Stingers’ Weekend Wrap-Up: Jan 19-22
Hockey Thrives, While Basketball Dives
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Women’s Hockey: Currently first in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec
The Stingers women’s hockey team continued their provincial dominance this past weekend. Coach Julie Chu’s squad improved to 14-3-0 on the year, with wins against the Bishop’s university Gaiters and the Université de Montréal Carabins.
In their matchup against Bishop’s, a second period scoring spree led the Stringers to the victory. Forward Emilie Lavoie tallied two goals on five shots, while forward Jessymaude Drapeau registered three assists. With only one goal allowed by stud Stingers goaltender Alice Philbert in the terminal frame, the Stingers’ defence remained poised until the final horn sounded.
The bigger storyline presented itself in the game against second place Montréal. With vital standings position up for grabs, both teams received some additional support. Despite winning a gold medal in the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire games in Lake Placid, N.Y. a day prior, key teammates travelled back to La Belle Province to rejoin their university squads for the crucial head-to-head. These players included forwards Rosalie Begin-Cyr and team Canada captain Emmy Fecteau for Concordia and forward Audrey-Anne Veillette plus defencemen Kelly-Ann Nadeau and Annabel Faubert for Montréal.
The Stingers took charge right out the gate, blasting three goals past Carabins backstop Aube Racine during the first period. In the third period, the Stingers found themselves in penalty troubles. They drew four minor penalties in the frame; yet, it was thanks to Philbert saving 12 of the 13 shots taken in the 20-minute span that secured the win for her team.
With playoffs less than a month away, the Stingers must understand that single period success won’t always guarantee victory. Due to the strong competition that fills the RSEQ division, the playoff picture is still wide open.
Next game is against the Carleton University Ravens on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
Men’s Hockey: Currently second in the Ontario University Athletics East division
The men’s team battled against the Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks on Jan. 21. Taking on the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year, the Stingers trounced their opponents by a score of 3-1. The victory marked the Stingers to a record of 14-7-0 on the campaign, although the penalty troubles for the team persisted throughout the contest. Coach Marc-Andre Element’s team attracted six infractions for 23 minutes, including a game misconduct to defenceman Christopher Inniss, who was assessed a five-minute major for charging before being tossed from the game.
This Stingers team has just as much offensive tenacity as they do fire, but it’s thanks to this aggressive, and at times undisciplined, moxie that leads to the group getting burned.
The OUA East division is incredibly tight in the standings, with a mere four points separating the second place Stingers from the sixth placed university of Ottawa Gee-Gees. If this group can remain level-headed, then their playoff run will know no bounds.
Next game is against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.
Women’s Basketball: Currently fourth in the RSEQ standings
The Stingers women’s basketball team squared off against Bishop’s twice last weekend. The top-seeded Bishop’s team expected a less difficult matchup against the struggling Concordia cohort, instead the Stingers brought their A game.
Concordia dropped game one, losing by two possession 75-71, but they shocked the league with an upset, mustering an offensive dynamism that led to a 71-68 win in game two. Veteran guard Areej Burgonio flexed her offensive prowess in both games with 21 and 32 points respectively.
With starting forward Serena Tchida sidelined with an injury, freshman forward Angela Batrla played key minutes in both contests. The second game saw Batrla rack up 38 minutes, shooting eight for 14 with 17 points nine rebounds. If the first year big can continue to impress, there may be more action coming her way in the rotation down the stretch.
With a 2-8 record, the Stingers are tied with the McGill University Martlets for the final playoff spot. If the Stingers remain persistent and feisty in the front court, that final spot, and consistent success may come their way.
Next game is against the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins on Saturday, Jan, 26 at 6 p.m.
Men’s Basketball: Currently third in the RSEQ standings
The men’s team encountered a ‘new year, new me’ reputation that has proven detrimental. Not due to a lack of effort, but the Coach Rastko Popovic led team has yet to register a win in 2023.
They too battled against the mighty Bishop’s team twice over the weekend. The first game came down to a triple overtime clash, where the front court pressure provided by the Gaiters sealed the victory. Gaiters forward Charles Robert feasted on rebounds and muscled his way to 34 points in the game.
Even with the strenuous game one behind them, their away game in Lennoxville ended with more heartbreak. Concordia failed to meet the high volume of shot attempts taken by their opponents, being out shot 86 to 66. As the Gaiters’ forwards looked for second helpings, their might in the front court was daunting. Game two ended in an 86-77 loss for Concordia, meaning the Stingers have fallen to 5-5 on the year.
With playoffs fast approaching, the middle pack position in the standings may begin to feel uncomfortable. That being said, if the Stingers’ guard play and clutch shooting present themselves more frequently, their top dog status may be reawakened down the stretch.
Next game is against the UQAM Citadins on Friday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 10, published January 24, 2023.