Stingers Edge Lakers 4-3 in Friday Night Thriller
Faced with the continuation of their longest losing streak of the season, the Concordia Stingers had blown a three-goal lead against the Nipissing Lakers and were over a minute away from playing an overtime period. However, Stingers forward Dominic Beauchemin had other plans.
The rookie scored the game-winning goal with under two minutes remaining in the third period, giving the Stingers a 4-3 win over the Nipissing Lakers on Friday night, their first home win since their home opener against the Carleton Ravens on Oct. 10.
“[The Stingers] knew they were playing well tonight, they knew they were skating well,” said Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby. “We were shooting the puck well, and we just knew that if we kept working things would go our way.
“It’s been a bit of a learning experience, but the good thing is we’re going through a period of adversity and we’re handling it really well.”
The Stingers did get into a fair bit of penalty trouble, however, as they took eight penalties, including five in the third period. The Lakers scored two power play goals, jumpstarting their comeback.
“I’m sure we would have liked to take a few less penalties too,” said Stingers goalie Robin Billingham, who made 48 saves in the win. “Generally speaking our PK is usually good and I think that considering how many power plays the other team had, we still did pretty well on the PK.”
The Stingers did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard, taking the lead when Stingers forward Dany Potvin skated past a flat-footed defender and sniped the puck passed Nipissing’s goaltender, Jeremy Pominville, in the first period.
The Stingers then added to their lead when forward Victor Provencher scored on a breakaway following a Nipissing turnover. Provencher made no mistake as he scored the game’s second goal, giving the Stingers a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Following a scoreless second period, Concordia seemed to have put away the game when Stingers captain Olivier Hinse gave his team a 3-0 lead 21 seconds into the third period.
The Stingers took five penalties in the third period, and the Lakers took advantage of their penalty trouble, with back-to-back power play goals.
Lakers forward Matt Paton got the first power play goal at 2:24 of the third, ending Billingham’s shutout and giving Nipissing some hope.
Six minutes later, Nipissing would convert on another power play opportunity, with a goal from defenceman Jimmy McDowell, who rifled it past Billingham in the slot, making the score 3-2.
Nipissing would eventually tie the game with a goal deflected off Paton’s stick, rewarding him with his second goal of the game, and evaporating Concordia’s three goal lead.
The game would have a thrilling end, however, as Concordia regrouped following a timeout called by Coach Figsby. The Stingers responded with a power play goal of their own from Beauchemin with under two minutes to play, beating Lakers goalie Jeremy Pominville.
“Obviously it was the winning goal, it’s really important,” said Beauchemin. “We’ve been through a couple of losses lately and it feels good to win tonight.”
Billingham’s 48-save performance was also crucial to the Stingers’ success, and at times, he was the best player on the ice.
“The team made it pretty easy for me, kept a lot of shots on the outside and stuff, and if there’s a rebound, the boys were there to clear up the rebound,” said Billingham. “I just tried to stay focused and in the moment, focus on simple things and play my game.”
“I thought Robin played really well tonight,” said Figsby. “Robin came in to see me this week. We had a good conversation about what he needed to do, and what he thought he was doing well and what he thought he needed to work on and we spent the week working on those things and it bared fruit tonight.”
Following a Stingers loss to the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday, the Stingers will look to regroup on the road against the Waterloo Warriors on Friday, Nov. 14.