Curtain Call for Captain Concordia

Stingers Captain George Lovatsis Reflects on Career in Maroon and Gold

  • Stingers captain George Lovatsis hopes to lead Concordia deep into the playoffs as his CIS career comes to a close. Photo David S. Landsman

When Concordia’s men’s hockey 2013-2014 season reaches its end, most players will be reflecting on a season filled with ups and downs, and looking forward to how they can improve for next year.

Months away from completing his final year of eligibility as a Stinger, team captain George Lovatsis will have things other than hockey on his mind.

“I’ll definitely miss being with my teammates every day, going downtown and to the Old Port,” said the Leisure Sciences major.

“Montreal is such a unique city, I hope when I’m finished that I’ll be able to visit often.”

A native of Markham, Ont., the 24-year-old centreman played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League for the Kingston Frontenacs and Barrie Colts before joining the Stingers in the winter of 2009.

“I came to Concordia because I had some old teammates on the team,” said Lovatsis.

“I also wanted to come to Montreal because it’s a great city,” added the Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Throughout his career, Lovatsis has collected some impressive statistics.

He’s played a total of 121 games as a Stinger and has amassed 116 points, averaging nearly a point a game. He has also scored 51 goals, with his 50th goal coming in the Stingers’ 5-2 win over Nipissing University on Jan. 11.

“It was a nice accomplishment to get [50] goals,” said Lovatsis.

“I hope I can get [more] before the season ends.”

Lovatsis, who spent previous years as an alternate captain, was elected team captain in a unanimous decision by coaches and teammates at the beginning of the season.

“It was an honour to get the ‘C’ this year. It was a great learning experience and it truly allowed me to develop leadership skills,” said Lovatsis.

“This is the youngest team I’ve had in my five-year career, so I did my best to guide and direct my teammates in the right direction for the future.”

Under his leadership, the team has clinched a sixth-place finish in the Ontario University Athletics East Conference. It will mark the first time the Stingers make the playoffs since the 2010-2011 season.

But that season isn’t the most memorable one for Lovatsis.

Rather, his proudest moment came a season later, when he amassed 20 goals and 20 assists to finish the season with 40 points in just 28 games, fourth-most in the entire Canadian Interuniversity Sport that year.

“That’s a difficult task to accomplish, and not many players can say they were at the top of the league in goals and points,” he said.

The standings isn’t the only place Lovatsis has left his mark.

“This is my third year playing alongside George, and every year he’s been taking on more and more of a leadership role,” said teammate and alternate captain Kyle Armstrong.

“He’s a great guy to look [up to] and I hope to be as great a leader as him when I’m done.”

Olivier Hinse, who also holds the title of alternate captain, had similar praise for his captain.

“[George] is very mature, a real leader on and off the ice,” said the sophomore.

“He may not always talk the most, but when he does, we listen. We have a very strong relationship and we work really well together.”

When Lovatsis is the one in need of guidance on or off the ice, he usually turns to his girlfriend and former Stingers women’s hockey team captain Mallory Lawton.

“I go to Mal for advice all the time,” said Lovatsis.

“Whenever I need to, I’ll ask her for her advice. She does the same when the roles are reversed.”

Lovatsis is especially grateful for the guidance of head coach Kevin Figsby.

“It’s been great. He’s given me all the opportunities and chances in the world,” said Lovatsis.

“I’m extremely thankful for that.”

What’s next for Lovatsis is up in the air, but he’s mulling over some of his options.

“I want to go to teachers college in Ontario and try to become a teacher,” he said.

“If there is a hockey opportunity, either locally or abroad, I would like to pursue that as well.”

Until then, Lovatsis has two regular season games and the playoffs left to play.

“I’m anxious to get [the playoffs] started,” says Lovatsis.

“I think if [goaltender Antonio Mastropietro] plays well, and all the other pieces fall into place for us, we have a real shot of going far.”

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