Concordia 2, Queens 1 (SO): Stingers Men’s Hockey Ices Game in Shootout
Freshman Goaltender Kyle Jessiman Steals the Show for Concordia
Monday evening, the Stingers not only got a much needed win over Queens, but also hosted the Bell Let’s Talk Game.
“I think if everyone’s sharing their stories, we can help everyone and hope they won’t be shy. I think it’s a matter of finding people who care about you and being there for them,” said captain and fourth-year centre Philippe Sanche.
Communication goes beyond the ice, and for this game, it was former Stingers captain Philippe Hudon who motivated his ex-teammates in the locker room moments before they headed onto the ice.
Hudon finished his five-year career with the maroon and gold last season, scoring seven goals and dishing 18 assists in 28 games. Head coach Marc-André Element handed Hudon the clipboard before the game, as he chose the starting lineup for the Stingers.
As the puck dropped, Concordia’s deadly trio of Sanche, Tyler Hylland, and Alexander Katerinakis got the first chance, hitting the post on the first couple of shots on net. But with the blink of an eye, momentum feverishly moved Queens’ way.
The Gaels controlled the first period, outshooting the Stingers 20-6. They had more energy, swag, and determination.
It took the Gaels just under 15 minutes to finally slide one by Stingers netminder Kyle Jessiman, who frustrated his opponents all game long.
“We had a slow start for sure. They came in hard, they were ready to go right from the bat,” said first-year star Tyler Hylland. “Luckily, our goalie kept us in the game in the first period. We owe him one there.”
Down a goal heading into the second period, Stingers head coach Élement knew the game wasn’t gonna be pretty if his guys didn’t give themselves a chance. The message to his players was clear.
“I told them that they were terrible.” Marc-André Element
“I told them that they were terrible,” he said.
Sitting a point behind Concordia in the standings before the game, Queens was hungry and relentless. But a different Stingers team took to the ice in the second and third periods. They came out pressing.
While both teams shoved their weight around with hard hitting, hip checking and tough forechecking, Concordia dominated the second period outshooting the Gaels 12-10.
In the third period, it was much of the same. The Stingers top line of Hylland, Sanche, and Katerinakis managed to put their team on the board, as Sanche scored his sixth goal of the year.
After the game, he explained what it meant to bank in four valuable points in the standings over the weekend.
“It feels great. As you see, the standings were really tight, and I think we got some big points this weekend,” he said.
“Two big wins. It wasn’t our best offensive game, but I think we battled through it, and we got the two points in the end.”
In overtime, both teams had an opportunity to seal the game on the powerplay, but both goalies made sure the fans got the entertainment they deserve—more hockey.
The game went to a shootout, where Concordia’s sharpshooter Tyler Hylland went into his bag of tricks and secured the Stingers’ ninth win of the season.
For him, the game winner was nothing new.
“I’ve been doing that same move for a little while. I tried to get the goalie to bite, and he opened his pads, and I just put it through. I was kinda worried about the ice, but it worked out well.”
Jessiman left no daylight for the Gaels shooters, who brought nothing but cheers from fans every time he flashed the leather. The freshman goaltender stopped 40 of 41 shots in regulation and overtime and turned away all three during the shootout.
According to Jessiman, things weren’t complicated.
“I just wanted to give our team a chance to win and I thought I did that in the first period.”
The win moves the Stingers within two points of fourth place in the OUA East standings, which is held by their crosstown rival McGill. As they head on a challenging four-game away trip, the Stingers will look to build on this momentum as much as possible.
As the race for the Ontario University Athletics playoffs ramps up a notch, points become that much more important.
They play their last regular season game Feb. 7 at home against Ontario Tech.