Men’s Hockey: Relax, It’s Only Pre-Season!

Stingers Frustrated After Consecutive Pre-Season Losses to UQTR

A crowd of players surround the UQTR goalie during Concordia’s 6-2 loss to the Patriotes de Trois-Rivieres on Sunday, Sept.21 Photo Daniele Iannarone

Before freaking out at the reality that the Stingers men’s hockey team has been blown out in back-to-back games, Stingers fans should take a deep breath and remember that it’s only preseason.

The Stingers were blown out 9-3 by the Patriotes in Trois-Rivières Wednesday, and they didn’t fare better at home on Sunday afternoon, dropping a 6-2 decision, surrendering four goals while shorthanded.

Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby highlighted that the four power play goals against were the difference in the game.

“I didn’t think we played all that well,” he said. “I thought we lacked some discipline and I didn’t think we moved our feet today. Had we moved our feet today, we may have taken a few less penalties and given up a few less goals.”

After beginning their pre-season with a 5-4 overtime victory at McGill, the Stingers have now lost two straight exhibition games.

In addition to allowing four power play goals, the Stingers took 24 minutes worth of minor penalties. Despite the indiscipline, Coach Figsby did not appear too concerned with his team on the penalty kill.

“Today, we used only rookies on the penalty kill, and in general we did a pretty good job,” said Figsby. “We got caught with a couple of mistakes but that’s going to happen and that’s why we play preseason games.”

Calm as the coach may have seemed, the Stingers were visibly frustrated on the ice.

Following a Université du Québec Trois-Rivières power play goal midway through the third period – their sixth goal of the game and their fifteenth against the Stingers in the past two games – the Stingers let their frustration show.

The final 10 minutes of the game were highlighted with aggressive play and several skirmishes between the two teams, including a fight involving Stingers defenceman Sean Blunden.

Trailing 5-1 late in the second, Stingers’ Jessyko Bernard scored a five on three power play to make it 5-2, giving the Stingers hope once again, but after a few missed chances on the following powerplay, hope seemed lost.

The Stingers were playing without several of their top players for this game. Newly appointed captain Olivier Hinse, Antoine Houde-Caron and Alex McDonald were among the top players who sat out this game.

Coach Figsby also expressed satisfaction in the play of some of his rookies, such as Scott Oke, goal-scorer Domenic Beauchemin, Victor Provencher, Marc-Olivier Brouillard, Olivier Jodoin and François Godin.

Figsby concluded by saying he’d rather play a top Canadian team now in the pre-season so his team can understand the difficulty of playing CIS hockey, and that this experience will only be a positive one for his team.

“The kids we brought in this year are kids that are gonna be competitive,” said Figsby. “They just have to learn the league a little bit and that’s a little bit of what we’ve suffered through the last two games.