven’t played,” Chu said. “For me, that is what’s most challenging.” 

The Stingers will host the Theresa Humes cup next week from Oct. 1-3 at the Ed Meagher Arena. Their first game will be against McGill at 12 p.m. 


Photograph by Gabriel Guindi


Montreal 3, Concordia 2: Stingers season ends in heartbreaking Game 3 loss to the Carabins

The number one ranked Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team’s season is over.

The Stingers lost 3-2 in game three of the RSEQ semi-finals to the Université de Montreal Carabins.

“It’s hard, we’re devastated for sure,” said head coach Julie Chu. “We always took it one game at a time, and we had belief that our team could go really far into nationals. But we also know that we play in the best conference in U Sports. To get out of our conference is always tough to do, especially against a great rival.”

The first period saw the Stingers start where they left things off after Saturday’s 5-3 game two win. They managed quality chances against the Carabins and were executing their zone entries perfectly. With four minutes left in the frame, Stingers captain Claudia Dubois wired home a one-timer to give the Stingers the lead.

In the second period, the Carabins flipped the script.

A power play goal four minutes in, and an in-tight goal with two minutes left in the period gave the Carabins all of the momentum.

Blaming the refs for a loss is never the answer, but it should be said that there were some extremely questionable calls on both teams. Take the Stingers tying goal for example. A seemingly innocent shot from Audrey-Ann Rodrigue squeaked past Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan, but the puck fell right behind the goalie, but never cleared the goal line and was clearly still in the blue paint (I asked four other media members who all said that the puck didn’t cross the line).

Chaos ensues after the ref calls the play dead, the refs convene at centre ice, the Stingers fans go crazy while waiting for the decision. The refs finally decided that the shot went in (it didn’t). It really seemed like the refs were peer pressured by the crowd to make that call.

Mix in some blatant missed calls on both teams, and you’re left with a game that wasn’t exactly decided by the refs, but their handprints are there. Chu has never been one to make excuses and that didn’t change after this game.

“It went both ways,” said Chu. “For us we always talk about controlling what we can control. The big part of what we do control is our ability to work hard, execute and do the little things really well. Unfortunately I think we got away from that a little bit.”

The Stingers struggled to generate momentum and chances in close against Trevisan. They were outshot 28-23 by the Carabins, and Stingers goalie Alice Philbert had to bail her team out a couple of times.

Graphic by Matthew Coyte

Shortly after tying the game up in the third period, the Carabins re-took the lead. A shot towards the front of the net took a strange bounce, the puck popped up and dropped right behind Philbert and into the net. Philbert would make 25 saves on 28 shots. Trevisan would make 21 on 23 shots.

Credit to the Carabins though, after getting outskated in game two, they came out and stuck to their game plan; heavy hockey. The Carabins won key puck battles, blocked a hell of alot of shots, forechecked hard and took advantage of their chances.

This ending is especially heartbreaking for Dubois. This was her last game in a Stingers jersey. The captain was lights-out all season and during this playoff series. Dubois is the defining player of Chu’s tenure as head coach. The same way Phil Hudon represented a new era of Stingers’ men’s hockey, Dubois embodied the winning culture that’s been built at Concordia over the past five years. The coach had nothing but praise for her captain post-game.

“She’s the one who’s going to make me cry when she leaves,” said Chu. “When she came [into the program], we were still figuring out how to win, how to build a culture, how to take things to the next level. She’s a huge reason why we got to this next level. Every day, from when she came in as a first-year, to this last game, she’s given us everything. She’s prepared, she works, she wants to win, she’s gritty. For us, that’s become the core of who we are. She’s the one who leads the team and she’s the strongest voice in that locker room. We’re going to miss her.”

This is a disappointing finish for the team. Not many people would have expected a 2020 U Sports national championship without the number one ranked team. Despite this, this season was important for the Stingers.

