Concordia 9, Laurentian 4: Stingers Come Back From Two Goal Deficit
Stingers Record Improves to 12-2-2 Heading into the Holiday Break
Off to a slow start, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team found themselves down 3-1 just over ten minutes into the first period of their final game before the holidays on Saturday night.
The visiting Laurentian University Voyageurs, who currently sit last in the Ontario University Athletics’ eastern division standings, came on strong. The Voyageurs netted themselves three early goals, two of which came short handed.
Concordia head coach Marc-Andre Element didn’t let this get to his players, encouraging them to stay positive.
“I told them to keep pushing the pace,” said Element. “We were skating and [Laurentian] took penalties on us, and the power play did a great job and I’m happy about that.”
Only a minute after Laurentian’s third goal, Concordia drew a second penalty, creating a two-man advantage which rookie forward Massimo Carozza would capitalize on, shortening the Voyageurs’ lead to 3-2.
Shortly after, veteran forward Scott Oke, a healthy scratch last weekend, would put his name on the scoresheet to tie the game at three goals apiece.
“I looked back at what I needed to work on, and I think this weekend [for myself] was pretty good and I came back stronger,” said Oke of his first weekend back in action.
The team finished off the period with three additional unanswered goals, including Oke’s second of the night. Forward Philippe Sanche capitalized on an open corner as well, and the Stingers went into the first intermission up 6-3.
The second period saw much more physicality. Both teams were chippy, but the officials let it be without calling unnecessary penalties.
Just over five minutes into the period, Laurentian snapped the Stingers streak of unanswered goals as forward Richard Therrien tapped one in off a rebound.
Three minutes later, Concordia would restore their three point lead with a backhanded shot from forward Charles-Eric Legare right on the Laurentian goaltender’s lap.
The second period saw one last goal from Concordia, courtesy of forward Anthony Beauregard.
The Stingers’ 9-4 lead would not be relinquished.
Coach Marc-Andre Element was content with the effort he saw in the game, despite the slow start seen in the first.
“It was fun to win,” said Element. “We didn’t have the start we wanted, and it’s tough when it’s the last game [of the first half] and you’re already thinking about vacation, but it’s not an excuse.”
“We needed to come out strong, and at least the powerplay did a great job,” he continued.
Overall, Element is happy with how this first chunk of the season turned out, and is looking forward to the second half.
“I’m really proud of my guys and the way they played the first half of the season,” he said. “It’s going to be a good break and then we have to come back and play the way we’ve been playing since the beginning of the season.”
Rookie Alexis Pepin, who had a multipoint night, was feeling good after Saturday’s game.
“We were slow a bit, but we improved and it was a good final result before Christmas,” said Pepin. “We’re happy with 12 wins before [the break].”
With the win, Concordia improves their record to 12-2-2, securing them the second spot in the OUA eastern division rankings. They sit just four points behind McGill, leaving them ample opportunity to catch up to first upon their return from the break.
The Stingers will return to action on Jan. 5 when they’ll visit the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes.