Women’s Hockey: Carabins Dominated by Stingers At Home

Concordia Scores Four Unanswered Goals in Third Period

Claudio Dubois put three past the Carabins for a comfortable 6-2 win Photo Jérémie Gauthier-Caron

Second-year Stingers forward Claudia Dubois scored not once, not twice, but three times to help lift the Concordia to a 6-2 victory over the Universite de Montreal Carabins at CEPSUM arena Thursday night.

It would be a mistake to think that the victory solely lied on the Saguenay native’s shoulders. From defense to offense, Concordia played a complete game start to finish, staying consistent with their team first mentality.

“Our team came together to play just a complete game,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu. “They really dug deep. It was a good matchup and they worked hard.”

The Stingers are looking to gain revenge on the Carabins, who swept them last year in the first round of the playoffs. During the regular season, UdeM came out victorious in four out of the five meetings between the two teams. However, that one win was enough to give Concordia the confidence to know that they can beat some of the RSEQ’s top teams.

“The first half [of the season] we weren’t successful against them,” said Chu. “Any time we can improve and get wins against them […] that’s a big thing for our team. We don’t take anything for granted.”

The game got off to a hot start with both teams playing with speed and intensity. From the opening faceoff, the Carabins, who are known for their offensive talent, got right to work in the Stingers zone.

Concordia turned the puck over in their zone and the Carabins forward, Annie Germain sent a shot from the left faceoff circle that was stopped by Stinger’s goaltender Katherine Purchase, who was in the zone for the whole game, making 24 of 26 saves.

The Stingers were given a scare when defenseman Marie-Joelle Allard was checked hard into the boards. The play went on until the referee realised that she was struggling to get up. Concordia’s trainers helped her off the ice. Luckily for the Stingers, she came back to play the rest of the game.

When asked about the hit, Chu said she didn’t want to focus on that one incident.

“There’s a lot that goes on in a game and I’m not gonna criticize or think about one moment at a time,” she said. “[Allard’s] a tough girl, she got right back up and got back at it.”

Concordia retaliated with consistent offensive pressure that materialized into a goal at 15:45 of the first period when forward Sophie Gagnon tapped in the puck coming off a pass from Dubois to make it 1-0. The lead was short-lived when the second-year forward took a penalty for goaltender interference. Germain beat Purchase glove side with 39 seconds left in the period.

A few seconds later, UdeM defenseman Maude Laramee was sent to the penalty box for delay of game.

While late period goals can stifle the opponent’s confidence, the Stingers came out flying in the second period of the game on the man-advantage when Dubois scored the first of her three goals off a snipe near the blue line.

The Carabins pressured the Stingers throughout the period. Purchase was solid, making saves on forward Casandra Dupuis who was left alone in the slot.

While Concordia also generated some quality chances, notably when Gagnon gained speed through the neutral zone to outskate the Carabins defense to find herself on a semi breakaway stopped by goaltender Marie-Pier Chabot, it was Concordia’s turn to take a penalty that would eventually lead to a Carabins goal.

Allard was sent to the penalty box for interference nine minutes into the period. Laramee redeemed her first period penalty, scoring the tying goal from right faceoff circle with six seconds left on the powerplay.

UdeM’s lack of discipline hurt them in the third period. After scoring her second goal of the night early in period, Dubois completed her hat trick on the powerplay.

“Our team spirit is incredible,” said Dubois. “I don’t think any other team has as much team spirit as ours. We all have one goal—to win.”

The Carabins, clearly frustrated, took another penalty that allowed Sophie Gagnon to get her second goal of the game and give the Stingers a 5-2 lead. With the game slipping away from UdeM’s fingers, forward Alexandra D’Onofrio put the nail in the coffin to make it 6-2 with less than four minutes left in the period.

As the seconds began to dwindle in the last minute of play, the Stingers players began banging their sticks. When the horn sounded off, players smiling from ear-to-ear, went rushing over to Purchase. Game one belonged to them.

Stingers captain Tracy-Ann Lavigne couldn’t contain her smile after the game.

“I feel excited, I’m more than happy…I can’t believe it,” she said.

With Chu given the RSEQ coach of the year and six players named to the All-Star roster, the Stingers will be hoping to cap off the week on a positive note as they will attempt to eliminate the Carabins at Ed Meagher arena Saturday at 1:30pm.

“We know that tonight was a huge night, it’s a big win in a three-game series,” said Chu. “One game doesn’t determine anything. It puts us in a good position. We know that after we hop on the bus from here, we’re gonna refocus get the rest and recovery we need and have a great practice [on Friday] and get ready to earn it again on Saturday.”