Concordia Men’s Hockey Brings in Eight New Faces
Stingers Hoping Level of Internal Competition Elevates Team
The winter semester is bringing in new faces to the Stingers men’s hockey team. With eight players joining the team, either due to an injury in the first half of the season or new recruiting, the lineup looks to be altered in every position.
This means some new challenges for head coach Marc-André Élement when it comes to game planning.
“It’s a good headache to have,” said Élement. These new players are providing the coach with plenty of options to throw at opponents every game while also providing a level of internal competition.
Beauchamp has been practicing with the team for some time and now the winger is ready to join in U Sports action. A high speed, energy player, Beauchamp joins the Stingers from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he spent time with three different teams, the most recent being the Gatineau Olympiques.
Beauchamp was a middling producer in junior. However, any production at the major junior level is an asset in a U Sports offence. So far, his efforts have stood out for his coach during practice.
“It’s fun for him to be able to get in games [and show that speed and energy],” said Beachamp’s new coach.
Bourque is the perhaps the most high value addition to the Stingers for the new semester. The defenceman is a former Montreal Canadiens draft pick and has professional experience with the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.
Coming off of a strong, productive career in the Quebec Major Junior League before that, Bourque has always been known for strong puck handling and playmaking abilities. He’s a puck moving defender who can elevate an offence and looks to be ready to do that with two points in his first two games with the team.
“It’s a blessing to have him come here. It’s good for the program and a good thing for the league as well. I’m sure he’s gonna be a big help right away and we’re looking forward to having him,” said Stingers defenceman Carl Neill after Bourque was recruited.
A new goalie joins the Stingers. Dumont-Bouchard provides competition for starting goalie Marc-Antoine Turcotte.
After three years in the QMJHL as well as one in the Ontario Hockey League, the newest Stingers goalie built a strong resume. He brings size to the crease and is already being praised for his athleticism by goalie coach Jim Corsi.
Dumont Bouchard’s talent earned him a spot practicing with the professionals in the ECHL with the Brampton Beast during the fall semester.
The team hopes he and Turcotte will push each other when it comes to earning starts for the rest of the season.
Grannary is one of two NCAA Division 1 recruits joining the Stingers this semester. The winger was set to begin the season with the team after a strong preseason that included a hat trick performance in one of his first games. Grannary suffered a knee injury that kept him out until December.
He joined the Stingers after leaving the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Grannary provides another top six option for the Stingers offence and has collected a pair of assists in his first two games with the Stingers since joining the lineup.
Like Grannary, Hamelin was set to join the Stingers earlier in the season before an injury derailed his start. Hamelin spent last season dominating Quebec’s junior AAA league with Stingers teammate Charlie Roy. In 48 games he put up 36 goals and 122 points.
A winger with a dangerous wrist shot, Hamelin also spent three seasons in the QMJHL before joining the Stingers. His QMJHL experience coupled with his offensive upside could have him taking over fellow AAA alumni William Leclerc’s spot in the lineup.
After three years as a scorer in the QMJHL, followed by two seasons in Quebec’s AAA league where he was a goal-per-game player, Pelletier-Leblanc spent the first half of this season playing for La-Roche-sur-Yon in France.
He was brought in when the coaching staff was unsure of how long Grannary and Hamelin would need to sit out with their injury. Pelletier-Leblanc could provide the team with a scoring option lower in the lineup or in case of injury.
McCrory is a product of NCAA Division 1 Bemidji State University. The winger joined the Stingers over the summer and has been practicing with the team but is now allowed to play due to U Sports regulations. He has the skill set to slide into the Stingers top-six right away should head coach Marc-André Élement choose to use him there.
A speedy winger, McCrory is dangerous around opposing nets and feels that his style will translate well to the U Sports game.
“It seems like my type [of style]. A lot of high speed and skill plays,” said McCrory who scored
his first goal as a Stinger in his first weekend of play.
The Stingers’ new addition made his mark early, scoring a goal in his first game.
The forward has experience in several different leagues, including a stint in professional hockey in Switzerland for the first half of this season.
“It helps, having that pro experience,” said Élement. The Stingers coach described Smith as an intense player in both practice and game situations.
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