Stingers 4, Lakers 0: Concordia women’s hockey cement themselves as nation’s best

23 years after their first national title, the girls have returned to the promised land

The revenge tour is complete. Concordia’s women’s hockey team are National Champions. Photo Caroline Marsh

For the first time since their back-to-back wins in 1998-1999, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team have won the Golden Path Trophy after beating the Nipissing University Lakers 4-0 in the finals of the U Sports women's National Championship on Sunday evening.

Forwards Maria Manarolis, Stephanie Lalancette, and Audrey Belzile were the goal scorers for Concordia, who have now gone more than three games without conceding a goal.

Both teams had walked through the tournament on their way to the final, shutting out all their opponents and setting up a highly anticipated goaltending battle between Concordia’s Alice Philbert and Nipissing’s Chloe Marshall.

The two netminders did not disappoint, turning away a collective 16 shots in the first frame, both pulling off difficult saves that should have opened the scoring.

Celebrations erupted as soon as the buzzer went, giving Concordia a long-awaited national title. Credit U Sports

Their stalemate continued long into the second frame with both teams testing the other’s goalie to no avail. With less than two minutes to go, one would finally give in as Manarolis picked up her own rebound, giving Concordia the lead before the intermission and breaking Marshall’s streak.

Less than three minutes into the final period, the pressure paid off when the Stingers’ forecheck led to Stephanie Lalancette having a free shot that she rifled into the roof of the net, doubling Concordia’s lead.

With all the momentum on their side, Concordia comfortably sent back every desperate Lakers attempt to get back into the game. In a perfect stroke of poetic justice, Belzile—who has been with the team for five years—was played through on a breakaway, icing the game.

Lalancette made it a brace in the tail end of the game with an empty-net goal.