Joyal Shines in Meeting with Rams

Men’s Hockey Team Pulls Off Back-to-Back Wins

  • The Stingers recorded 43 shots on Ryerson netminder Paul Gibson in Friday’s 3-1 win over the Rams Photo Laura Beeston

  • Stinger Dominic Martel fights for a loose puck during Concordia’s win over Queen’s Photo Joseph St Marie

Concordia 3
Ryerson 1

Concordia goaltender Maxime Joyal broke out of a mini-slump, and the Stingers got a game winner from an unlikely source, as the men’s hockey team beat the Ryerson Rams 3-1 at Ed Meagher Arena on Nov. 5.

“I don’t think we played 60 minutes tonight,” said Stingers coach Kevin Figsby. “We’ll take the points. I thought we earned the win, but we didn’t play 60 minutes.”

Centre George Lovatsis put the Stingers up just 31 seconds into the first period, going top shelf from the lip of the crease on Rams goalie Paul Gibson for his sixth goal of the season. It was the only goal of the first period, despite several odd-man rushes for the Stingers, including a three-man breakaway that was thwarted by a sprawling Gibson. Gibson made 20 saves in the first frame, while his teammates were only able to muster nine shots at the other end of the ice.

The Stingers added to their lead early in the second, as third-year defenceman Lyle Van Wieren slid a low shot through traffic for his second goal as a Stinger.

“It’s only my second goal in three years. I’m not a big goal-scorer, but it feels good, especially since it was the game winner,” said Van Wieren.

The Rams seemed to have a perfect opportunity to get back into the game when they had an extended five-on-three power play just minutes after Van Wieren’s goal. Although they were unable to convert, they did pull within one shortly after the first penalty expired on a goal from left-winger Jesse Chidwick.

“It was like an old engine,” said Rams coach Graham Wise. “We were slow to get going, but once we got going I thought we were all right. But if you give up a goal on the first shift, it puts you behind the eight-ball.”

“It was like an old engine. We were slow to get going, but once we got going I thought we were all right. But if you give up a goal on the first shift, it puts you behind the eight-ball.”
—Graham Wise,
Rams head coach

Concordia responded three minutes later when right-winger Emile Bouchard fired a snapshot from just inside the faceoff circle for his third goal of the year.

From then on it became a goaltender’s duel, as Gibson and Joyal each faced a flurry of shots. Gibson ended with 40 saves on the night, while Joyal made 38 for the win. Despite the Stingers’ winning record, Joyal has struggled, as reflected by his current 3.64 GAA and .888 save percentage.

“Max [Joyal] played really well. I thought he made a key save late in the game,” said coach Figsby. “I thought [that in] the first period he was getting a little fatigued because he only [faced] nine shots, so we let him get a few more in the second period.”

As for the rest of his players, Figsby lauded their effort, but noted that there was still work to be done to make sure they play a more complete game going forward.

The Stingers’ win did not come without a cost. Centre Derek Famulare was the victim of a big hit in the corner during the first period and was visibly woozy while skating to the bench. It appeared the hit was an illegal headshot, but no penalty was called on the play. Famulare did not return for the rest of the game.
“He was out tonight. He’ll be day to day,” said Figsby. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow.

From my perspective, it was contact to the head, and should have been a penalty, but the referee thought it was shoulder to shoulder.”

The Stingers concluded the weekend with a 7-5 win over Queen’s and will face Royal Military College in back-to-back games this weekend.

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 13, published November 9, 2010.

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