Gaiters 5, Stingers 3: Stingers’ Attempt to Spark Comeback Falls Short

Gaiters Snap Stingers’ Six-Game Winning Streak

Photo Ivan de Jacquelin

Near the Concordia Stingers’ dressing room lied a snapped CCM hockey stick that belonged to winger Chloé Gendreau.

This debris, leftover from a frustrating scene, summed up the night for the women’s hockey team and Gendreau, who lost 5-3 on Dec. 2 to the Bishop’s Gaiters.

Gendreau netted a pair in the contest. Her first of two goals came after Stingers’ centre Emmy Fecteau’s faceoff win. Gendreau floated a backhand shot from the high slot to open the scoring five and a half minutes into the first period.

The Stingers failed to sustain that early pressure, as the Gaiters responded close to five minutes later, tying the game at one apiece on a tap-in power play goal by centre Maude Pépin.

“I think we played great in the first period, but if we want to win this year, we have to play the full 60 minutes and be more opportunistic at the end,” Fecteau said postgame.

Not two minutes after Pépin’s equalizer, a scrum ensued inside Gaiters’ goalie Charley Wing’s crease, when the puck popped out to Gendreau, who buried it to close out the opening period.

“Anytime there’s momentum switches, we’ve got to find a way to end those pretty quickly so that we can then move onto the next thing a little bit quicker,” Stingers’ head coach Julie Chu said.

Crossbars, turnovers and odd-man rushes were the stories for much of the middle frame. The Stingers tallied ten shots, nearly as many as the Gaiters’ game total of 12. The Gaiters strategized quality over quantity, electing for premium scoring opportunities rather than high shot totals.

One of these chances came 13 minutes into the second period, as Gaiters’ forward Angélique Pagé fired a blistering slapshot over the shoulder of Stingers’ goalie Alice Philbert. The other was in the final minutes, a tape-to-tape sequence that made its way to Pépin, who added to her point total.

The Stingers’ scrambly play continued in the third period, and it cost them just under three minutes in. Pagé released a speedy wrister to beat Philbert for her second goal of the night and what would eventually become the game-winner.

“It was a really tough game today for everyone mentally, but we kept our energy up, and we did get that goal at the end,” Stingers’ defender Rachael McIntyre said. “So, we almost had it. We had the last push, but we just couldn’t finish.”

The Stingers showed late signs of urgency after a successful penalty kill. With under six minutes left to play, McIntyre, fresh off the bench, used the open ice to roof the puck far side for the first goal of her university career, cutting the Gaiters’ lead in half.

McIntyre and the Stingers failed to complete the comeback, despite being awarded their fifth power play on the ensuing faceoff. The Gaiters shortly sent all 310 fans home with an empty net goal to snap the Stingers’ six-game winning streak.

“I just didn't think we gave enough, and we didn’t execute well enough to deserve more,” Chu said. “The biggest thing for us is to reset, refocus, [and] know that we have the opportunity to come and bounce back on Sunday.”

The Stingers now hold a 9-3 record heading into their final game before the break on Dec. 4 versus the Montreal Carabins at 2 p.m.