Montréal 4, Concordia 3: Stingers Women’s Hockey Suffer First Regulation Loss of the Season

Standout Performance From Captain Claudia Dubois Can’t Save the Stingers

Concordia’s Maria Manarolis gets shot attempt poked away by opposing defender. Photo Esteban Cuevas
Forward Audrey-Anne Rodrigue prepares to block a shot from Montreal’s Kim Poirier. Photo Esteban Cuevas

For the second game in a row, Concordia’s women’s hockey team had trouble performing for 60 minutes. This lack of effort ultimately led them to their first loss of the season against the Université de Montréal’s Carabins.

“We have to play a complete 60 minutes,” said head coach Julie Chu. “We need to have intensity and grit. We just didn’t quite have it today. We went through spurts where we were good but the penalties really killed us.”

Just like they did on Saturday, the Stingers came out flat-footed in the second period. Montréal took advantage of Concordia’s lack of energy in the second frame adding two goals, including Estelle Duvin’s game-winner.

The lack of energy was not the only downfall for the Stingers as discipline became an issue. Something they had not previously experienced before the holiday break.

“We took too many penalties and they weren’t good penalties,” said Chu. “We got two or three in the offensive zone and a couple where we weren’t in dangerous situations. It’s something we have to correct.

Discipline has certainly been an issue for the Stingers since the return from break. So far, they’ve allowed 11 power play opportunities to their opponents while only allowing 19 in their previous nine games.

On Saturday, Concordia had killed all five Ottawa power plays. Sunday, they finally conceded one to Montréal’s Marie-Pier Dubé at the end of the first. Their penalty minutes caused the Stingers to lose momentum and head coach Chu knows this puts her team in a tough position.

“We like playing five on five,” said Chu. “But we put 12 minutes on that board where we’re down a player. Special teams were a big part of today, whether they resulted in a goal or not, they break up the flow of the game.”

First-year forward Emmy Fecteau just misses scoring opportunity in crease. Photo Esteban Cuevas

Chu’s squad is indeed proficient at five on five, scoring 38 even-strength goals since the start of the season. But the Stingers’ inability to capitalize on the power play has been an issue for most of the season.

Their lack of efficiency on the player advantage was once again on display Sunday afternoon, barring the Stingers from building any type of momentum against the Carabins.

“We definitely need to get better on the power play,” said captain Claudia Dubois. “We’re going to need to try some new things out. We’re going to keep working. We know it’ll pay off at some point.”

Dubois was the lone bright star for Concordia in this one. The captain opened the scoring in the first and collected her second goal late in the third in hopes to spark a comeback.

Dubois’ second goal was the result of a strange sequence as she was tripped up by a Montréal defender on her way to the net. The veteran forward continued her slide towards the net prompting Montréal’s goalie Aube Racine to move out of her crease to avoid contact. Racine’s move allowed the puck to cross the goal line.

“The goalie just kind of moved out of the way,” said Dubois. “The referee called the penalty, but I made sure to get the puck to the net. They stopped playing, but there was no whistle.”

Dubois and the Stingers have had a stronghold on first place in the national rankings this season. It will be interesting to see if their ranking is changed following this loss. The shootout loss suffered at the hands of the Carleton Ravens earlier this season had not affected the team national ranking.

Concordia will be back into action on Saturday, Jan. 18 against the McGill Martlets at McConnell Arena at 3 p.m.