What a year it’s been for Marc-André Élement! He was officially handed the position of head coach of the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team in May of 2016 and 10 months later, after a history-making season, he was named the OUA Coach of the Year.
Élement, a former Stingers player and team captain, took on the role of interim head coach in the summer of 2015. During that one season, he brought in top hockey talent and helped the team take a significant step forward. After a rigorous search for a new coach, it was clear there was no one better for the job.
In 2016, and now in complete control of the program, he continued to put his personal stamp on the Stingers. Arduous recruiting, a professional approach and high levels of accountability were the hallmarks of his first season.
Concordia posted a 19-7-2 record for 40 points to finish in second place in the OUA East. The last time a Stingers hockey team had 19 wins in the regular season was in 1982-83.
Concordia also won a playoff series for the first time since 2001. Last month, they defeated the UOIT Ridgebacks in the opening round of the OUA East playoffs.
The 2016-17 season also produced a record number of honours for the team.
There were three major award winners at the conference level. Forward Anthony De Luca is the OUA Rookie is the Year, third-year forward Phil Hudon is the OUA East nominee for the Randy Gregg Award presented annually to the player who best combines hockey skills, academics and community initiatives and Élement is the Coach of the Year.
Three Stingers were named to the league all-star teams: De Luca, first team; goaltender Philippe Cadorette, first team, and captain Olivier Hinse, second team.
Finally, there were three Stingers on the OUA East all-rookie team: De Luca, Cadorette and defenceman Alexandre Gosselin.