Concordia 13, Ottawa 0: Battle-tested Stingers advance to RSEQ final

Concordia dominates winner-take-all game three

Stingers foward Chloe Gendreau goes up against Gee-Gees goaltender Aurélie Dubus. Gendreau ended the night with two goals and three assists. Photo Yann Rifflard

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team trounced the Ottawa Gee-Gees 13-0 in game three of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) to win the semifinals at Ed Meagher Arena on Feb. 25.

The win came following the Stingers’ first defeat of the entire season in game two, wherein Gee-Gees netminder Aurélie Dubuc turned aside 58 of Concordia’s 59 shots en route to a 2-1 victory to force an ultimate third game.

“We weren’t really stressed,” said Stingers forward Jessymaude Drapeau, who netted a hat trick along with an assist in the game three rout. “It was definitely disappointing to lose a game, but we knew we would rebound today, and we did it in a great way.”

The Stingers dominated the game from start to finish, allowing Ottawa very few quality scoring chances. Concordia found twine four times in the opening frame, while the Gee-Gees managed a mere three shots on goal.

After conceding the opening marker in each of the first two games, the Stingers finally scored the first goal in the ultimate game.

“It’s always helpful,” said head coach Julie Chu, chuckling. She explained that allowing the first goal, especially coming off of a loss, creates an extra mental obstacle for the players. “Today we liked the fact that they didn’t put themselves in that challenge,” said Chu.

Forwards Chloé Gendreau, Emmy Fecteau and Rosalie Bégin-Cyr all gave glistening five-point performances, while Drapeau and forward Caroline Moquin-Joubert tallied multiple goals during the game.

But a special moment came five minutes into the second period, when second-year defender Rachael McIntyre beat Dubuc for the Stingers’ seventh tally of the afternoon, and her first-ever goal in the postseason sporting the maroon and gold.

“That was really cool,” McIntyre said about the goal. “I’m not a big goal scorer, but…just seeing the energy of everyone; it was just amazing.”

Forwards Émilie Lussier and Megan Bureau-Gagnon, as well as defender Léonie Philbert also tallied a goal each in the afternoon.

The double-defending RSEQ champion Stingers will now face the Université de Montréal Carabins—who finished third in the regular season—in a best-of-three series for the Quebec title. Concordia defeated Montreal in a tight three-game series last season to capture the championship.

The Stingers won all five contests against Montreal this season, but three of the five were decided by two goals or fewer and, as was proven in this series, the playoffs are a different beast.

“We’re going to make sure that we prepare well, that we rest and recover, and then our eyes turn forward,” Chu said. “We know that we’re going to be challenged, we’re going to be pushed, and we’ve got to be prepared to have a great mindset for it.”

For both Concordia and Montreal, advancing to the RSEQ finals ensures their qualification for the U Sports Championships, held at the University of Saskatchewan from Mar. 14-17. The Stingers finished as runners-up a year ago, while Montreal notched a fourth-place finish as hosts.

“I think that’s something that’s always the bigger picture too, so everyone knows that in this first round,” Chu said. But she confirmed that even though the Stingers are looking ahead to Nationals, they remain focused on their primary goal: a third consecutive RSEQ championship.

All that is left up for grabs is a higher seed at Nationals, a championship banner, and bragging rights. It all starts with game one at Ed Meagher Arena on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.