Stingers 5, Gaels 0: Closing Out the Regular Season on a High Note
Concordia Men’s Hockey Heads into Playoffs Riding a Six Game Winning Streak
Despite resting several key players, the Concordia Stingers’ men’s hockey team showcased their team’s depth throughout the lineup, beating the Queen’sUniversity Gaels on Feb 10.
Owning their longest winning streak of the season, the Stingers have the momentum they were hoping for heading into the playoffs. While already having the second-place spot locked up atop the Ontario University Athletics Men’s Hockey East Division standings, the Stingers still had business to take care of in their final game of the regular season.
Stingers’ head coach Marc-André Element had high expectations for the game despite having his team’s spot clinched ahead of the playoffs. “I was hoping that the guys would play the right way and get their game ready for the playoffs,” Element shared.
The first period’s pace was highly defensive, with both teams bringing out their physicality. The period lacked offensive opportunities, with both teams registering a combined ten shots. While the Stingers had two power plays and the Gaels had one, both netminders kept the game scoreless after the first twenty minutes.
The beginning of the second period was similar to the first with chippy play and limited scoring chances. However, with nine minutes remaining in the frame, Stingers’ forward Julien Anctil fired a rebound shot past Gaels’ goaltender Luke Richardson making it 1-0 Concordia.
Anctil’s goal opened the floodgates for the Stingers, as right-winger Charles Tremblay snapped a goal past Richardson just four minutes later. Following Tremblay’s insurance goal, forward Tyler Hylland got on the scoreboard himself, finishing a beautiful passing sequence from defenseman Simon Lavigne. With the additional tallies, the Stingers controlled the lead 3-0.
The Stingers were fully in command going into the third period. As the final twenty minutes began, the Gaels made a goaltending change. The new Gaels’ goaltender Anthony Popovich was welcomed into the game by the Stingers, as he faced nineteen shots on goal in the period. Midway through the final period, forward Émile Hegarty-Aubin corralled the puck in the slot and shot it past Popovich.
The relentless Stingers’ squad continued to show their chemistry, as defenseman Samuel Desgroseilliers took a tape-to-tape pass from Simon Lavigne and tapped the puck into a wide-open net, making it 5-0 Stingers.
Once the Stingers’ lead grew out of reach, the game got more physical. With six minutes remaining in the game, tempers flared which led to game misconduct penalties for two Stingers players, Kyle Havlena and Christopher Inniss.
In the end, the Stingers earned the shutout and their sixth win in a row, closing out the regular season as the hottest team in their division.
“Tough start, but scoring five goals, it’s great, it’s amazing,” coach Element expressed postgame. “I’m happy that one is done and I’m happy that there are no injuries, and we are ready for the playoffs.”
The Stingers will now have time to rewatch game film, make any necessary corrections, and wait for their next opponent in round two of the playoffs, as they will have a first-round bye next week. They await the results of the first round between the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and the McGill University Redbirds to determine the matchup in the second round.