Montreal 3, Concordia 2: Stingers Come Up Short Against Carabins
Overtime Loss Eliminates Any Hope of Finishing Atop RSEQ Standings
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team put up a strong fight against the top team in their conference, but ultimately saw their three-game winning streak snapped against the Université de Montréal Carabins Friday night at the CEPSUM.
It was defender Maude Laramée who played hero for the Carabins, potting home the rebound of a shot taken by teammate Jessica Cormier past Stingers starter Katherine Purchase 3:30 into the overtime period, giving the Carabins a 3-2 victory. The Carabins’ win came despite a resilient Stingers group who rallied from one-goal deficits in both the second and third periods to force an extra frame.“The biggest thing about this team is our character,” said Stingers forward Devon Thompson. “No matter what’s ahead of us, we always bring the same thing. We always push and never give up. I’m definitely proud of the girls for that. It’s just a matter of fixing the minor details and moving forward from there.”
“We can’t be upset by the effort of our players and the way that they competed today,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu. “Obviously, we wanted to win. We always want to win. We still have a lot of great hockey ahead, though.”
During all five matchups between the two clubs this season, the game required overtime or a shootout to settle their differences. While Concordia won the first three matchups in extra time, the Carabins won the last two. Players and coaches alike said it is a testament to both teams’ work ethics and competitiveness.
“They’re a good team and we’re a good team, so I think it’s just a matter of two good teams battling it out,” said Thompson. “Neither of us took a night off every time we’ve faced each other. Hopefully, it will be like that in the national championship final, if we get there.”
“There’s two great programs and two great teams that are ready to compete every time we face each other,” said Chu. “It’s turning into really a great rivalry. It’s been like that for two years. They are really fun games.”
The game remained scoreless until the seven minute mark of the second period. Montreal’s Rika Pilon-Robert scored to give the Carabins a 1-0 lead.
The goal was answered three and a half minutes later by Sophie Gagnon, who scored her sixth of the season. Linemates Claudia Dubois and Thompson collected assists on the goal. For Thompson, it was her sixth point in five games against Montreal this year, accounting for 40 per cent of her total point output.
“I’ve got really good linemates and they just bring it every night,” said Thompson. “Tonight, they made my life easy. Obviously, you want to beat a big team so we bring a fire every time we play them. I hope it keeps coming.”
Emmanuelle Passard gave the Carabins another lead just over eight minutes into the third. The native of France spun and fired a shot past Purchase and the Carabins led 2-1. However, Concordia refused to go down without a fight. Defender Caroll-Ann Gagné saw her point shot find its way behind a screened Chabot, knotting the game up at two with just over five minutes left to play in regulation time.
In addition to two separate deficits in the game, the Stingers also had to contend with an injury to one of its top scorers. Lidia Fillion was forced to leave the game in the second period and she did not return. She stayed down for a few moments on the ice surface before being escorted to the team bench by teammates. Chu said post-game that she believes Fillion will be alright.“It sucks to lose a body,” said Thompson. “Everybody on our team is very important and everybody’s valuable. Things happen. You’ve just got to stay focused during the game and keep moving forward.”
Moving Towards the Playoffs
The loss locks up the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec division standings for the season. The Carabins are guaranteed to finish in first place, with the Stingers stuck in second. Concordia still has one last game in hand to be played this regular season, at 3 p.m. on Sunday against the Ottawa Gee-Gees at Ed Meagher Arena.
While the game has bears no implication on the standings, it will serve as a bit of a preview. The Stingers will face the Gee-Gees in the RSEQ semi-finals next week. Concordia will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-three series.
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Three of the Stingers four regulation losses came against Ottawa. The team views its regular season finale as a tune-up before the playoffs and a chance to prove it can compete against the Gee-Gees.
“We’re going to go out and set the tone,” said Thompson. “We’re going to show them what’s coming for them. We’re going to take care of businesses.”
“We want to send a message to Ottawa,” said Chu. “They’ve had more success against us this season and I think it’s time for us to really bear down and play a really good complete game against them.”