“Our biggest thing is to hold our head up high,” said Chu. “It’s going to sting for a while, but that’s okay. When we care about what we’re doing, we’re passionate, we put in the time and effort, it’s going to hurt when we don’t get the results we want. We wanted [the team] to feel like they should be proud of everything they’ve given up. They’ve given into this program this year. We’re really proud of them.”

The Carabins will play the McGill Martlets in the RSEQ finals later this week. Both teams will also advance to the U Sports national championship taking place in P.E.I. in March.


  • The Stingers have been the most exciting Montreal hockey team this year. It’s sad to see them end the season this way, but you’ll never hear anyone say that they didn’t put their heart into every single game.
  • Claudia Dubois and defender Erica Starnino are the only fifth-year players on the Stingers. That means that most of the core that made the Stingers so deadly will be returning.

Feature photo by Britanny Clarke


Concordia 5, Montreal 3: Stingers beat the Carabins in Game 2 of the RSEQ semi-finals

After the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team lost in game one of the RSEQ semi-finals to the Université de Montreal Carabins on Thursday, head coach Julie Chu promised that the game plan wasn’t about to suddenly change.

“I was really happy with how we played on Thursday,” says Chu. “We had a good reset day yesterday. Our players knew what was on the line. We just stayed the course.”

The first period of game two at UDEM’s CEPSUM arena didn’t start out great for the Stingers. The outlet passes weren’t hitting sticks, the Carabins were forechecking their way into long offensive possessions and the Stingers weren’t able to generate much momentum.

With six minutes left in the opening frame, defender Brigite Laganiere changed that.

Laganiere had a very strong regular season, putting up 18 assists while being relied defensively as the top defender on the team.

Despite the effort and consistency, Laganiere wasn’t able to score a goal.

During some neutral zone confusion, Laganiere took off alone against two Carabins players, wound up, and wired a clapper over the glove of Maude Trevisan.

From there, the Stingers took off.

Stéphanie Lalancette and Léonie Philbert added goals in the first period to extend the Stingers’ lead to 3-0 going into the second period.

“We weren’t putting in pucks 5-on-5,” said Chu. “That was a really important aspect that we had to find. Get to the net, create chaos, win some of those netfront battles. Being able to get there, maybe getting some of the bounces that go in.”

After the first period tallies, the Stingers promptly welcomed Carabins goalie Maude Trevisan to the second period when Belzile finished a nice lil saucer pass from Emmy Fecteau just 44 seconds into the frame. The Carabins would replace Trevisan with Aube Racine after the goal.

“Playing a fast game is always helpful,” said Chu. “We talk about transitioning quickly both ways. We’ve got talented teams in this league. The way you make teams or anyone uncomfortable is by using speed, taking away time and space.”

Olivia Atkinson would push the Stingers total to five goals early in the third. The Stingers would rattle off 32 shots. The Carabins would score a goal in the second and make a push with two goals late in the third period, but the Stingers lead never seemed in doubt.

Stingers goalie Alice Philbert stood out tonight, stopping 20 of 23 stops. In-between fighting for looks through traffic and making a fleury of in-tight

“Alice, and all of our players, do a great job of reseting and refocusing,” said Chu. “She’s been going out there and playing some big, awesome hockey for us”

“We’re really pumped for tomorrow, to get a chance to play hard against a great cross-town rival.”

Game three of the RSEQ semi-finals will take place on Sunday, at the Ed Meagher Arena at 3 p.m.


  • Julie Chu is playing her cards close to the chest on her plan for game three. “Staying the course” might be an accurate retroactive slogan for the Stingers 2019-20 season.
  • Game three is going to be very cool, show up.

Feature photo by Mackenzie Lad


McGill 4, Concordia 3 (2OT): Comeback falls short as Stingers lose to the Martlets in double overtime

Down 3-1 going into the third period, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team managed a strong comeback attempt but ultimately fell to the McGill Martlets 4-3 in double overtime.

It’s the first time all season that the Stingers have dropped back-to-back games.

“We gained a really important point. That’s a good point on the road, especially being down by two,” said head coach Julie Chu post-game.

