Stingers Lose Both Weekend Games By Large Margin
Trying to put a couple of points in their playoff race seemed impossible for the Concordia Stingers’ men’s hockey team this past weekend as they were beaten handedly in both games, losing 6-2 to the Queens’ Gaels Friday night and then 7-2 on the following afternoon playing against the Carleton Ravens.
“I think as a whole the weekend was lost because of a big maturity gap,” said Stingers’ head coach Kevin Figsby. “Especially when our roster is mainly first- and second-years, and the teams we faced are veteran fourth- and fifth-year guys. It cost us in the end.”
Friday night versus the Gaels was a rematch of a game held at Ed Meagher Arena Jan. 18.
The Gaels dominated every facet of the game, easily shutting the door on Concordia 4-0.
The Stingers didn’t fare much better on that night, although it started off better.
With a full house backing the Stingers, the Bees weren’t able to capitalize on their chances, though there were many.
The Gaels took a 1-0 lead by the end of the first when defender Stephane Chabot scored with just over five minutes left to play in the period.
They added another couple of goals in the middle period when Chris Van Laren and Jordan Soquila got goals past Stinger goaltender Antonio Mastropietro, coming off a career-high 46 saves Wednesday night.
Late in the period the Stingers had a chance to get on the scoreboard with a two-man advantage for almost two full minutes but they were unable to get past Queens’ goaltender Chris Clarke, who made 24 saves in the Gaels win.
The inexperience of Figsby’s team led to the more experienced Gaels adding to their cushion, scoring a powerplay marker 25 seconds into the third, and then the heat got turned up with both sides nearly coming to blows off the ensuing faceoff.
With top teams Carleton, McGill and Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières going out and signing former American Hockey League players, Figsby wanted to say he wasn’t like the rest of those squads.
“We are too young a team, too poised to go out and bring in rent-a-players,” said Figsby. “That is not my vision, I want my players to commit both academically and athletically and don’t want any hockey bums who won’t dedicate themselves to both in my program.”
The Stingers finally solved Clarke with two goals six minutes apart to cut the deficit to just two when forwards Dany Potvin and Taylor Lambke lit the lamp. Forward Ben Dubois assisted on both goals.
“We know that we have only a few games left, and we want to give the impression that we aren’t a pushover team. We’re going to continue to work hard and compete every night,” said Dubois.
Unfortunately Concordia’s comeback was all for not, and the Gaels were too much, getting two late goals in a wild game finisher, and going home 6-2 victors.
Sunday afternoon the Stingers traveled across the Ottawa River for a game against the Carleton Ravens, a team that boasts an 11-1 record at the Ice House, something that was on the mind of the Stingers heading in.
The Stingers were forced to use a variety of different players due to key injuries such as veteran forward Jessyco Bernard who is out with a broken jaw, and defenceman Sean Blunden with a bruised foot.
It was a game of line juggling for Figsby, who opted to play with seven blueliners, including both Adam Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Strumas, both cracking the lineups after long hiatuses.
“With the playoffs just around the corner we’re trying a variety of different line combinations,” said Figsby. “Unfortunately we were too uncharacteristic all week, and playing against the top teams in the country, they capitalized on us.”
Despite the shots not going Concordia’s way in the first period, the Stingers managed to escape after the first 20 with a 1-0 lead when rookie forward Hugo Vincent wired a shot for his fourth goal of the season just over two minutes into the game.
In the second period, it was all Ravens, scoring four goals, including three in the span of 139 seconds.
The equalizing goal was a deflating one for the Stingers’ blue line.
After Nugent-Hopkins made a great play, intercepting a Raven rush, he sent a breakout pass to Vincent and joined the play.
His fellow defence partner also pinched, and they caught themselves flat footed.
Ravens’ forward Michael McNamee got his own breakaway and beat Mastropietro to tie the game up at one-apiece.
The Ravens ran away with the victory, up 6-1 late, defender Jeremy Barriault wired a shot for his second of the season on the Stingers’ first powerplay of the day. The game ended with a 7-2 Carleton victory.
“We happen to be the youngest team in the conference,” said Figsby after a winless week. “And we didn’t plan on these results, but when our bad decisions [make us] deviate from our game plan this is what happens.”
Next up for the Stingers is a game Friday evening taking on the Ottawa Gee Gees at the Minto Sports Complex and then coming home Saturday afternoon to take on the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks, currently fighting them for a higher playoff spot. Puck drop is at 2 p.m.
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