Stingers 6, Patriotes 3: Concordia picks up their first win in preseason play

Young Stingers squad still have some details to iron out before season gets underway

Stinger captain Phélix Martineau smiling after the convincing win. Photo Credit: Caroline Marsh

The Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team faced off against the Patriotes de L’Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières for the second time in their preseason campaign. The first contest was a tight one, with the Patriotes coming away victorious 3-2. Last night’s physical matchup ended in a 6-3 win for the Stingers.

Although the game did not count towards the standings, you could tell that both sides were chomping at the bit to get underway after a lost season due to COVID-19. A common theme across USports this year are teams with the majority of their players being new recruits. The Stingers men’s hockey team is no exception.

“I was nervous about it coming in,” said Chase Harwell about the team chemistry, who has been a leader on and off the ice for the Stingers for three years. “I got guys in [the locker room] that I've known for a couple months that I'm gonna be friends with for a long time.” He said that bonding off the ice has helped the team gel as a unit. The Stingers hockey team even spent Thanksgiving together.

Harwell was the recipient of the Ron Lapointe Trophy in 2019-2020 that rewards the display of loyalty to the team and the Department of Recreation and Athletics. 

Some back and forth play throughout the first period was highlighted by a pair of breakaway stops from both goaltenders. The Stingers were on the penalty kill when Gabriel Proulx stole the puck and had a breakaway opportunity of his own. He was held and awarded a penalty shot. With a chance to put Concordia up 1-0, he was robbed after a slick move by UQTR’s goalie. 

There was finally a breakthrough with five minutes remaining in the initial frame when first-year Isiah Campbell put the maroon and gold up 1-0 with a powerplay goal. The 6’4” forward was the recipient of a beautiful tic-tac-toe setup. 

The physicality continued til the end of the first with the score remaining 1-0 Concordia.

The Stingers got a powerplay opportunity 3:33 minutes into the second period. It was the night of the rookies, as right winger Charles Tremblay slotted one into the bottom left corner to extend the lead to 2-0. Maxim Trépanier assisted the goal.

The Patriotes were given an opportunity to get back into the game when Concordia collected consecutive penalties 10 seconds apart to give UQTR a two-man advantage. Some gritty defending got the Stingers back to even-strength unscathed.

“We had a great penalty kill [tonight],” said Stingers head coach Marc-André Élément on his team’s performance. “We need to work on discipline,” he added. His team picked up numerous penalties all throughout the contest. The intensity was there, but the preseason sloppiness was evident.

After the penalty kill, Stingers’ Charles-Antoine Paiement found the back of the net with 6:38 minutes to go in the period. Paiement, a first-year player, added another goal to make the score 3-0 Concordia.

A powerplay goal by Olivier Garneau of the Patriotes a couple of minutes later brought UQTR to within two goals making the score 3-1. 

UQTR had gotten another two man advantage to close out the second period. They opened the third stanza with that advantage but were unable to capitalize.

Trois-Rivières came out hot in the third period and Maxime Chagnon scored three minutes in to make it 3-2. That’s as close as the Patriotes would get. 

With 11 minutes remaining in the game, Bradley Lalonde snapped a perfect shot into the top corner to give some breathing room back to the Stingers and make the score 4-2.

Charles Tremblay added another one for Concordia not long after the Lalonde goal. The floodgates were open. Lalonde ended up scoring an empty-netter for his second goal of the game. It was 6-2 Stingers. A late goal by Samuel L’Italien with a minute remaining made the score a more respectable 6-3, but it was thorough domination by the Maroon and Gold.

“It’s getting back the good habits [...] those little details that we lost by not playing last year,” said Concordia’s captain Phélix Martineau, a newcomer to the team. “I’m really confident with the group we have this year.”

The Stingers men’s hockey team will play their next game on Oct. 22 at the Ed Meagher arena against the McGill Redbirds at 7:30 p.m.