Concordia Women’s Hockey Team Snaps Two-Game Losing Streak Against Carabins
Stingers Find The Back Of The Net For First Time in a While
Coach Julie Chu’s squad had quite the challenge facing up against the number one team in the nation in the Université de Montréal Carabins.
“What we are happiest about is everyone contributed,” said Chu. “This is why we believe in everybody on our team. When our opportunities come, we are ready and our players are ready.”
Scoring chances were scarce during the first period as most shots came from the perimeter. Both squads were pressing with a relentless forecheck in their opponent’s territory.
“The biggest thing is to be on our toes and play with intensity,” said Chu. “I think our girls did a great job going in with a great forecheck which energized our team. We did a great job creating energy and we build off of that.”
The evenly matched first period ended with no one finding the back of the net. The shots were tied at eight following the first frame.
The Carabins capitalized quickly to start the second period, just 22 seconds in.
“You never want to start a period with a goal,” said Chu. “What we are also teaching our girls is to have the resilience to make mistakes and recover. Stuff happens and our ability to respond to that in a positive way is great. We can have easily been like ‘Yikes’.”
The open play in the second allowed Concordia to create better scoring chances, finally converting at 8:56 when forward Audrey Belzile managed to sneak a shot past Carabins goaltender Maude Trevian. The tally ended the defending RSEQ reigning champions’ offensive drought.
“It was about time,” said Belzile. “We had problems offensively, but we came out strong from puck drop tonight.”
The third-year veteran increased her scoring tally, leading the team in goals. Coach Chu praised her forward’s work ethic and determination.
“She knows how to win,” said Chu. “She wants to win and she’s a true competitor. She logged some good minutes for us. But [she’s] a tremendous player for us.”
Belzile wouldn’t score again before the end of the second, but her work wasn’t done just yet.
The Stingers came out a little flat-footed to start the last frame. Montreal was dominating the offensive possession and building up momentum. Goaltender Alice Philbert was stellar for the home side during this stretch.
The second-year goaltender has been filling in for veteran Katherine Purchase. Philbert showed an impressive 1.67 goal against average after three games.
“She’s awesome,” said Chu. “Alice has been playing some great hockey. We’ve had to lean on her. She made some big saves in that third period especially. A couple where we just left people in front the of the net.”
The starter’s third period heroics allowed to receive the second star of the game as she concluded the game with 28 saves. The keeper was most satisfied with her performance, but remained humble after the game.
“Everybody worked together,” said Philbert. “We all played in unison for 60 minutes. Something we couldn’t quite do in the last two games. It allowed us to show our true colours.”
Her incredible work was rewarded when Belzile connected with rookie Maria Manarolis for her first U Sports goal.
“It was a relief,” said Belzile. “Especially for our goalie. She kept us in the game all night long. It’s always a luxury when you can give her a lead.”
The Stingers went into shutdown mode following their second goal. They never looked back and secured their second victory of the season.
Concordia’s next matchup is Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at Ed Meagher. They will be facing a winless Carleton team.