Stingers’ Weekend Wrap-Up: Feb. 2-5

Stingers Hockey Clinch Playoff Berths

Graphic Marilou Brickert

Let’s talk Stingers…

Women’s Hockey: Currently first in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec division

Throughout the year, the consistent narrative has been that the Stingers’ women’s hockey program is not one to mess with. A defending National Championship squad with aspirations to keep the good times rolling—and over the weekend, they cemented the first step in post-season excellence by securing a spot in the 2022-23 playoffs. 

On Feb. 2, in the game against the McGill Martlets, the Stingers handily claimed a 6-2 victory thanks to a four-goal second period. Despite the win against a struggling Martlets team, 12 different Stingers contributed at least one point in the game. 

This feat, compared to the Feb. 5 game against the Bishop’s Gaiters, was a walk in the park. 

In this match-up, Concordia sacrificed a decisive win for an exciting 3-2 final-frame comeback. The Stingers’ slew of shots, an average of 35.0 shots per game, usually launched on-goal was absent in the second period, as they only compiled a total of three shots. The Gaiters did not perform much better, having mustered a total of six shots in the frame, although forward Neleh Vigneau Sergeant was able to bury a go-ahead goal four minutes in. Stingers’ forward Émilie Lavoie batted a bouncing puck off the end boards out of the air and into the back of the Gaiters’ net, tying the game at 2-2. With less than eight minutes remaining, forward Jessymaude Drapeau played the hero when she fired a loose puck rebound into an open cage. 

The team amassed a regular season record that currently stands at 18-3-1. With 37 points in the win-loss column, even if the Stingers lose their last three games, they would still finish as a top-two team in the division. This conference stronghold has significance considering the next phase of the campaign is the provincial playoff run.

As any fan of the Quebec division would tell you, the playoffs are the make or break of a seemingly blemish-free season. In a best-of-three series, anything can happen. The Stingers’ themselves experienced an early exit in the 2019-20 circuit when they were sent packing at the hands of the Université de Montréal Carabins. Knowing this, and given their juggernaut status, many teams will be gunning to dethrone this Julie Chu-coached squad. The Stingers will need to rely on their depth and veteran defence to generate momentum and garner wins if they are looking to move on to the next rounds. First things first, the regular season still needs to play itself out.

Next game is against UdeM on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.

Men’s Hockey: Currently second in the Ontario University Athletics East division 

If comebacks are trendy, then this past weekend shows that the Stingers’ men’s team recoined the term. 

In their first endeavour against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, the Stingers refrained from lighting the lamp until the third period. Forward Maxim Trépanier led the charge, recording a natural hat-trick and sealing the 4-1 Stingers victory.

Game two came and went on Feb. 4 when the Stingers found themselves trailing late in-game once again. With under four minutes left on the scoreboard, the Stingers amped up the volume of shots on goal. The big forward Isaiah Campbell muscled for positioning in front of the Ravens’ crease, isolating himself to pot home a stray rebound. As time dwindled past the two-minute mark, Stingers’ defencemen Marcus Tesink fired a wrister into the top-right corner of the Carleton goal that proved to be the game-winner.  

With a record of 18-7-0 and thanks to their win over Carleton, the Stingers’ have earned a temporary sigh of relief because they are granted a first-round bye in the playoffs. The team sits at 36 points on the year, only trailing the defending National Champions the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes with 39 points.

Coach Marc-André Elément’s team has developed together for almost two full seasons. The collection of rookies from last year acclimated themselves to the U Sports level of competition, building up a dynamic chemistry along the way. The team’s depth means scoring can be found by anyone on the roster. A utilizable strength, but will it be enough with the tough adversaries that await on the horizon?

Next game is against the McGill Redbirds on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.  

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 11, published February 7, 2023.