Men’s Hockey: Gaels Escape Game One With Win Over Stingers
Despite Being Heavily Outplayed, Queen’s Made the Best of Their Opportunities
The elation of a historic first round victory was short lived for the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team, as reality seeped in after a game one loss in round two to the Queen’s University Gaels.
The Gaels managed to steal game one of the second round playoff series from the Stingers 3-1 at Ed Meagher Arena, despite being outshot 50-27.
The Stingers dominated their opponents for the majority of the night but the bounces never went their way.
This was epitomized 10 minutes into the first period when Gaels goalie Kevin Bailie made a Carey Price-esque diving save to deny Concordia a 1-0 lead.
Moments later, Queen’s forward Harrison Hendrix drove hard to the net and jammed home a rebound passed Philippe Cadorette.
The first period continued to play out in favour of the Gaels. Concordia mounted attack after attack but fell two goals behind, when Peter Angelopolous tipped in a seemingly harmless point shot from defenseman Spencer Abraham.
Once again, the Stingers faced a challenging comeback situation—something they have become accustomed to in these playoffs.
But game one wouldn’t provide late game heroics for Stingers fans. Coach Marc-Andre Element didn’t seem too concerned about the way his team played.
“I’m not too worried about that game, I think we competed a lot, I find we played really well tonight. We just need to get more bodies in front of the goalie,” said Element.
The maroon and gold brought the game within one goal 30 seconds into the second period.
Stingers forward Charles-Eric Legare tapped in a goal from the side of the net, off a pass from Raphael Lafontaine from the slot. Unfortunately, the hockey gods seemed intent on a Gaels victory.
Concordia buzzed around the offensive zone for much of the middle frame but the Gaels capitalized on their limited opportunities.
Late in the period, Cadorette attempted to clear the puck from behind the net. The puck took an awkward bounce off the boards and promptly landed in the slot and on the stick of Queen’s Darcy Greenaway, who put the puck into a vacant net.
But puck luck is just part of the game and bounces can go either way, according to captain Olivier Hinse.
“It happens, it’s hard because we were in their face and we were coming back,” said Hinse. “For sure it’s a bad bounce but it could go either way—they were lucky on that one.”
Although luck factored into the game, much can be said about the razor sharp Bailie for the Gaels.
The goalie closed out the previous series with a shutout over Ottawa University and followed it up with an impressive 49 save performance over the Stingers, pushing aside 17 more shots in the third period.
During the regular season, Concordia edged Queen’s in the standings by one point, but outscored them by almost 40 goals. They’ll have to regain that scoring touch, if they want to beat a defensively sound Queen’s team.
One thing is certain: The Stingers aren’t lacking any confidence.
“We have a lot of character on our team and I’m not really worried about Friday night’s game,” said Element. “The guys are going to show up—They don’t want the season to be over.”
The Stingers are headed to Queen’s Memorial Centre this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a pivotal game two, that can either see the Stingers season come to an end or extend it for another chance to win at home.