Concordia 3, UdeM 2 (SO): Stingers Win Clash of Top Teams in Shootout
Concordia Bounces Back From Two Straight Losses With Win Over Carabins
For the third time this season, the Concordia Stingers and Université de Montréal Carabins women’s hockey teams played a tight game that extended beyond regulation.
Like the first two meetings, the Stingers came out on top this Sunday at the CEPSUM.
The Carabins applied pressure early and often, but Stingers goaltender Katherine Purchase, peppered with shots, stood tall and kept Montreal from getting on the board.
“[Purchase] played really well,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu. “She had a lot of great saves that really kept us in this game.”
It was the Stingers who struck first, a little less than halfway through the second frame. Forward Claudia Fortin notched her third of the season on a wraparound after a quick offensive breakout.
“It feels good to be the first ones to score’’ said Fortin. ‘’We’ve started a lot of games playing catch-up to our opponents, and for us to start strong for once is exactly what we want to do.”
Less than a minute later, the Stingers found themselves down a player as forward Devon Thompson was called for tripping. It only took 30 seconds for Montreal to capitalize when defender Kim Poirier beat Katherine Purchase with a one-timer.
Both teams continued to get chances in the second and third periods, not capitalizing on any of them, until Concordia forward Claudia Dubois took advantage of chaos in front of Carabins’ goaltender Marie-Pier Chabot’s net to put the Stingers back in front, 18 minutes into the third.
The regulation win was not meant to be for Concordia, however. Carabins forward Jade Vix provided some late game heroics for the home team, tying the game with five seconds left in regulation.
‘’That was a big emotional moment for everyone, we needed to make sure to stay strong for overtime,’’ said coach Chu.
Tight defense was the name of the game for Concordia during both overtime periods, effectively neutralizing Montreal’s offense that had, up to then, dominated Concordia in terms of possession time and number of shots.
It almost all came crashing down for the Concordia late in the second overtime period.
Stingers defender Marie-Joelle Allard was sent to the box for hooking with less than a minute to go, giving the Carabins a four-on-three advantage for the rest of the period. The Stingers stood tall nonetheless, successfully repelling Montreal’s powerplay unit until time expired.
‘’We blocked a lot of shots, we got into the lanes and we did a really good job making sure they didn’t get any chances,” said forward Keriann Schofield, who was on the ice for most of the crucial penalty kill. ‘’It was a great effort by everyone during that PK, and after OT it was our game to win.”
The shootout was to be the deciding factor in this hotly contested game. After a Concordia shooter and a pair of Montreal shooters all failed to score, it was Claudia Dubois who again delivered for Concordia by beating Chabot, top corner. Montreal’s Jessica Cormier could not beat Katherine Purchase, sealing the win for the Stingers.
After the game, head coach Julie Chu was quick to praise her team’s performance and the sustained effort during both overtime periods. She was especially proud of Claudia Dubois’ level of play.
“Claudia is a tremendous player, so I’m not surprised at all that she was able to perform at the level she did today,” said Chu. “She logged a lot of minutes throughout the whole game, which really speaks a lot about her conditioning to be able to do great things at the end of a long game like this.”
With the win Concordia jumps to first place in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec standings, tied on points with Montreal but above them in the standings because they have the lead in their head-to-head series.
The Stingers travel to Carleton to face the Ravens this Sunday, in their last game before the winter break.
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