New Brunswick 8, Concordia 1: Stingers Nationals Trip Cut Short

Concordia’s Men’s Hockey Team Crushed by Host Team, Varsity Reds

  • The Varsity Reds were too much for the upstart Stingers to handle. Courtesy Caroline Mercier/The Brunswickan

FREDERICTON (CUP)—After a lopsided 8-1 victory over the eighth seeded Concordia Stingers in the Men’s hockey University Cup quarterfinals, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds are set to once again face off against long-time rivals, St. Francis-Xavier.

The result capped off day one of the eight-team tournament and saw UNB feed off the energy of a raucous Aitken Centre crowd, scoring early and often while limiting the Stingers to a total of just 17 shots on goal.

Varsity Reds forward Chris Clapperton kicked off the scoring nine minutes into the opening frame, with assists going to Mark Simpson and Matt Murphy.

Concordia was eliminated by the defending U Sports champions on their home ice. Courtesy Caroline Mercier/The Brunswickan

Simpson doubled the lead to 2-0 for the home side less than three minutes later, netting an unassisted goal off an impressive solo effort.

He would find himself on the scoreboard once again before the end of the first period, getting the primary assist on a goal by defenseman Randy Gazzola with 30 seconds remaining before the intermission. U Sports rookie of the year Kris Bennett picked up the second assist on the goal, his first of three points on the night.

UNB’s dominant play continued in the second period. However, the impressive play of Concordia netminder Marc-Antoine Turcotte kept his team in the game, making several highlight reel saves while facing a barrage of shots.

Unfortunately for the Stingers, Turcotte was forced to leave the game after taking a puck off the mask late in the period. He was unable to return for the third period and was replaced by backup Antoine Dagenais.

The Varsity Reds quickly took advantage of the change in goaltending. Bennett, Stephen Anderson and Matt Boudens each added powerplay goals within the first six minutes of the final period after Concordia took a string of penalties which resulted in two five-on-three opportunities for UNB.

After being contained by UNB’s tight defensive play for the majority of the game, U Sports regular season scoring leader Anthony Beauregard managed to get his team on the board shortly thereafter, bringing the score to 6-1.

However, it was too little, too late. UNB picked up an additional pair of late goals to complete the rout with a final score of 8-1.

UNB’s Mark Simpson and Concordia’s Massimo Carozza picked up player of the game honours for their respective squads.

Marc-Antoine Turcotte did not have his best performance of the year against the Varsity Reds. Courtesy Caroline Mercier/The Brunswickan

With the disappointing loss in the books, Concordia Head Coach Marc-Andre Element chose to look at the positives after his program’s first University Cup appearance.

“There’s a lot of positives for us,” he said after the game. “It took us 34 years, first time here. It’s huge for the program and it’s not going to take 34 years for us to come back, I can tell you.”

Element also noted that he feels the team is actually ahead of schedule in their development.

“I’m really, really proud of our guys. Our program is headed in the right direction.”

Concordia’s lone scorer on the night, Anthony Beauregard, also expressed pride in his team’s play despite the grim final result.

“It was hard but at the end of the day I think my linemates did a good job today and all year. We have a special group right there.”

This recap is courtesy of Brad Ackerson at The Brunswickan.

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