Since Julie Chu took over as head coach of the Concordia women's hockey team in the 2015-16 season, the Stingers have clashed with the Montréal Carabins in the playoffs five times and won three of those series.
This week the teams will meet for their sixth playoff showdown in the last eight years, and the best-of-three RSEQ championship series will be a tight one. The teams met five times in the regular season with the Stingers winning three of them.
Concordia, the No. 3-ranked team in the country and the defending U Sports national champions, finished first in the RSEQ conference with a 20-4-1 record and 41 points. In the semifinals, the Stingers defeated the fourth-place Bishop’s Gaiters in two straight games.
The Carabins finished in second place with a 17-4-4 record and 38 points. This week, they moved into the No. 5 spot in the U Sports rankings. Montréal had to go to overtime of the third-and-deciding-game to eliminate the third-place Ottawa Gee-Gees in the semifinals.
Concordia has a lot of offensive power to help in the championship series. The Stingers scored 90 goals in 25 games for an average of 3.6 a game which was tops in the conference. All-star forward Emmy Fecteau is the leading scorer on the team with 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in 23 games. Emilie Lavoie, also a RSEQ all-star, is right behind her with 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 25 games. She is the third leading scorer in the RSEQ.
The Carabins, who scored 77 goals (3.08) will counter with Audrey-Anne Veillette, the RSEQ MVP and leading scorer with 26 goals and nine assists for 35 points in 22 games. She led the country in goals scored and was third in points.
Defensively, Concordia has been strong as well, giving up just 39 goals for an average of 1.6 a game. All-star goaltender Alice Philbert has been instrumental in the team’s success in its own end. She is the leading goaltender in the league with a goals-against average of 1.56 and a save percentage of .932.
Philbert and the Stingers gave up just two goals in their two-game semifinal with Bishop’s.
Montreal gave up 45 goals in the regular season for an average of 1.8 a game. In the semifinals, goaltender Aube Racine and the Carabins gave up 2.36 goals a game. Racine was the second team all-star in the regular season with a 1.88 GAA and a save percentage of .922.
Both Concordia and Montréal have earned berths in the U Sports championship March 16-19. The Carabins are guaranteed a spot as the hosts of the 2023 nationals. The Stingers have secured the second spot allotted to the RSEQ at the tournament. This series decides which team will have the best seed at the competition.
Oct. 21 – Montréal 4, Concordia 2
Nov. 18 – Concordia 2, Montréal 1 OT
Dec. 4 – Concordia 3, Montréal 2 SO
Jan. 22 – Concordia 3, Montréal 1
Feb. 9 – Montréal 2, Concordia 1
Game 1 — Thursday, March 2 – 7:45 p.m. Montréal at Concordia
Game 2— Saturday, March 4 – 2 p.m. Concordia at Montréal
Game 3 — Sunday, March 6 – 3 p.m. Montréal at Concordia (if necessary)
Ed Meagher Arena on the Loyola campus, 7200 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal
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