Fighting for a Spot in the Playoffs
Stingers Bounce Back After Tough Loss to No. 2 CIS Ranked UdeM
Stingers’ forward Audrey Morand tries to block Carabins’ Sophie Brault from getting a shot off. Photo Ion Etxebarria
The Stingers’ tried everything to get past the Carabins defence. Photo Ion Etxebarria
Stingers’ forward Jaymee Shell hustles down the wing to create a scoring chance. Photo Ion Etxebarria
With the season edging closer and closer to the February 14 finale, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team had a big task ahead of them this weekend.
First they had a rematch against Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s number 2-ranked team Université de Montreal Carabins at home Thursday evening, and on Sunday afternoon they paid a visit to the Carleton Ice House for a matchup against the host Ravens.
Despite a valiant showing from every player up and down the Stingers roster, they were unable to equalize the game late against the Carabins and wound up dropping a 3-2 decision.
Stingers’ goaltender Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon played a solid 60 minutes, turning aside 35 shots in the loss, and 61 of 66 shots on the weekend.
“Even though we didn’t win the game Thursday, I still believe it gave us a lot of momentum heading into Sunday,” said Lavoie-Pilon. “It really was a show of character.”
The goals were scored by rookie attacker Kerianne Schofield and sophomore forward Marie-Pier Cloutier. Cloutier, who scored a beauty after stripping the Carabin defender in the Stingers’ zone, broke out leading a three-on-one rush before wiring a sizzler off the post and behind Carabin netminder Élodie Rousseau-Sirois.
The Stingers had pre-game confidence travelling to the nation’s capital on Sunday, as they had taken three of four from Carleton this season. The Ravens only have one victory this season, a win against Concordia back in the season opener on October 19. The Stingers prevailed this weekend yet again by a count of 3-2 in the shootouts, giving them four wins on the season.
“I think it was a great bounce-back game from last weekend,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton.
“Everybody has been contributing, and we’re really happy with [the] overall team play.”
The game didn’t quite start on the good skate for the Stingers. Raven forward Sadie Wegner opened the scoring two minutes into the contest when she outbattled a Stinger defence and went upstairs on goaltender Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon.
A couple of minutes later the Stingers got back on even ground with a power play, when captain Erin Lally took a shot on Ravens’ goaltender Eri Kiribuchi to tie it up.
Three minutes into the second period Lavoie-Pilon caught a bad break when Carleton rookie Rebecca Klimo got a squeaker to give the Ravens the lead 2-1.
The Stingers went into the third trailing and knew they had to get a quick goal to keep the momentum on their side.
Five minutes into the period they caught their break when, on yet another power play, forward Alyssa Sherrard dropped the puck to Jaymee Shell, who wired a wrist shot past Kiribuchi to even the game at two apiece.
The game stayed solid for both teams with each getting scoring opportunities, including a few close calls on Lavoie-Pilon, who despite her 25 saves in the win tried her hand at puck handling and almost cost her team a couple of times.
“We’re happy with where she [Lavoie-Pilon] is at now,” said Lawton.
“Her puck handling skills gave us a few gray hairs behind the bench,” he added with a chuckle.
In the dying seconds Cloutier almost broke out on her own, but the time had winded down.
After overtime solved nothing, the game was to be decided in a five-round shootout.
The first shooter for the Ravens, Wegner, broke in, but was quickly poke-checked by Lavoie-Pilon, once again playing gutsy.
“I may have had some extra confidence to make some risky moves,” said Lavoie-Pilon.
“I was really pleased with my performance as well as the team who played in front of me.”
Shell countered with a beauty shot top shelf, sending cheers along the Stinger bench.
After Klimo missed, Lally used a pretty deke to undress Kiribuchi and put them ahead by two.
But the star of the shootout was Lavoie-Pilon, who stopped all four shots she faced in the shootout and help Concordia gain a two-point cushion in the Reseau de sports étudiants au Québec conference.
“Our goal this weekend was to get ahead of Carleton and stare Ottawa down,” said Shell. “And that’s what we did.”
The Stingers next game is this Friday night at the CEPSUM to take on the Carabins yet again. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
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