Stingers 3, Warriors 1: Warriors come out to play, are sent away

The Stingers women’s hockey team advance to the U Sports final for a third-straight year

Stingers celebrate a goal during the U Sports championship semifinals. Courtesy Liam Mahoney — Concordia Athletics

  The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team is on the doorstep of history.

After fending off the University of Waterloo Warriors 3-1 in the U Sports semifinals on March 14, the Stingers rejoiced inside Merlis Belsher Place, advancing to the U Sports final for a third straight year. 

The Warriors entered their first-ever U Sports Championships after winning the Ontario University Athletics Championship. Coming off a 6-1 win against the St. Francis Xavier University X-Women in the quarterfinals, the U Sports Championships nascent Warriors were bested by the tournament-experienced Stingers.

The Stingers, having trounced the host University of Saskatchewan Huskies 4-0 in the quarterfinals, kept the scoring momentum going. Just under six minutes into the opening period, Stingers forward Émilie Lavoie intercepted a clearing attempt, scooping and shovelling the puck toward the net. Forward Zoé Thibault would bury the first goal five-hole on Warriors goaltender Mikayla Schnarr. 

Around the two-minute mark of the same frame, Stingers forward Courtney Rice snapped a shot over the shoulder of Schnarr, extending the Stingers lead to two goals. 

The Stingers held a 2-0 lead until the third period, when—on the power play—Warriors forward Elizabeth Lenardon found linemate Tatum James cross-crease, allowing James to score her fourth goal of the tournament, and cut the lead to 2-1. This was also Stingers netminder Jordyn Verbeek’s first allowed goal of the tournament.  

While protecting a one-goal advantage, and with Stingers defender Camille Richard in the sin bin for body-checking, forward Jessymaude Drapeau collected the puck in the neutral zone and closed in on net alone. With a hesitation deke, Drapeau beat a sprawling Schnarr for the final tally of a 3-1 Stingers win.

Stingers captain Emmy Fecteau received Player of the Game honours for her team. Fecteau and the Stingers will now turn their attention to the U Sports final for the third consecutive year. The team will look to avenge the second-place heartbreak from last year. The puck-drop is set for 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 17.