Ottawa Weekend Split
Men’s Hockey Team Wins Convincingly, Then Loses
Stingers 7 Carleton 2
Concordia’s men’s hockey team got their weekend road trip in Ottawa off to a great start with a resounding 7-2 victory over the Carleton Ravens last Friday, but they couldn’t carry that same momentum into the following game, losing 5-3 to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday.
The Stingers started slow, and Carleton came out flying in Friday’s game. The Ravens out-hustled the visiting team for the first period, jumping to an early lead, but quickly fell asleep in the second.
Concordia was more aggressive and physical in the second, winning more one-on-one battles and dominating Carleton along the boards.
The Stingers scored six consecutive goals, three of them coming in the second, including one shorthanded, essentially crushing any possibilities of a Ravens comeback.
Once Carleton goaltender Matthew Dopud allowed his third goal of the night, head coach Marty Johnston decided to replace him with backup Ryan Dube. But even he couldn’t hold off the Concordia pressure, as he would let in four in the third.
“I thought we executed our game plan perfectly that night,” said head coach Kevin Figsby. “We made the necessary changes to our system at key moments and Nick Champion made the key saves for us at the key moments of the game, and our top players played big at the right time.”
George Lovatsis was instrumental in the victory, picking up a hat-trick and pulling himself ever closer to the top of the CIS scoring rankings with his 13th, 14th and 15th markers of the season.
Stingers 3 Ottawa 5
Saturday’s game to the Ottawa Gee-Gees was a different story.
Unlike the Ravens, the Gee-Gees were to be a tougher test, as, coming into the game, they had won nine of their last 10.
The Stingers got off to another slow start, with Ottawa out-hustling for pucks along the boards, combined with an aggressive forecheck which resulted in some defensive miscues on Concordia’s part. These proved to be costly mistakes, as the Gee-Gees scored three first-period goals.
The plan was simple enough; the Stingers tried to take advantage of the slow Ottawa defense, and had several breakaway chances in the second, but luck was not on their side, and after the Gee-Gees potted another one, ConU was facing a 4-0 deficit after 40 minutes.
The tide began to turn in the third period as the Stingers mounted a comeback, scoring three goals in the period’s first half, with the last two coming a minute apart.
It appeared as though Mike Stinziani had tied the game up at four apiece on a partial breakaway with only minutes remaining on the clock, but the referees called the goal off because the net was knocked off its moorings. While it appeared the puck had crossed the line before the net was dislodged, the refs were not in the right position to see the puck go in.
The Stingers tried frantically to find a tying goal in the dying seconds, but Ottawa managed to seal the victory with an empty-net goal.
“Mike made a great move, put the puck over the goalie’s blocker, and the goalie came across and knocked the net off with his pad as the puck was going in,” said Figsby of Stinziani’s disallowed goal. “There was no goal judge and neither lineman wanted to make the decision, so the referee waved it off. From my perspective, we had just scored three straight goals and that was a momentum breaker for us.
The Stingers return to action Jan. 13 when they travel to Kingston to take on the Queen’s University Gaels. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.