Women’s Hockey: The End
The Stingers Eliminated From Playoffs Following 3-0 Shutout Loss to Carabins
The Stingers women’s hockey team skated off the ice moments after the final buzzer sounded, marking the end to their season. But when they return for next year, they will be without their captain, Erica Porter.
Emotions were high, and tears were shed on the bench as Porter said goodbye to her teammates, coaches, and her hockey career. There are not many opportunities for women’s hockey post-university, the fifth-year student came to grips with the reality that she may have played her last competitive hockey game.
“I think this is the end of my career and I’m going to focus more on school and getting the job that I want to get,” said Porter. “I think Stingers is where I’m going to end because they have my heart and always will.”
The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team was looking to rebound after a disappointing 3-2 overtime loss to the Université de Montréal Carabins in Game One of their playoff series. Back at the Ed Meagher Arena for Game Two, the Carabins rolled over Concordia, shutting them out 3-0 to sweep the series.
“Every game we’ve played against them this season we’ve never been blown out of the water. We play our best hockey against them,” Porter said. “Even if we were down 1-0, that the series wasn’t over and everyone truly believed that we were going to bring this into game three and possible win it.”
With a total of only 29 shots, 14 coming from Montreal, and 15 coming from Concordia, there were not many scoring chances on either side, but Montreal capitalized on the shots they did get.
One minute into the game, Carabins forward Alexandra Labelle scored against Stingers goaltender Briar Bache to give her team the lead.
The Carabins added to their lead late in the first when Ariane Barker scored. The final dagger came in the third period as Cassandra Dupuis added another goal to her team’s tally to make a Stingers comeback impossible.
“They gave everything they could,” said Stingers co-head coach Mike McGrath. “Our girls had a fantastic effort today and a great season.”
Post game, acting head coach, Julie Chu, had to say her good-byes quickly as she was due to play in her playoff game with the Montreal Canadiennes versus the Toronto Furies, right after the Stingers game ended.
In addition to losing Porter, Marie-Pier Cloutier will also not be back with the team next year.
“[Porter and Cloutier] are real emotional leaders on our team and they’re going to be big losses for us,” McGrath said. “Great character, quality people that truly represent what our program is all about. Great student athletes and they bring it and play hard with unbelievable determination everyday. They’re going to be really missed.”
As it is with all university sports programs, the women’s hockey team will be busy recruiting, but already has brought in some highly touted talent.
Audrey Belzile, who has scored 27 points in 20 games with her CEGEP team will be joining the team. A U18 Canadian National player Stéphanie Lalancette will be joining the team next year as well, and Alexandra Nikolidakis from Dawson College has committed to the team.
Another big question will be the coaching position for the team. Les Lawton has been on medical leave since last summer and it is not certain what his future with the team may be. Currently, Julie Chu is acting as head coach with Mike McGrath.
“We’re losing quality people but we have a great recruiting class that’s coming in and I see the Stingers being a real force, not only in the RSEQ but the CIS for the next three, or four, or five years,” said McGrath.