A Never-Ending Rivalry
Close Game Has Stingers Coming Up Short In Overtime
Every time the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team gets their schedule at the beginning of the season, the dates that usually stick out are those against their bitter crosstown rivals, the McGill Martlets.
This season, the teams have faced each other three times already with each game being very close including last week’s 5-3 loss at home. Concordia had also snapped a 57-game losing streak to the Martlets.
However, the Stingers found themselves coming up just short in the latest installment of their rivalry, dropping a 3-2 game in overtime this past Sunday.
“We’ve planted a bit of a seed to McGill where they know they will have to play well to beat us,” said Stingers head coach Les Lawton. “We’ve had four very close games against them this season, we always play 60 minutes against them.”
After a scoreless first, Concordia knew they had to amp the pressure in the second after only getting four shots in the first.
Just under six minutes in they got their answer when Sherbrooke-native Marie-Pier Cloutier capped off some great offensive pressure and scored her first goal of the season to make it 1-0 for the visiting team. Rookie forward Cassiel Lalande-Lajeunesse and defender Marie-Joelle Allard assisted the goal.
“When I scored I really had to look back to see if the puck was actually in the net,” chuckled Cloutier. “I screamed so loud and was so happy cause I was with my best friends on the ice.”
Starting the third, McGill was hungry and jumped out of the gate with a two-on-zero shorthanded rush to start the third, but Bache was on top of her game, preventing a goal with a big save, one of her 43 that afternoon.
“Last week was tough, and today we knew we had to play a full 60 minutes start to end,” said Bache. “The girls all put out a great performance today, and that always helps make my game easier.”
Though seven minutes in the third, the Stingers found themselves behind the eight ball and two players short and McGill finally overcame Bache when forward Katia Clement-Heydra scored the equalizer.
With just over six minutes left to play, Concordia got a powerplay. Veteran forward Alyssa Sherrard cleanly won the face-off and teammate Audrey Morand sent the puck five-hole past Smrke, restoring Concordia’s lead just two seconds into the advantage and sending Concordia’s bench into a frenzy.
However, a late power play for McGill saw Gabrielle Davidson tie the game up with just over three minutes to play.
Once the horn sounded after three periods, the teams were deadlocked at two-apiece but the shots were a commanding 42-13 for McGill.
In the extra frame, it was veteran Martlet forward Leslie Oles who tucked in the winner with just 44 seconds left to play.
Gaining three out of a possible four points on the weekend was a great showing for the Stingers, who now increased their lead in the RSEQ Conference standings against the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees.
“That was a huge point we went out and got today,” said Lawton. “It really helps distance ourselves from Carleton and Ottawa with playoffs not far away. Our team goal at the beginning of the season was finish top three, and we’re looking like it’s very possible now. Controlling our own destiny is key. I’m really proud of our team.”
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