Concordia 3, Queen’s 2: Stingers Get Revenge in High Pressure Game Three Win
Philippe Sanche Scores Series-Clinching Goal, Sends Stingers to OUA East Division Finals
The Stingers men’s hockey team fought their way into the third round of the Ontario University Athletics’ playoffs, eliminating the same Queen’s Gaels team that sent them packing last season.
The stage was set for a dramatic finale to the series after a pair of tense games this week.
The opening of the game didn’t quite bring with it the intensity that the series had made itself known for. The teams started slowly, cutting off any real scoring chances before they could develop. The Gaels, who won game two of the series, looked nervous as the Stingers imposed a physical brand of hockey.
Concordia looked like a more cohesive unit than they did in their previous outing. Using their speed and size, the Maroon and Gold found their way in behind a talented Gaels defense and made goaltender Kevin Bailie work for his saves.
Surprisingly, Stingers goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte found himself starting the pivotal game three despite leaving game two with an injury. Both Turcotte and Bailie kept the scoring in check through the first.
A first period that saw only a combined three serious scoring chances picked up in energy from the drop of the puck in the second.
Concordia forward Francis Brunelle managed two strong chances but was stoned by Bailie. The forward has been a force these playoffs and has clearly found his game.
The deadlock was broken by Queens’ star forward Slater Doggett, who batted in a rebound to open the scoring in the dying minutes of the second.
The thought that this would be yet another year of Bailie stoning the Stingers in a do-or-die game was forgotten just over two minutes into the third period when rookie forward William Gignac scored Concordia’s first goal since game one.
The Stingers followed that with nothing but pressure, finding new life in a tie game and playing their best offensive hockey of the match. Late in the period, U Sports’ top scorer Anthony Beauregard managed to score his first goal of the playoffs, giving the Stingers a lead that they had so desperately chased.
It wouldn’t last long as Queens forward Jaden Lindo tied the game up with a nice move in front of Turcotte just over a minute later.
A frenzy of chances and battles erupted in the final minutes of play, culminating in Brunelle dashing towards the Gaels’ net and finding himself hooked with a hair over a minute to play.
Just a weak ago, Brunelle had drawn a penalty against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks in overtime to set up a power play.
The power play patiently set itself up in the first minute of overtime. With four second left on the numerical advantage, Philippe Sanche buried the puck and the series.
The Stingers are now set for a series with crosstown rival McGill, starting Friday night at the McConnell Arena at McGill. The winner of that upcoming series will represent the OUA east in the conference finals.
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