Men’s Hockey: New Year’s Blues
Concordia Loses Their First Outing in 2016 to UOIT Ridgebacks
Looking for the first win of 2016, the Concordia Stingers hoped that goaltender Antoine Marchand could help backstop the team to victory in his first start of the season. The goaltending change was inconsequential as Concordia lost the game 5-2 versus the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks.
“We were nervous to start the year again. We were ready and excited but I think we got a bit too emotional,” said Stingers captain Olivier Hinse. “We were doing our plays a bit too quick. We have to be more calm with the puck.”
“It was a tough one, the puck was bouncing a lot, and guys were struggling, but we’re going to get back to it,” said Stingers head coach Marc-Andre Element. “We saw some great things, but we saw some bad things too and we’re going to work on the bad things.”
Straight from the start of the game, the Ridgebacks hustled and won many battles for loose pucks and eventually scored the opening goal of the game.
During the second period, Concordia’s powerplay finally clicked. Philippe Hudon scored to tie the game, giving Concordia some momentum. Though that swiftly dissipated as UOIT’s Loren Ulett scored after a bounce that left Stingers goaltender Marchand outside of his net.
The Ridgebacks scored again to take a 3-1 lead into the third.
Ulett completed the hat trick to extended his team’s lead to 4-1, and the Stingers forward Dominic Beauchemin cut their lead to two after scoring a goal on a bad angle shot.
The Stingers pulled the goalie for the final moments of the game, but Ridgeback goaltender Brendan O’Neill made some key saves to stave off a potential comeback, ending the game 5-2.
In his first game of the season Marchand made 29 saves on 32 shots.
“As the game went on, I felt a lot better, felt a lot more comfortable in the net. It felt good to get some shots and get out [on the ice],” Marchand said. “Felt it was a strong start to go out, made a couple of soft goals, but I think we played really well.”
Going forward, the powerplay is an area the Stingers want to improve on.
“We practiced a lot of the powerplay, it was just our execution,” Hinse said. “We’re not putting the puck in right position to go and get it.”
The Stingers will play their next game, away, versus Queen’s on Friday, Jan. 15.
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