Stingers Secure Sixth Spot in Playoff Race

Men’s hockey team takes three of four points over weekend

  • The Stingers had a productive weekend, taking three of a possible four points, and assuring them the sixth spot in the OUA Conference. Photo David S. Landsman

Less than 24 hours after a trip to the nation’s capital left the Stingers men’s hockey team stunned and shaking their heads due to a 4-3 shootout loss, Concordia’s squad regrouped and displayed a great 60-minute effort, winning 4-2 against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks.

“We played really well this weekend, good enough for all four points,” said Stingers head coach Kevin Figsby.

“I thought our guys played really well [Friday] and I thought we played really well today.”

Friday night’s game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees saw the Stingers unable to hold a lead—three separate times they went ahead, and each time the Gee-Gees’ offence came back and tied the game up.

That included tying the game up in the last minute on a powerplay goal by sophomore forward Andrew Creppin, sending the game to extra time.

The Stingers eventually went to a shootout where the Gee-Gees scored two of three on goaltender Antonio Mastropietro.

“Our team as a whole played a great weekend,” said alternate captain Olivier Hinse.

“We just caught a bad break at the end of [Friday’s] game. Today, we were all on the same page, and all worked together, and it was really nice to see.”

The loss Friday overshadowed the performance of rookie forward Hugo Vincent’s two-goal game, his sixth in 15 games after sitting out his team’s first 11 games.

Just three minutes into the game, another loss was felt in the room, when rookie defender Jeremy Barriault took a cross check against the boards, and couldn’t finish the game in what was later determined to be a hip pointer injury. He didn’t dress for Saturday’s game.

Saturday afternoon the Stingers seemed well rested and ready to take on the Ridgebacks, a team who had lost the night before 9-2 at the hands of Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s no. 6 ranked McGill Redmen.

It didn’t take long for Concordia to get onto the board as just under four minutes into the game, alternate captain Kyle Armstrong, playing on the wing for the first time since midget, took a feed from fellow alternate captain Olivier Hinse and made no mistake wristing a shot from the slot to make it 1-0.

For Armstrong, it was his second goal in two games.

“[It’s the] first time all year I’ve been placed on the first line, and it felt good,” said Armstrong.

“I tried to contribute as much as I could, and it worked.”

The Ridgebacks were quick to respond however when 77 seconds later they equalized when defender Ryan Zupancic tied the game at one-apiece.

One Stinger who was definitely playing some good hockey all weekend was goaltender Mastropietro, who made some key saves in both games, keeping them close.

Late in the first the Stingers went ahead when Dany Potvin got a perfect feed from Hinse, who then put the team up 2-1.

The Ridgebacks tied it at two on the powerplay, jumping on a rebound that Mastropietro couldn’t handle.

Late in the period, a great hustle by fourth-year forward Robert Mormina found an open Francis Beauregard who beat Ridgeback goaltender Colin Dzijacky upstairs.

During the last frame, Stingers captain George Lovatsis gave Concordia a 4-2 lead with his ninth of the season, and 51st of his CIS career.

Figsby was pleased with his boys’ overall effort on the weekend, knowing that two wins weren’t far out of reach, but three out of four points made a solid weekend.

“I’m extremely proud of the way our guys played and handled themselves this weekend,” said Figsby.

“Especially with a little bit of adversity, we fought hard.”

The Stingers close out their season next weekend travelling to face the Royal Military College Paladins Friday evening in Kingston, and then finish off the regular season Saturday afternoon against the Gee-Gees at Ed Meagher Arena. Puck drop is 2 p.m.

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