By Alexander Cole
After almost defeating the Carabins in double overtime in game one of their best of three playoff series, the Stingers lost at home on Feb. 27 by a score of 3-0 which knocks them out of the playoffs and ends their season.
“[The team] gave everything they could,” said assistant coach Mike McGrath. “There’s a reason why the Carabins have won National championships the last couple of years. Our girls put up a fantastic effort and a great season so we’re very proud of them.”
For Stingers captain Erica Porter, the loss was an emotional one as it marked the end of her career at Concordia.
“I don’t know what my life is without hockey,” Porter said. “Without these girls it is going to be completely different. I honestly wish them the best of luck next year and I’m still going to try and be a part of the team.”
When asked on whether or not she would pursue professional hockey, Porter had a definitive answer.
“I honestly think that this was the end of my career,” Porter said. “I’m going to focus on school and getting the job that I want.”
The game did not start well for the Stingers, as just 73 seconds in, the Carabins offense put pressure on the Stingers which led to a broken play where Stingers goaltender Briar Bache was unable to freeze the puck. Carabins forward Alexandra Labelle was then able to find the loose puck under Bache’s pad and shovelled it in.
For the rest of the period, both teams exchanged shots on net but were unable to generate any big scoring chances. This changed near the end of the period when the Stingers were called for a penalty. With 27 seconds left in the period, Carabins forward Ariane Barker took a wrist shot that went blocker-side on Bache. After the first period, it was 2-0 in favour of the Carabins.
The second period went by quickly with neither team scoring. Carabins goaltender Marie-Pier Chabot was able to keep her team’s lead at two, and finished the game with 15 saves for the shutout.
To start the third period, the Carabins put the game away after Carabins forward Casandra Dupuis capitalized on a loose puck in front of the Stingers net which made the game 3-0 with little time left for the Stingers to come back.
The Stingers ran into penalty trouble at the end of the game and were unable to generate any offense in order to make the comeback. When the final buzzer rang, it signalled the end of the Stingers season.
Coach Julie Chu decided to start Bache in nets during the playoffs over regular season starter Katherine Purchase. For Bache, winning the net was a nice vote of confidence.
“It was a good feeling. It’s always good to know that you have your team’s and your coaches’ confidence,” said Bache. “I have a year of eligibility left so I’m going to come back and we’ll all build on what we did this year.”
At the end of the game, the team came together at centre ice and saluted the crowd with their sticks in the air to commemorate the end of the season.