The first period was a mixed bag for the Stingers, who didn’t register a shot on net for the first eight minutes. Dubois and Belzile were responsible for generating most of the team’s chances once the Stingers got settled and started shooting. Belzile just looked like a human wrecking ball, careening around the ice, avoiding Martlet players and in some cases, definitely not avoiding them. Dubois continues to show why she wears the ‘C’, controlling play in the offensive zone and completing most of her zone entries. It’s in times like this that I wish we had advanced stats for U Sports—because even with 16 and 14 points respectively—the box score doesn’t do Dubois or Belzile justice in terms of their impact on the ice. McGill dominated much of the first period, forcing the puck deep and trying to force the puck out in front of goalie Alice Philbert. Philbert would finish the game with 23 saves on 27 shots.

Dubois and Belzile both shined, but this game belonged to Rosalie Bégin-Cyr. The RSEQ leading scorer added two goals to her total in this game and she’s now up to 11 goals and 10 assists in 13 games this season.  In this game, Bégin-Cyr’s vision to put herself in the right spots was perfectly demonstrated by her two goals. Her first was a chase-down on a puck before firing it through the pads of Martlet goalie Tricia Deguire. The second was a shot from the slot where Bégin-Cyr had movement coming across the ice and fired a cross-body shot that went off the post and in. Deguire made 36 saves on 39 shots.

“She’s only a second-year player and she’s a huge impact player for us,” said Chu about Bégin-Cyr. “I just think she’s going to continue to get better and better. The big thing about Rosalie is that she’s such a smart player. She’s skilled and talented and has a lot of great tools, but she probably has one of the best visions in the game. I think her instincts put her in good spots, and also give her linemates great opportunities as well.”

The biggest issue for the Stingers all year has been their power play. The team was 5-for-51 going into this game which adds up to a difficult 9.8% power play, worst in the division.

“It’s just repetition,” said Chu. “It’s taking a look at the game video and finding ways to make better reads. We have talented players, players that can score, pass, do all those things, but a successful power play has the ability to move the puck but ultimately read what’s the opening. I think that’s what we’ve had some trouble on.”

Now let’s combine a couple of things here. Let’s combine the Stingers’ seemingly cursed power play with the stop-at-nothing attitude that Belzile brings to her game. What comes out of the oven is a power play goal that saved the Stingers a crucial point in this game. Drawing a four-minute power play, the Stingers started out the extra player advantage similar to how they’ve done all season; they struggled. They struggled getting the puck out of their own end and they struggled moving the puck into dangerous areas. The Stingers called their time out, and pulled Philbert with over three minutes to play. With 36 seconds left on the power play, Dubois ripped a shot from the high circle, but the puck bounced off Deguire directly to Belzile who was barreling down the boards and fired a one-timer to tie it up.

“When our power play is not successful, that’s often times what’s happening, we’re not making the correct reads, maybe we’re forcing a little too much,” said Chu. “So it was good to see our girls really fight in the third, being down two goals, coming back getting one, and then plugging away and getting an opportunity on the power play at the end of that game to be successful as well.”

That was as much momentum as the Stingers would gather though. Overtime was dominated by the Martlets, first in the 4-on-4 period, and again in the 3-on-3 period. Kellyanne Lecours from McGill was the one to finally bury the puck past Philbert for the Martlets win.

“The big thing is to not hang our heads,” said Chu. “It’s a long season and we’re in a tremendous league. We know that we’re going to be in tight, hard-fought games and we gotta make sure that we continue doing the little things right and staying positive is the number one thing. We have an opportunity tomorrow to go and have a great game too.”


  • Don’t be fooled by McGill’s lower ranking on the top 10 list. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them jump a couple of spots. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Concordia loses it’s #1 ranking if they can’t definitively beat UDEM on Sunday.

Concordia 6 Ottawa 2: Explosive second period helps Stingers earn decisive win

Three goals in 41 seconds backed the Stingers to league-best 10-0-1.

The Stingers women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu expects a lot from her players. It’s why they had to be back at the rink in late December to compete in the Theresa Humes Tournament — a tournament they went 3-0 at.

