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March 9, 2018 | Hockey (M)

Stingers claim berth at men’s hockey nationals

Captain Phil Hudon scored two goals to lead the Concordia Stingers to a 3-2 victory over the York Lions in the OUA bronze medal game giving his team its first berth at the university national championship in 33 years.

In a do-or-die game at the Ed Meagher Arena in Montreal on Friday night, Hudon and the Stingers had the crowd of 500 fans on edge through the first 40 minutes of play. The teams exchanged goals in the first period with Scott Oke scoring for Concordia at the 12-minute mark and the Lions’ Daniel Nikandrov tying the game two minutes later.

That 1-1 score held until Hudon rifled a shot past York goaltender Mack Shields nine seconds into the third period. He struck again at 8:48 of the final frame giving the Stingers a 3-1 lead. York’s Trevor Peterson made it close again when he scored at 12:02, but Concordia hung on for the victory.

Hudon has eight goals and four assists for 12 points in nine playoff games. He is second in OUA scoring in the post season.

Goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte was exceptional once again. He turned away 25 of 27 shots on goal. In the playoffs, he has a 2.26 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

As the OUA bronze medallist, Concordia earns a berth at the U SPORTS championship hosted by University of New Brunswick in Fredericton March 15-18.

The conference call to decide the seeding in the eight-team tournament takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. The seeding and the schedule will be released later that day.

The last time Concordia went to nationals was 1984. The Stingers won the Quebec University Athletic Association title to qualify. They reached the final but lost to the Toronto Varsity Blues and came home as silver medallists.