Stingers 3, Varsity Blues 1: Mission accomplished

Stingers women’s hockey team captures U Sports title, avenges 2023 heartbreak

Chloe Gendreau hugs starting goaltender Jordyn Verbeek following their win against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Courtesy Liam Richards

It’s been a long two years, but the wait is over.

On March 17, The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team defeated the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 3-1 in the ultimate U Sports clash at Saskatoon’s Merlis Belsher Place.

Following the gold medal game heartbreak at the hands of the Mount Royal Cougars a year ago, the Stingers immediately set their minds toward getting back to the golden game with a better result.

And a better result, it certainly was.

Rookie forward Émilie Lussier—one of the few Stingers playing in her first gold medal game—flew out of the gates. Just a minute into the game, she fired her own rebound past Blues goaltender Erica Fryer to give Concordia a 1-0 lead.

Several minutes later, veteran forward Jessymaude Drapeau snuck one past Fryer from below the goal line, doubling the Stingers’ lead.

The mark would stay at 2-0 until early in the third period, when another veteran forward, Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, playing in her final game as a Stinger, wired home a power play marker to steepen the mountain even further for Toronto.

Goaltender Jordyn Verbeek saw her shutout broken by Blues’ defender Emma Potter in the final minute, but thanks to her stout play and the Stingers’ tight defensive formation, Concordia concluded the evening with gold around their necks. It marks Concordia’s fourth national title since 1998.

Bégin-Cyr took home Player of the Game honours for the Stingers to cap off an outstanding five-year university career.

Drapeau was named the tournament’s most valuable player, putting up two goals and an assist through three games. Verbeek also put up illustrious numbers in her first U Sports Championships, winning all three games and turning aside 64 of 66 shots, which earned her a tournament all-star nomination.

It was a season for the ages for the Stingers—one they will not soon forget. Concordia won all five of their winner-take-all games by a cumulative score of 33-6 dating back to the provincial semifinal.

For the Stingers’ five graduating players, there is no better way to close out a career. And for the rest of the Stingers, preparations begin to once again climb the U Sports mountain next season.