“Coming out of December, it was about getting a good jump for the second half,” said Chu. “We ask our players to be back on [December] 27, which isn’t always easy. They got a good two weeks off and came back with focus and ready to go.”

Thanks to those expectations, the Stingers remain the top-ranked team in the country, and they didn’t worry about having to play any rust off in the first game of 2020. An explosive one minute stretch in the second period helped the Stingers defeat the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 6-2 on Jan. 11.

“We were excited to have this first game back,” said captain Claudia Dubois, who finished the game with a goal and an assist. “It’s been a while since we played a regular season game. It was an exciting moment for us and we were all ready for it, so it was a good game.”

The Gee-Gees battled the entire game, but found each mistake they made ending up in the back of the net. Gee-Gees goalie Jennifer Walker made 30 saves on 36 shots. Gee-Gees rookie phenom Alice Fillion was a workhorse for them, forechecking hard at 5-v-5 and on the penalty kill, and just being a general problem for the Stingers. The Gee-Gees’ two goals came with heavy traffic in front of Stingers goalie Alice Philbert. Philbert was busy herself, making 29 saves on 31 shots.

Graphic by Matthew Coyte

The first period may have been one of the best the Stingers have played in a while, and the team jumped to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Maria Manarolis and Daniela Gendron, their first goals of the season. For Gendron, it was the first U Sports goal of her career.

“I’ve had goals in the pre-season, but this was pretty exciting,” said Gendron. “It was just to keep the momentum going and it was a pretty big goal. I’m surprised it went in honestly, I didn’t think it would. I was also on the [ice] when it went in.”

Despite the lead, the Gee-Gees came roaring back in the second period, and had it not been for Philbert, that 2-0 lead could have quickly turned into a deficit for the Stingers. Instead, the Stingers weathered the storm after allowing a goal. With two minutes left in the second period, they turned the dial up a notch.

Or three notches.

Audrey-Ann Rodrigue buried a cross-ice pass to Marie-Pascale Bernier to widen the Stingers’ lead to two with 1:46 left in the frame. Before the cheering could die down, Dubois and RSEQ leading scorer Rosalie Begin-Cyr capitalized on a Gee-Gee mistake and added another goal 10 seconds later. Just 31 seconds after that, Olivia Atkinson buried yet another goal to turn the score into a 5-1 lead. That’s right, three goals in 41 seconds. Six different Stingers picked up goals in this game.

“We were off a bit to start the second period,” said Dubois. “We got a penalty and they slowed us down a little bit. We were having trouble executing passes and those simple plays, but we have a team that never gives up and gives 100 per cent effort, so we came back with a ton of momentum.It was an exciting moment. We were just going all over [Ottawa] and forced a lot of mistakes from their defence and just got the puck in the net.”

The third period was a more even frame between the Stingers and the Gee-Gees, with both teams adding a goal to their scores, but in the end, the Stingers now improve to 10-0-1 on the season, and remain atop the RSEQ standings.


  • Three goals in 41 seconds is absolutely insane and I can’t find any record of another U Sports team doing this.
  • If this is your first time reading me in 2020, I keep track of shots at these games, and my results may differ than what is registered by the RSEQ.

Feature photo by Laurence BD


Learning season for Stingers women’s hockey

Concordia went 8-1-1 in 2019 after a rocky start to the regular season

It was a learning season for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, which saw many ups and downs. They were eliminated in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-final in February.

The Stingers started the season with 11 rookies, and finished the regular season in second place with a 13-4-3 record. Head coach Julie Chu said that if there’s one thing to take away from this season, it’s growth.

“[Every season], we start at a different point,” Chu said. “This year, we [did so] because we were young and had a lot of new players.”

Forward Lidia Fillion (pictured) finished the season with seven goals. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

After winning five of the first 10 games, Chu asked her players for patience.

