Stingers Slink Into Offseason
Disappointing Season Ends in Blowout Loss to Carleton
Concordia 0 Carleton 7
Yet another disappointing performance in a must-win game left the Concordia men’s hockey team in a state of shock Saturday afternoon, as they were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Stingers lost their third straight contest, falling prey to the Carleton University Ravens in a 7-0 blowout. The loss was the team’s second blanking in as many games, having lost 5-0 to the McGill Redmen three days earlier.
With the loss, the Stingers failed to qualify for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Ontario University Athletics division of Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Concordia and Queen’s University have identical records, but the Queen’s Gaels owned the tiebreaker that allowed them to finish ahead of the Stingers—head-to-head goal differential.
In the two games between the teams, Queen’s edged the Stingers by a mere two goals. Though Concordia won the first contest 6-1, Queen’s took the second one handily 9-2, however, giving them a 10-8 advantage.
The Stingers let their defensive responsibilities go against Carleton, too. The Ravens got out to a quick 3-0 start in the first period and added four more in the third, driving a stake in the heart of the Stingers’ postseason aspirations.
Jeff Hayes and Joey Manley paced the Ravens’ offense with a goal and three assists apiece, and the Ravens outshot the Stingers 30-25, with half of their shots coming in the opening frame.
ConU’s starting goaltender, Nick Champion, allowed five goals on 25 shots before being replaced by Loic Boivin early in the third period. Boivin allowed two goals on the five shots that he faced.
“We came out and got down early in the game,” said Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby. “It was a bit of a carnival-like atmosphere in there; the crowd was very much on their side. We took an early penalty and they scored, then four minutes later they scored again.
“We outplayed them in the second but it didn’t matter what we did,” he said. “The kids played hard and with a lot of class, we just couldn’t buy a goal.”
The loss capped off a disappointing final stretch in which the team managed to score only three goals in their last three games while conceding 17—they lost six of the final 10 games of the regular season.
The Stingers now retreat into the offseason, having been so close to wrapping up a playoff berth, only to let it slip away.
For Figsby, however, this season was a sign of great things to come. “I’m not disappointed with the season. We beat the number-one ranked team in the country twice this year,” said Figsby, referring to the Stingers’ performances against McGill. “And everyone was feeling really good about themselves.
“A lack of experience hurt us down the stretch, but the way we played this season gives a tremendous amount to be positive about moving forward.”
The Stingers will be returning next semester without too many changes to their roster as three players, including captain Eric Begin, are potentially graduating.