Patriotes 6, Stingers 2: Undisciplined Play Costs Stingers
Division Rivalry Renewed in Blowout Loss to UQTR
High levels of intensity carried over into the fourth meeting between the Concordia Stingers and their newly founded rivals of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes, as the men’s hockey team lost 6-2 on Jan. 7 at the Ed Meagher arena.
End-to-end action filled the opening period, as both teams traded odd-man rushes and finished their checks early on. For the most part, the goaltenders kept their respective teams in it from the get-go, both of whom are among the U Sports leaders in save percentage this season.
Patriotes’ forward Félix Lauzon struck first with a backdoor tap-in goal on the powerplay to put his team on the board close to 13 minutes in. Lauzon did not let up the relentless pressure, as he and the Patriotes dictated the style of play for the remainder of the contest. A net-front scramble in the final seconds of the first period led to Lauzon’s second goal, doubling his team’s lead ahead of the first intermission.
“We were undisciplined,” Stingers’ head coach Marc-André Elément stressed postgame. “One of our key [points] was to be disciplined against [the Patriotes] and we didn’t execute the game plan.”
There was no shortage of drawing power play opportunities in the second period, as both teams combined for a total of 14 penalty minutes on seven infractions during the middle frame.
Only seven minutes in, Stingers’ goalie Jonathan Lemieux’s turnover hemmed his team in their own zone, resulting in a slashing penalty on winger Isiah Campbell. The Patriotes capitalized on the man advantage, as forward Félix Lafrance deflected a shot from the hash marks to beat Lemieux in tight.
“We took a lot of stupid penalties, and that really sank us today,” Stingers’ captain Phélix Martineau said. The one-month layoff did not help either in keeping their heads above water, according to Martineau, but he affirmed that is not an excuse for their flustered play.
Midway through the second period, a double minor penalty was assessed to winger Charles Tremblay, one for interference and the other for unsportsmanlike conduct. The pair of infractions led to Patriotes’ forward Julien Tessier firing the puck off a cross-seam pass to make it 4-0 for the visiting team.
The Stingers showed glimmers of pride in the second half of the game, as coach Elément put it. With under four minutes left in the second period, Stingers’ centre Mathieu Bizier scored his team’s first of the afternoon with a one-timer from the right circle for a power play goal.
The Stingers came out hungrier to push the pace from the start of the third period, as Martineau walked into the offensive zone and lasered a snapshot from the high slot to make it 4-2 just four minutes in.
The Patriotes were quick to put away any chance of a late spark from the Stingers, as Lafrance responded nearly 20 seconds later to add to his team’s lead. Plenty of chirps, jaw-breaking hits and post-whistle scrums ensued for the rest of the game before the Patriotes sealed it with an empty net goal.
The Stingers are expected to quickly turn the page with under 10 games to play in the season, as they prepare to go on a deep championship run in the 2023 Ontario University Athletics playoffs. The team's next game is set for Friday, Jan. 13 against the Nipissing University Lakers. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m..