“We had a young team in a lot of ways,” Chu said. “Even if they’re talented players who have been successful, it still takes time to develop and play a complete team game for a full 60 minutes. I think that’s what we saw in the first half of the season. We didn’t have the consistency and execution that we needed in order to win games.”

Five Stingers earned individual RSEQ awards, including forwards Audrey Belzile and Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, the Stingers’s best scorer and the RSEQ’s highest-scoring rookie, respectively. Chu said the working environment her players built help them to succeed.

“They want to get better and learn,” Chu said. “They push themselves, and they do it in a competitive and awesome environment where they find a way to support each other. I don’t think it’s surprising that we had individuals from the team who were honoured for successful seasons.”

Veterans Katherine Purchase, Devon Thompson, Melinda Prévost, and Sophie Gagnon won’t be back with the Stingers next season. Chu said these graduating players helped develop Concordia’s hockey program into what it is.

“They are huge part of why we have the foundation we have [today],” Chu said. “When young players arrive in our program, they know what to expect. They know what they’re building off [of], and I think that’s a really special part of the culture and tradition we want to have here at Concordia.”

Despite Purchase’s departure, the Stingers will still be able to count on goaltender Alice Philbert for the upcoming season. Chu said that having Philbert with the team for the seasons ahead is huge.

“Alice has been a great part of our team the last two years,” Chu said. “She always works hard, she wants to get better. She asks questions and because of that, she’s been able to develop and become a really great goaltender.”

The Stingers announced in December that forward Scout Watkins Southward of the Kingston Junior Ice Wolves will join the team for the beginning of next season. Chu thinks Watkins Southward will bring a lot to the team.

“She has the work ethic, the personality, and the character we want to include in our program,” Chu said. “I think that she will arrive and have a really big impact right off the start. We’re really excited for everything that she will be able to bring.”

Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.


Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux has an undivided passion for the Stingers

Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux always wanted to be at Concordia

The Concordia Stingers’s strength and conditioning coordinator, Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, who is a member of the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame, has been to five national championships with the women’s hockey team.

It was when she participated in the 1993 Canadian Junior Hockey Championship presented at Concordia that Breton-Lebreux’s life changed. The St-Zacharie native, 15 years old at the time, said she didn’t know university hockey existed prior to the tournament.

“We, team Quebec, were changing in the Stingers’s locker room. I then saw all the pictures [of the Stingers hockey teams] and realized [university hockey] existed,” said Breton-Lebreux, who decided then she wanted to play for Concordia. “At that moment I started having a dream, not only to go to the Olympic Games, but to learn English, come to Concordia and one day become captain. It was my dream, and from there I started training a lot.”

Breton-Lebreux (#26) celebrating her Clarkson Cup win in 2009. Stingers assistant coach Caroline Ouellette is second from the right. Photo by Esther Bernard.

Breton-Lebreux, who is in charge of strength and conditioning for all Stingers teams except men’s basketball, already knew she wanted to work in that department since her first years with the Stingers. She said she loved her training experience, given by Reg Grant at the time, followed by Scott Livingston.

“I was at all their trainings,” Breton-Lebreux said. “They had summer trainings at 7 a.m. and I was there three times a week. I was passionate.”

The strength and conditioning coordinator loves her role at Concordia. Breton-Lebreux said there was no doubt in her mind that this is where she wanted to work.

“I love it,” Breton-Lebreux. “I’ve been training since the age of 13. Training is a passion for me, and this is where I wanted to work.”

An impressive fact about Breton-Lebreux is that she co-founded the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), which Les Canadiennes de Montréal are part of. The four-time Clarkson Cup winner, as part of the CWHL’s championship team, said the league was founded when the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) ceased activities in 2007.

“In the NWHL, there were different owners who were paying for their team’s costs,” Breton-Lebreux said. “In 2007, there had been conflicts [related to money]. Owners then closed the league. It wasn’t making sense because you had a lot of players, with many of them being the best players in the world, not having a place to play.”

Another interesting aspect of Breton-Lebreux’s life is her roller hockey career. She said her passion for roller hockey actually started at Concordia.

