A True Definition of Perfection
Stingers Shut Out McGill and Carleton For Huge Road Weekend
In recent years, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, led by head coach Les Lawton, has had trouble playing a full 60-minute, mistake-free hockey game.
This weekend they showed no signs of weakness, shutting out both their cross-town rivals the McGill Martlets and the lowly Carleton Ravens on the road.
The Stingers recorded their first win over McGill in 57 games, a streak that dates back to February 2006. Following their win over Carleton the team recorded back-to-back shutout wins, a feat that hadn’t been duplicated since Oct. 20-21, 2001.
“We know we aren’t going to win games 6- or 7-nothing so we have to rely on good defense,” said Lawton. “We got it this weekend. Goaltending was good and the team effort was really good. I’m really proud of our team’s performance this weekend and moving forward.”
Saturday’s win over the Ravens may have been great, as the Stingers extended their winning streak to three, but the big story was Friday morning’s victory over McGill, who are ranked number one in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport standings.
“[McGill’s] got some of the best players in the country,” said Lawton. “So to shut them out and work really well defensively and disciplined, it’s looking great moving forward.”
At McGill’s McConnell Arena, the Stingers took to the ice for the first time this young season against the team that eliminated them in the playoffs the year prior.
The Stingers were able to only score a single goal, but that was all they needed to end a streak almost nine years in the making. The last time the Stingers beat McGill as the visiting team goes back to Nov. 21, 2004—a span of nearly a decade.
With an early power play just over five minutes into the game, the faceoff was cleanly won by fifth-year Alyssa Sherrard, who passed it to her wing instead of the back end. Fourth-year Audrey Morand then made no mistake sending it top shelf past Taylor Hough. Morand had a great weekend, notching three of her team’s four goals and assisting on a fourth.
“We’ve always been narrowing the gap against the other teams, and winning was great Friday,” said Morand. “Coming into Saturday we wanted to keep the momentum and after a quiet first we kept our game plan the rest of the way.”
For Sherrard, in her last year with the Maroon and Gold, Friday’s match was her first taste of beating McGill.
“It felt amazing. I definitely cried after the game,” said Sherrard. “It felt better than winning a championship. I’ve been wanting this ever since I joined Concordia and I really wanted to beat them. Best feeling.”
Goaltender Briar Bache made 27 saves for her first career shutout at the CIS level, and the occasion couldn’t have been any bigger.
“Not even the fact that we had ended the 57-game streak and shut them out, it just felt really great,” said Bache, who was named the first star of the game. “All the girls afterwards, we were saying it honestly felt like we had just won Nationals. It wasn’t just another win.”
Another standout that afternoon was third-year forward Marie-Pier Cloutier, who had five of her team’s 15 shots and was named the game’s second star.
“I feel so proud of everyone on my team,” said Cloutier. “It’s my third year and we really never were able to show on paper the amount of work we put into our practices and every game. We were finally able to do that this weekend.”
Saturday afternoon the team traveled to Carleton, a team in a transitional stage, and took care of them with ease. All it took was an explosive second period, a collaborative team effort and solid goaltending.
Just over a minute into the second, the Stingers rushed into the Carleton zone when sophomore defender Caroll-Ann Gagné found an open Audrey Morand, who put the puck past Ravens goaltender Tamber Tisdale.
Five minutes later Keriann Schofield redirected a point shot by sophomore defender Marie-Joëlle Allard for her first of the season, giving the Stingers a 2-0 lead.
With less than six minutes to play Morand scored her second of the game, giving the Stingers the goals they needed to secure the victory.
The Stingers dominated the entire game, not allowing Carleton many chances and outshooting the Ravens 31-19.
Rookie goaltender Katherine Purchase didn’t seem too phased on her end of the ice, turning aside each of those 19 shots for her first career CIS win and shutout.
“It felt pretty good despite not having to do too much because the team played so well defensively,” said Purchase following the Carleton game. “I’m handling this adjustment to the CIS quite well.”
Lawton was very pleased with his team following the weekend and brought up the numbers to prove it.
“We’ve got seven out of 10 points early in the season with only one home game under our belt,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the next few at home where we can separate ourselves from the Ontario teams and [stay] positive moving forward.”
Next up for the Stingers is a matchup against the visiting Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon at home, where they hope to avenge their shootout loss from Oct. 24.
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