Men’s Hockey: Concordia Wins Big On Penalty-Filled Night
Stingers Pull Closer to First Place in OUA East Division Despite Recent Undisciplined Play
The Stingers continued their dominance at home in Ed Meagher Arena with a 7-4 victory, as they capitalized on an undisciplined Western Mustangs squad.
It was a physical game right at the drop of the puck with both teams throwing heavy hits and using questionable stick work early on. But head coach Marc-Andre Element expected a hard-hitting game.
“It’s a physical team and a team that always works really hard,” said Element.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs the physical play only led to trouble, as they just couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. Western rattled off seven penalties in a row in the opening period and 13 total by the end of the game. This allowed the Stingers to control the pace for most of the game since they usually found themselves on the man-advantage.
Stingers forward Philippe Sanche opened the scoring on the second power play of the game with a powerful shot from the slot on a nice feed from winger Anthony De Luca. Sanche proved to be a key factor throughout the game, adding an empty net goal and an assist on the night, while drawing several penalties; one of which was a 10-minute misconduct.
This has become a common asset to Sanche’s game and the small forward loves the extra attention on the ice.
“It’s just part of hockey and I just get more energy when someone is trying to get me off my game,” said Sanche.
The Stingers led 3-1 by the end of the first but dominated puck possession and if it wasn’t for Mustangs goaltender Greg Dodds the score could have been much different.
In the second period Western turned on the jets pounding the Stingers and generating a few power plays of their own. Concordia had to make it interesting by falling into their own penalty trouble, briefly giving momentum over to the Mustangs.
Mustangs forward Spenser Cobbold shortened Concordia’s lead to 3-2 on an easy tap in after a pretty passing play. But whatever momentum the Mustangs generated early in the second was killed as they started to head back to the sin bin.
It was a spirited contest but ultimately penalties bogged down both teams. Concordia was able to pull away by the end of the second and cap off an entertaining game that saw the Stingers put 43 pucks on net.
But penalty issues continued to be a problem for Concordia and it’s something Element plans to address, again.
“We need to be more focused, we need to be ready to pay the price and it’s stuff that we need to talk about again,” said Element.
The Stingers have had penalty issues all season, which could affect the potential for a long playoff run.
Now with the win over Western, two points puts Concordia in a tie for second with Queen’s University and only three points back of first place McGill. There are only two games left in the season for the Stingers to try upending McGill as the top team in the East division.