“We had a roller hockey league during the summer,” Breton-Lebreux said. She then decided to establish a women’s team, as a complement to ice hockey. “I heard there was a Canadian [roller hockey] team, so I went to the team’s training camp in Toronto and I made the team.”

Despite not realizing her dream of being an Olympian in ice hockey, Breton-Lebreux succeeded in roller hockey, and made the national team in 2006.

“I was always in the best scorers in the league,” she said about her Olympic dream. “Yet, I was always being told I had something missing. That’s because chances to continue in the program are better if you make the team before the age of 22, and because I didn’t, I was like the seventh defenceman.”

In 2006, the Canadian team told Breton-Lebreux she wouldn’t make the Olympic team, and thought her dream to represent Canada would be over. “Yet, I had the opportunity to make the Canadian [roller hockey] team, and I went to the World Roller Hockey Championships and won the tournament. Life gave it back to me,” she said.

Main photo by Alec Brideau.


Concordia-McGill rivalry renewed in playoffs

Women’s basketball, hockey teams faced Martlets in postseason action

The Concordia-McGill rivalry is one of the best in university sports, but it takes on another level when the two schools meet in the playoffs. That was exactly the case this season for both the women’s hockey and basketball teams in their respective Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-finals.

The Stingers only won two of seven games versus McGill in women’s hockey this season. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

The Stingers women’s hockey team hadn’t beaten McGill in five previous playoff series. Their bad results against their cross-town rivals continued this year, losing in two games. McGill is now 12-0 against Concordia in the playoffs since the Stingers won the 2005 final in three games.

The women’s basketball team has had the same misfortune against the Martlets. Before this year’s playoff match-up, they hadn’t beaten McGill in the playoffs since 2002, losing in 2016 and 2017. This year’s team turned history around and beat the Martlets in the RSEQ semi-final, 62-55, at the Concordia Gym on Feb. 27. They also ended McGill’s seven-year run as provincial champions.

“All of us just wanted to dethrone them, as bad as that sounds,” said third-year guard Caroline Task after the game. “It was time for someone else to take the lead, so I think we went into this knowing this is what we wanted to do.”

It was a tightly-contested game, typical of the Concordia-McGill rivalry in any sport, with a loud and energetic crowd. The Stingers had a 10-point lead in the second quarter, and the Martlets responded well, leading by eight points in the fourth. That’s when the Stingers crowd got behind their team as Concordia scored 19 points in the last five minutes.

“Obviously there are a bit of butterflies in your stomach when you’re down with the time going down,” Task said. “Not for a second I didn’t think we wouldn’t pick it up.”

The rivalry takes on a whole new level each year at the Corey Cup. Photo by Hannah Ewen.
Missed opportunity

On the men’s side of basketball and hockey, there were no Concordia-McGill playoff meetings this year. McGill’s men’s basketball team lost in their semi-final, which would have set up a final against Concordia. In hockey, the Stingers met the Queen’s Gaels in the first round of the playoffs, but should have played McGill.

According to U Sports hockey insider Victor Findlay, the Gaels dressed an ineligible player in their final game of the season. The Ontario University Athletics Association only sanctioned them after their series against Concordia started, deducting them a point. Originally, the Gaels finished third, and McGill in fourth, but because of the loss of points, McGill jumped into the third seed. They would have played the sixth-placed Stingers if the issue had been dealt with earlier.

This could have set up a fantastic series between the schools. “It’s fun to play,” said rookie defenceman Bradley Lalonde after the Corey Cup on Feb. 2. “[The Ed Meagher arena] is kind of smaller, so when you get a lot of people, there’s a lot of noise.”

Stingers captain Philippe Hudon has seen it all from the rivalry during his five years at Concordia. “It’s an old rivalry, and these kind of games speak for themselves,” he said after the Corey Cup. “There should be more exposure to this kind of game, it’s fun hockey and the rivalry is tremendous.”

Fans will get another taste of the Concordia-McGill rivalry when the football season kicks off in September.

With files from Simon Prud’homme. Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.

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