Patriotes 4, Stingers 0: The Battle of the Bruised and Battered
Animosity Built-Up While UQTR Goalie Stands on Head
Familiarity bred contempt when Concordia Stingers endured a rock ‘em sock ‘em losing affair against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes, losing 4-0 on Nov. 19.
The initial play saw the Stingers out-pacing their foes. The home team peppered Patriotes goalie Alexis Gravel with offensive opportunities. Gravel stood tough. He steered and calmly froze any stray pucks laced his way. He would end the game with a 42-save shutout.
Gravel may have showcased elite prowess, yet his head coach Marc-Etienne Hubert was oddly blunt when he admired his backstops’ play. All he said was that Gravel displayed a character performance.
The Stingers had a crucial disadvantage. Injuries plagued the roster, and goalie Jordan Naylor got the nod. Backup Jacob Delorme was dressed but was not expected to play as he nursed an injury himself, meaning Naylor was tasked with wearing every goal he could potentially let in.
Naylor was bested six minutes into the first period. UQTR forward Louis-Filip Cote deflected a low blast on the left-side of Naylor’s net, opening the scoring 1-0 in favour of the Patriotes.
The officials issued two penalties to UQTR as the first frame progressed, one for slashing and one for too many men. Despite the man advantage opportunities, the Stingers found no success in scoring.
The Patriotes poured salt in the wound. Concordia faulted as their opponents did with a too-many-men call. UQTR tallied their second goal of the game as forward Mathieu Boucher collected the puck on Naylor’s doorstep and shelved it for the score. UQTR led 2-0 at the first intermission.
Tensions rose as intoxicated Stingers fans settled adjacent to the UQTR bench, blaring insults and vulgar language toward the team. With the recent controversy that has surrounded the defending U SPORTS national champs, and it being the third game played between Concordia in four matches, the bench tolerated all they could. Retaliation towards the fans came in the form of tenacious responses, and this translated on the ice as bumps and bruises were dealt on both sides.
The second period was barren of action in comparison to the penultimate third period. UQTR forward Jeremy Martin potted his team’s third goal nearly fifteen minutes in, yet the post-whistle scuffles presented hot-headed attitudes leading to a boiling point.
The Stingers dunked themselves in said hot water in the third period. Concordia was frustrated and their performance reflected this anger. The team racked up 20 penalty minutes on five infractions during the terminal frame. This included game misconduct assessed to Stingers forward Isaiah Campbell after a dangerous hit on UQTR defenseman Justin Bergeron, who was clearly shaken up while escorted off the ice. Numerous stick infractions, jostling and other blows carried on until the final horn.
The Patriotes secured the victory with their fourth tally Boucher once again. Numerous stick infractions, jostling, and other blows carried on until the final horn. UQTR left Ed Meagher Arena with the 4-0 win, with plenty of scars and bruises that documented the match.
Coach Hubert’s straight-to-the-point commentary continued when he evaluated the overall team performance. “We played a good game. A game of character,” said Hubert in French. “We weren’t satisfied with the result of the [Nov. 18] loss against McGill”.
The Stingers have applied many ice packs and bandages in preparation for the Corey Cup game against rivals the McGill Redbirds. The game will be played at home once again at Ed Meagher arena on Sunday, Nov. 20. Puck-drop is set for 7 p.m..