Stingers seniors night honours the careers of graduating players

Eight hockey players say goodbye to the men’s and women’s program

The honoured Stingers women’s hockey players (left to right): Sandrine Veillette (out of uniform), Madison Oakes, Emmy Fecteau, Rosalie Bégin-Cyr and Justine Yelle. Photo Yann Rifflard. Photo Yann Rifflard

The men’s and women’s hockey programs recognized a total of eight players who will be moving on from their varsity careers during seniors night on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 at the Ed Meagher Arena.

The men’s team kicked off the ceremonies before playing against the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes. They bid farewell to three forwards: third-year captain Phélix Martineau, fourth-year Charles-Antoine Giguère and fourth-year alternate captain Tyler Hylland.

“That's the game of the year where I have some memories about when I recruited these guys that are now graduating,” said men’s hockey head coach Marc-André Elément. “I'm emotional when it's stuff like that, it's like [seeing] your kids leave.”

The following day, the women’s team took their turn to say goodbye. After a resounding win, they recognized their five graduating seniors: third-year defender Sandrine Veillette, fifth-year alternate captain and forward Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, fifth-year goaltender Madison Oakes, third-year forward Justine Yelle, and fourth-year captain and forward Emmy Fecteau.

Women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu also highlighted how important it is to honour players who contributed to the program. 

“Those graduates have made a huge impact on our program, have helped to create the identity of who we are and what we want to live every single day, so we’re really grateful for them,” Chu said.

From left to right: Tyler Hylland, Phélix Martineau and Charles-Antoine Giguère. Photo Yann Rifflard

Before joining the hockey program, Martineau played professionally for the Laval Rocket. He then left to pursue studies in engineering. After three years with the Stingers, he now leaves to start a career in his field.

Giguère is leaving to pursue a career in finance. “I’ll remember [my time with the Stingers] my whole life. I remember my first year like it was last week. I had a great time here and I built great relationships with my teammates,” he said.

Hylland, who is finishing a degree in human relations, said his highlight was arriving with a new cohort of dedicated players. “We were part of a culture shift in the men's hockey program where we were coming to stay and to help build this program for years to come [...] We've taken a step up in quality in the last four years.”

Elément noted that the players had left a big footprint on the program and that they will be a part of the team’s future success.

“They gave us so much time, they gave so much energy, so much passion,” he said. “People don't know how much commitment it is to play hockey and be student-athletes. I'm so proud of them.”

Oakes plans to pursue a career in electrical engineering after their graduation this semester, while Yelle will leave Concordia with a degree in finance.

Bégin-Cyr returned to the Stingers this season after graduating last year, so for her, seniors’ night was nothing new. “It’s a special night, and we appreciate it and we enjoyed it, but now we know that the most important part is coming, so we’re starting to prepare for it,” she said.

Fecteau, who joined the Stingers in 2019, will graduate with a bachelor’s in teaching English as a second language, but she doesn’t plan on immediately pursuing a teaching career.

Both Fecteau and Bégin-Cyr plan to try for the Professional Women’s Hockey League.

“I have an agent, he’s helping me, and there’s going to be a draft where I hope I’m going to be drafted,” said Fecteau. “For sure, I’d like to play for Montreal. It’s close to my family, my friends are here, but if I’m drafted somewhere else, it’s fine.”

When asked about what sort of legacy she wanted to leave with the team, Begin-Cyr took a moment to reflect. “We’re building a great culture of working hard and being team first and just enjoying every moment,” she said. “I think the girls are really enjoying being Stingers.”

Fecteau, when asked the same question, “I want the team to continue having the team first mentality, and working for one another, and working hard on and off the ice.”

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 10, published February 13, 2024.