Weekend Split in Ontario

Stingers Men’s Hockey Remain in Playoff Position Heading into Winter Break

  • File photo of Stingers’ captain George Lovatsis chasing the puck. Photo Shaun Michaud

Playoff hockey is something Kevin Figsby and his Concordia Stingers’ men’s hockey team haven’t seen since the 2011-2012 season.

Currently, heading into the break before the holidays, they are thick in the hunt, earning two out of a possible four points this weekend in Ontario.

“Our first half of the season hasn’t been the greatest,” said Stingers captain George Lovatsis. “We are fortunate enough to still be in a playoff position, and if we can continue to hold a spot in the top eight that will be huge for us. I think that if we get into the playoffs we’ll be able to surprise a lot of teams.”

The Stingers first took on University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday evening. It proved to be a big night for sophomore Dany Potvin, who scored the first two goals of the game. But he couldn’t keep the Varsity Blues from narrowing the gap to 2-1 entering the final frame and finally tying it up at the seven-minute mark of the period when Varsity Blues defender Marcus Yolevski found the back of the net.

But the Stingers pulled through in the end, with Lovatsis getting the puck past Toronto goaltender Garrett Sheehan in the dying seconds of overtime to seal Concordia’s fourth win of the season.

“It’s always a good feeling to score a goal at home, especially when it’s in overtime,” said Toronto-born Lovatsis. “The season is so short that every point is extremely important and can be the difference maker whether you make the playoffs or not, so I was happy to be able to increase our chances.”

But that good feeling didn’t last long, with Saturday’s game showing a lack of composure from all ends of the ice for the Stingers as they were handily taken care of by the Ontario University Athletics West Division’s third-place team, the Ryerson Rams.

After both teams exchanged goals within the first four minutes, Ryerson pumped up the heat with three more goals before the end of the first period.

The Stingers’ Jessyco Bernard later scored his fifth of the season to cut the deficit to 4-2, but once again the Rams came back as Ryerson’s Mitch Gallant got his second of the contest. Again, the Stingers answered, with Lovatsis cutting the deficit to 5-3 after two periods.

The third was all Ryerson however, as they scored three additional times as they easily cruised by the Stingers 8-3.

“This weekend ended not the way we wanted it to, especially after a strong start like Friday,” said the Stingers’ Hinse. “We made too many turnovers Saturday and in the end, it cost us.”

The Stingers will now go on a hiatus until Jan. 10, when they’ll invite the Laurentian Voyageurs to the Ed Meagher Arena.

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