A Game to Remember
Stingers’ Men’s Hockey Team Crushes RMC 10-3
Coming off three straight losses, Coach Kevin Figsby’s team knew they had to put in a strong effort going into last Friday’s game – and they did, easily handling the visiting Royal Military College Paladins’ with a final score of 10-3.
Playing at the Verdun Auditorium due to yet another delay at the new Ed Meagher Arena at Loyola, didn’t seem to faze the Stingers’ men’s hockey team one bit. The team had been practicing the last couple of weeks in Verdun, so the facility felt like their home away from home.
“It’s important to practice in the same building that we will play our games,” explained coach Figsby. “It’s very important that we keep the momentum in our barn to keep going strong.”
Almost everybody dressed for the game scored at least one point, and ‘the Green Line’—known as such because they wear green jerseys during practices and composed of sophomores Jessyco Bernard, Olivier Hinse and Dany Potvin– amassed 17 points in total, including five goals. Bernard led the way with six points, with Hinse and Potvin getting five-apiece.
“Our line’s chemistry is something else,” said alternate captain Hinse. “We talk a bit during the game, but we always know how to make the plays happen. We know where we will be on the ice.”
The game got off on the right foot when, while killing a penalty, Hinse streaked down the ice and found Bernard, who potted his first of two goals of the night. Scored just over four minutes into the game, these goals set the tone for the evening, and the team never looked back.
“We really compliment each other very well out there,” said Bernard, whose six points night was a career high. “Ever since we’ve been paired together at the end of last season there’s no looking back. If we can be paired together all season I’ll be happy.”
Special teams were also instrumental in the Stingers’ big win, scoring three goals playing with a one man advantage, and another one down a man.
“I told the guys this morning at practice, ‘Here’s 10 pucks, don’t come off the ice until each one is in the net’,” Figsby said. “Four minutes later they were already skating off the ice.”
Penalties were being called left and right for the Stingers, but strong player coverage made the visiting Paladins scoreless on the advantage, on five attempts. A few times it looked as though members of the two teams were going to go at it followed by some chirping on both benches.
Hinse, who played previously with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, is used to a different style of game because fighting is permitted in the QMJHL.
“There’s a bit more hitting in the CIS, and a bit more skill in the Q,” said Hinse, who played in the league from 2008 to 2012. “There are definitely a lot of big bodies in the CIS and you have to watch out.”
Every line contributed to the night’s game, including blueliners Sean Blunden and Gabriel Bourret, who each scored a goal.
Taking a 6-2 lead heading into the final frame the Stingers didn’t let up, scoring 10 goals in a single game for the first time since November 26, 2011. That game, a 10-4 victory, was also against the Paladins.
The top line, which has been consistent all season, hopes to carry that momentum to next weekend’s annual Corey Cup, a battle between McGill and Concordia to be played next Saturday at the Verdun Auditorium.
“It’s been like that all season; we always look for each other on the ice, and every shot goes in the net,” explained a humble Potvin. “Our line started out the season strong, but what’s good is the whole team and different people are contributing.”