Stingers 3, Gaiters 2: Stingers Take Advantage of Man Advantage

Solid Goaltending and Special Teams Propel Stingers to Victory

Photo Erika Tremblay

The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team celebrated more than a win in their home opener against the Bishop’s Gaiters on Oct. 30, also unveiling their National Championship banner in the process.

The red carpet was rolled out for Stingers staff and players from the previous year. As all names were announced and the banner was shown, the crowd exploded with appreciation for the triumphant 2021-22 campaign.

“Do you know what’s funny? I thought that I wouldn’t get a little emotional because we really got to celebrate last year,” said Stingers’ Head Coach Julie Chu when asked about the ceremony.

“But, it was really special, and I think because the crowd at that point [in the ceremony] did let up some extra energy and excitement for it—even [Bishop’s] did a great job. It was a really proud moment,” Coach Chu added. She concluded by saying that she was incredibly thankful for the support from Concordia staff as well as the lasting image of the players’ faces when seeing the banner revealed. 

For the game itself, the first period had plenty of end-to-end action. Bishop’s circulated the puck, attempting to create opportunities in Concordia’s zone. The Stingers, on the other hand, tried to utilize their speed to find odd-man rushes. 

Both goalies were stubborn, keeping the game scoreless until the final moments of the frame. Bishop’s winger Justine Turcotte found a bouncing puck off of a 3-on-1 and potted it past Stingers’ goalie Alice Philbert.

Not 15 seconds later, Concordia responded. Winger Megan Bureau-Gagnon crashed the Gaiters’ net and scored the tying goal. This made it 1-1 at the first intermission.   

In the second period, special teams became the focal point in the game’s narrative. After Concordia took the lead off of a deflection goal from defencemen Sandrine Veillette, aggressive play from Stingers forward Emilie Lavoie drew a roughing penalty. 

Philbert was poised for the task. The netminder placed herself in proper position during the kill, and continued this play during a short-handed situation later in the period after an interference penalty awarded to Concordia captain Olivia Hale. 

“I think it comes down to maturity,” said Philbert in french when asked about how she handled hectic play. “It is my sixth year on the team, and compared to my first year, it isn’t the same. Working with my coach has taught me how to remain calm in [tough] situations and how to handle emotions.” 

In the late stages of the second frame, Bishop’s winger Majorie Bolduc found herself all alone. She moved in on goal and picked the top left corner of the net to tie the game at 2-2.

Penalty fortune favoured Concordia later in the period, as Turcotte was assessed for holding. Now on the man advantage, Concordia cycled the puck in Bishop’s end, allowing for winger Emmy Fecteau to find a shooting lane. She laced a wrist shot low blocker side, putting the Stingers up 3-2 as time expired. 

“We spend a lot of time and effort on our special team,” said Coach Chu postgame. “Whether it’s on the penalty kill side [...] or on the power play [...] Emmy [Fecteau’s] goal was a huge goal for us. These are all opportunities for us to go ahead, or, if we don’t score, chances to create momentum.”

Much of the action in the third frame came from the sparked frustrated play. Bishop’s retaliation and chippy mentality was detrimental as they racked up five fouls in the third. This aided Concordia as it disallowed any real momentum for the Gaiters to score. The final horn blew with the 3-2 victory intact for Concordia. 

“We talk about wanting to play a fast and physical game, but we want to play physical and in control,” said coach Chu. Chu added that taking penalties is part of the game. The only calls the team wants to avoid are those involving retaliation.

Women’s hockey is back in action on Friday, Nov. 4 when the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees make their way to Ed Meagher Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m..