Kevin Bailie, Dismal Second Period End Hopes for a Sweep
Concordia’s 3-0 Loss Forces Game Three Sunday Afternoon in Kingston
“It sucks. We certainly wanted to finish it tonight. But the quicker we turn the page on this game the better,” said Stingers captain Philippe Hudon after seeing his team’s six game win streak come to an end.
With the chance to complete their second series sweep of the playoffs, Hudon and the Stingers men’s hockey team came flying out the gate Friday night, notching 13 shots to the Queen’s University Gaels’ four in the first period.
Despite the heavy shot totals, the Stingers were stonewalled by their enemy from last year’s playoffs; Queen’s goaltender Kevin Bailie.
- Related: Stingers Lose Game Two on Home Ice.
Bailie thinks that those defensive capabilities matching up with Concordia’s skilled run and gun offense are what make this such an exciting series.
“I think I have the best [defensive] core in the country,” said Bailie, who turned away all 47 shots sent his way. “Concordia’s arguably the best offensive team in the country.”
The star goalie is no stranger to Concordia. Last year, he held the Stingers to just three goals in a three-game series that saw the Stingers eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. A performance like Friday’s definitely brought back some painful memories for Concordia’s players.
“It’s kind of a flashback a bit to last year. But if we get the first goal in, we shake him,” said defender Mathieu Desautels, whose team managed to score three goals against Bailie in game one. Desautels is sure that an early goal in game three would be enough to rattle him.
The Stingers didn’t test Bailie quite as much in the second period. They missed several chances and, as a result, struggled to find the back of the net
“We didn’t execute the game plan, we made some mental mistakes that cost us key goals,” said Stingers head coach Marc-Andre Element.
Concordia just seemed incapable of finding their way past the Gaels’ defense, putting mostly perimeter shots up and losing key puck battles.
The Stingers were lost in transition through the middle period, allowing two goals that came off of Queen’s managing turning defense into offense.
Despite being down two goals, the team’s low point came late in the second when starting goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte went down after a scrum broke out in front of his net.
Down on the ice for a long stretch, the team’s medical staff examined him while fans from both teams looked on in dead silence. Turcotte was escorted off the ice with the help of two teammates and appeared to have sustained a lower body injury.
Rookie backup Antoine Dagenais made his way into the crease and acquitted himself well. Besides a late third period goal during a five on three penalty kill, he managed to keep the Gaels off the board during his time in the crease.
“Dagenais is really focused. We weren’t worried with him coming in at all. We have confidence in him,” noted Desautels.
Unfortunately, his performance was overshadowed by his counterpart on the other side of the ice who managed to frustrate the Stingers even after taking what looked like a painful tumble when Stingers forward Anthony Beauregard got tangled up with him in the crease.
“He’s the best goalie in the country,” declared Gaels’ head coach Brett Gibson.
The third period offered Bailie a greater challenge as the Stingers seemed to find their game and what Element hopes will be the kind of play they bring to game three.
With a day off before the series’ final game, the Stingers and Gaels are both gearing up for what should be an intense contest. With the series tied, it’s winner take all.
“It’s a sudden death game, we’re back to square one and it’s just the better team wins,” said Hudon.
Game three takes place Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Kingston
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