The Concordia Stingers scored twice in the second period and then held off a furious comeback attempt by the Gee-Gees to advance to the RSEQ Final with a 2-1 victory in Game Three of the semifinal series.
The Stingers controlled play for much of the game on their home ice, fore-checking relentlessly and standing the Gee-Gees up in the neutral zone. Concordia out-shot Ottawa 30-19 in the game.
It was a scoreless game until Concordia’s RSEQ First Team All-Star Marie-Joëlle Allard broke through on the power-play at 9:17 in the second period. Bryanna Neuwald stopped one golden Stingers opportunity by blocking a hard shot with an empty net behind her but Concordia collected the puck off the block and maintained pressure. All five Gee-Gees ended up on the ice in front of Maude Lévesque-Ryan in a desperate bid to keep the puck out but Allard was able to roof it over the garnet jerseys.
The second Stingers goal came seven minutes later at 16:07. Concordia won a faceoff straight back for a point shot which resulted in a juicy rebound. RSEQ Rookie of the Year Lidia Fillion was alone in front after taking quick route there from faceoff to the right of Lévesque-Ryan, and cashed in the opportunity. Ottawa was hemmed in its own end for the remainder of the period.
Ottawa came out of the second intermission with the fire lit, and soon they made a dent on the scoreboard. Great work from Alyssa MacMillan allowed the Gee-Gees to work the puck out in front of Stingers netminder Alice Philbert, and with both McGaugheys camped out on her doorstep it was Taylor on the far side of the play who gave the Gee-Gees life.
Following the goal, bodies were flying all over the ice as the intensity ratcheted up. The Stingers had a chance to jam home a third goal with about 12 minutes remaining as the puck was temporarily available at the post. The Gee-Gees were able to clear it in time.
Concordia continued to send three players in over the Gee-Gees blue line to pressure. The constant pressure wore down the Ottawa defenders, and eventually Bryanna Neuwald took a body checking penalty with 6:14 remaining, and that was followed by a checking to the head penalty assessed to Mélina Roy.
Despite the Stingers man advantages the Gee-Gees mounted an attack shorthanded and hemmed the puck deep. Lévesque-Ryan left her net before Roy was out of box. With everything on the line, Ottawa generated a glorious chance in front for Mélodie Bouchard followed by a mad scramble, but no goal. The Stingers won a faceoff after Ottawa’s timeout with 37 seconds left, but then shockingly took a penalty with 26 seconds remaining.
With a two-man advantage for the final push the Gee-Gees forced Philbert to play the hero as she stopped Ottawa’s final shot from the slot and pushed the rebound just out of reach.
Ottawa was 0-for-6 on the power play in the game, including three opportunities in the first period and two in the third.