Concordia 2, Montréal 1: Stingers Women’s Hockey Suffocates Carabins’ Offence in Defensive Affair

Stingers Edge Out Carabins by a Single Goal For a Second Time In Five Days

Stingers forward Maria Manarolis battles for position against UdeM’s Justine Pelletier.  Photo Caroline Marsh
Concordia extend their lead over Montréal to eight points with win. Photo Caroline Marsh
Forward Amélie Lemay finds spot in the slot for backhand shot. Photo Caroline Marsh

For the fourth time this season, a game between the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team and the Université de Montréal Carabins was decided by a single goal.

“It was a pretty uneventful game on both sides,” said head coach Julie Chu following the win. “Shots were 16 to 13 in our favour. It definitely wasn’t a high offensive game.”

The lack of offensive tempo allowed for the teams to show off their defensive prowess. Although Concordia collected more shots on goal, both teams had a difficult time finding any type of scoring opportunity from the slot.

The only major chance from the slot on either side was on Montréal’s goal when Catherine Dubois was left alone as the Concordia defenders only had eyes for the puck.

Despite the win and the stellar defensive work, Concordia was not able to run away with the game at any point and allowed Montréal to hang in there for the full 60 minutes.

Two factors can explain Concordia’s lack of killer instinct in Friday night’s game: penalties and power plays.

Chu alluded to her team’s lack of discipline since the return from Christmas break. This trend lived on Friday night as Concordia was called for six minor penalties. Once again, some of these penalties came at inopportune times killing the teams momentum on multiple occasions.

Concordia’s wasn’t much better on the power play failing to put any puck past Montréal’s Maude Trévisan on three separate opportunities. Worse, their lack of discipline and efficiency combined on their second power play as a turnover in the offensive zone forced Stingers’ defender Stéphanie Lemelin into a tripping penalty.

In 15 games, Marie-Pascale Bernier has scored three goals and dished out four assists. Photo Caroline Marsh

To Concordia’s credit, their work on the power play is the total opposite of their penalty kill work shutting Montréal’s six opportunities.

“I thought our penalty kill was awesome,” said Chu. “I thought it was one of our keys to success, especially because we had a lot of penalties called against us.”

With most of the quality opportunities washed away by the smart defensive work, Stingers goaltender Alice Philbert had quiet, yet solid outing. She gave up the lone goal to Dubois on a screened shot through traffic, a hard one to stop for any netminder.

Offensively, Concordia’s Audrey-Ann Rodrigue opened the score in this first period, hacking away at a loose puck in Trévisan’s crease. But it was her linemate Rosalie Bégin-Cyr who collected the game winner later in the second period on a nice feed from from defender Brigitte Laganière.

“Things are going very well lately,” said Bégin-Cyr. “I feel like I’m always in the right spot at the right time. Credits to Brigitte for that nice pass.”

In only her second U Sports season, Bégin-Cyr has already soared to the top of the point-leaders rankings. The forward is leading the RSEQ with 24 points and 13 goals, 7 points in front of the second player in the standings, teammate Claudia Dubois.

“It definitely an amazing year,” said Bégin-Cyr. “We have a good team, which always helps. I’ve been playing with Emmy Fecteau all year, but it’s nice to get to play with Audrey-Ann [Rodrigue] because we played together in CEGEP.”

Concordia will look to keep newly established winning streak alive as they travel to face Carleton on Sunday. The Ravens might be in the last place of the RSEQ rankings, but the Stingers will have to beware as Carleton got the better of them back in November.