Coming out of the gate, the Stingers men’s hockey team appeared to be headed for a promising 2012-2013 campaign, winning their first two games of the season.
But time slipped up and nipped them hard as they lost their next 10 games in a row before finishing second-to-last in the Ontario University Athletics East conference with an 8-15-5 record.
Goal-scoring seemed to be Concordia’s biggest issue as they trailed everyone but Royal Military College in the category. The team found the back of the net only 73 times in their 28 games, while allowing in a whopping 108 goals.
In hopes of boosting their goal production, the Stingers will be counting on first-year forward Kieran O’Neil. A Calgary native, O’Neil tallied 10 goals and 15 assists in 47 games for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Canucks last season.
Returning winger Etienne Archambault, who led the Stingers last season both in goals and total points, with 11 and 21 respectively, will also play an important role on the Stingers offense.
As for leadership, the Stingers will look to newly appointed captain George Lovatsis. The fifth-year forward finished second in scoring on the team with 19 points, and he’ll be expected to help lead the Stingers to their first playoff appearance since 2010.
That may prove to be a difficult challenge for the Stingers going by their exhibition performances this season. The Stingers dropped their two preseason games of the year, losing the first one 6-4 to the McGill Redmen and the second 3-1 to the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes.
The Stingers will play their first game of the season on Oct. 9 against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks. Their home opener will be on Oct. 25, when they’ll host the Royal Military College.
The 2012-2013 season for the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team was supposed to bring forth a new era.
Nine rookies, combined with the addition of a new assistant coach in the form of Olympic-gold medalist Caroline Ouellette, gave hope for a changing of the guard.
That hope was quickly dashed.
Losing six of their seven exhibition games last season was tough, but dropping their season opener 8-1 to the McGill Martlets at Ed Meagher Arena was an even tougher pill to swallow.
In his 31st season with the team, head coach Les Lawton tried to get his girls going, but they struggled to make the wins happen.
In the end, the Stingers paid dearly for their inexperience, finishing with a 2-17-1 record.
But all that’s history for the Stingers.
The new season is fast approaching, and despite having lost their playmaker Emilie Bocchia, top scorer Véronique Laramée-Paquette, and leader in captain Mallory Lawton, there is promising new blood in the likes of centre Jesse Keca and defender Marie-Joëlle Allard, both of whom have strong resumes.
The team will also be losing Ouellette, who will be training and preparing for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia beginning in February 2014.
Looking to pave the way for a few more wins will be seasoned veterans defender Mary-Jane Roper and wingers Jaymee Shell and Erin Lally.
Concordia will play their first preseason game Friday, Sept. 20 against the Queen’s University Gaels in Ontario. Their home opener is on Oct. 20, when they’ll host last year’s national champions, the Université de Montréal Carabins.