Men’s Hockey: Redmen Thrash Stingers
Concordia Allows Nine Goals in Opening Playoff Game
The frustration on the Concordia Stingers bench was palpable during their 9-2 loss to the McGill Redmen in the first game of their Ontario University Athletics East Quarter-finals last night at McConnell Arena.
“I think the guys tried to [match] skills against skills and [McGill] have more skills than us,” said head coach Marc-André Element. “We’re not a skills team. We didn’t play as a Concordia identity at all.”
Goalie Miguel Sullivan started for Concordia but was replaced by Robin Billingham after conceding seven goals.
“I try to go over it in my head and take it as constructive criticism,” said Sullivan.
Billingham didn’t fare much better as he allowed two goals. Regardless of the final tally, Element doesn’t blame Sullivan for the loss.
“Sullivan kept us in the game in the first period,” said the coach. “He made some key saves.”
“[We] didn’t help Sully there tonight,” said forward Olivier Hinse. “He played great.”
The Maroon and Gold came out flat against a McGill team that was thirsty for revenge after losing the Corey Cup last week.
With 14 series wins in 25 playoff matchups against Concordia, the Redmen dominated them offensively and defensively from start to finish.
Concordia struggled to establish their game plan and were too fancy with the puck. They were outshot 39-24, which is unusual for a team that prides itself in hard work and getting more shots in.
“You’re gonna see the real Concordia Stingers,” said Olivier Hinse.
The Redmen immediately imposed their fast-paced style of play in the first period, forcing Concordia to lose puck possession on several occasions in the neutral zone.
“After that Corey Cup game that we lost, we [realized we] didn’t play our game”, said Redmen’s forward Jonathan Bonneau, who scored two goals. “Prior to this game, we talked about process and just playing good and just playing our way and just taking away their wheel by just playing our game like were used to.”
McGill opened the scoring when sniper Mathieu Pompei scored on a magnificent toe-drag deke, beating Sullivan.
With three minutes left in the first period, Philippe Hudon scored off a pass from Frederick Roy to tie the game at 1-1. However, seconds later, Redmen captain Patrick Delisle-Houde gave his team a 2-1 lead.
The momentum shifted in McGill’s favour from that moment onwards. Christophe Lalonde scored a third goal for his team to make it 3-1. Despite a powerplay goal from the Stingers, Domenic Talbot-Tassi and Frédéric Gamelin gave McGill a 5-2 lead, all but crushing the Stingers comeback hopes.
After Redmen forward Simon Tardif-Richard added a sixth goal in the third period, some Stingers players were seen banging their sticks against the boards and getting into scrums with opposing players.
Indiscipline proved costly for the Stingers as they spent the majority of the period on the penalty kill. Assistant captain Frederick Roy was even ejected from the match after being assessed a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
“I’m going to have a good talk with some guys,” said Element. “I told them at the beginning of the game that they have a very good powerplay so we gotta be disciplined.”
McGill has the top ranked powerplay in the OUA, and they capitalized by scoring two power play goals in the period. Bonneau scored his team’s ninth goal, his second of the game, with more than five minutes left in the contest.
With the playoffs on the line, Concordia has less than two days to learn from their mistakes and salvage the series.
“We’re gonna do a lot of video tomorrow”, said Element. “We’re gonna practice hard and work on details that we didn’t do tonight. Details makes a difference in a game.”
Hinse insists that spectators at Ed Meagher Arena will not be disappointed Friday night, when they host the Redmen for Game 2 at 7:30 p.m.
“You’re gonna see the real Concordia Stingers,” said the captain. “We’re gonna be in their face. We’re gonna be hard working all night and we’re gonna outshoot them. That’s our bread and butter. That’s the only way to win and we know it.”
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