Stingers Embrace a Champion
Men’s Hockey Team Picks Up NHL Prospect
The Concordia men’s hockey team welcomes goaltender Nick Champion, a native of Labrador City, NL., who has four years of experience as one of the top goalies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Champion was invited to the Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp last year, and spent two weeks at the Habs’ main camp.
“They were very good at welcoming me here as a new player,” said Champion. “They really help you get to know the team and what to expect.”
This season, Stingers’ head coach Kevin Figsby has brought in six new players—all with great experience prior to joining the team.
“One of the things, when you look at the team this year, is we’ve added a lot of depth to our roster,” said Figsby.
Champion was one of the players heavily recruited by Figsby after watching him play numerous times and learning about his goaltending background. Recruiting Champion proved beneficial, since both goalies from last year have graduated.“We had to add depth in our goaltending position and we were fortunate to have Nick commit to coming to Concordia as a student-athlete,” said Figsby.
The team also picked up another goaltender, Pete Karvouniaris, who was supposed to play in the NCAA this year. He was also the top goalie last year in the Junior A Hockey League in Ontario.
Figsby believes Karvouniaris is going to be of equal talent to Champion. “Everyone is looking at one goalie right now, but we’ve got two really solid goaltenders this year.”
Last year, Concordia men’s hockey ranked among the top ten in the country a number of times, despite counting 14 first-year players on its roster. This year’s line-up, however, is considered to be a stronger one than the team has fielded in previous years, and Figsby expects them to deliver a strong season.
“If I had to look at our team on paper today, I would say that we are a better team than the last two or three years,” said Figsby. “But we will prove that once we start playing.”
The hockey team is revved up about having Champion and Karvouniaris as their goaltenders as well.
“The players understand that achieving success at this level calls for solid goaltending,” said Figsby.
“I hope to have a very big role here,” said Champion. “I think it’s my job to give the team a chance to win on game nights,” adding how impressed he is already with his teammates.
Figsby expects players from last season to step up their game and anticipates this season’s newbies to fit into the lineup and play on a regular basis.
“When you are building your team, you want to look from your goaltending out, and I think we have two solid elements with Nick and Pete,” said Figsby. “I’m certainly happy that we landed two strong athletes, but also two great students.”
The Stingers open their pre-season Sept. 14 at the Ed Meagher Arena when they take on the UQTR Patriotes. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
“If I had to look at our team on paper today, I would say that we are a better team than the last two or three years,”
–Kevin Figsby, Head Coach
This article originally appeared in Volume 32, Issue 03, published September 13, 2011.