The Concordia Stingers ended up on the short end of the score and with silver medals in what will go down as one of the best women's hockey championship games in U Sports history.
Emma Bergesen of the No. 8-seeded Mount Royal Cougars scored at 11:10 of overtime to give her team a 4-3 victory and the gold medals on Sunday night at the Canadian university championship hosted by Université de Montréal.
In a game filled with big plays and big momentum swings, it ended up being a crushing loss for the No. 3-seeded Stingers.
“It’s hard to swallow a loss in the last game of the season,” said Concordia head coach Julie Chu. “We came up short of our goal, but that doesn’t take away from the character we have in the room. When the sting goes away, I know our players are going to be very proud.
“We are proud of them and proud of how they fought.”
There was no scoring in the first period. The Stingers and the Cougars traded goals in the second period. Concordia’s Chloé Gendreau opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 1:31. Tori Williams evened things up at 16:45.
It was high drama in the final 20 minutes of regulation time. Breanne Trotter scored to give Mount Royal a 2-1 lead early in the period, only to have Concordia even things up when Rosalie Bégin-Cyr scored on a penalty shot at 4:27.
The Stingers went ahead on a power-play goal by Megan Bureau-Gagnon at 11:55 and appeared in control. But with 90 seconds to go, Mount Royal pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker and came hard at the Stingers. Trotter scored her second goal of the game with 1.8 seconds left to force the overtime period.
“Mount Royal is a great team,” said Chu. “We knew it was going to be tough.”
Defender Léonie Philbert was named the Concordia player of the game, but it didn’t ease the pain.
“It’s not a great feeling right now,” she said afterwards. “But the coaches told us to be proud of what we did this season.”
Teammate Emmy Fecteau was struggling because she felt for the four Stingers who played their final games – Alice Philbert, Olivia Hale, Alexandra Boulanger and Bégin-Cyr.
“I’m very sad,” said Fecteau, "mostly for the graduating players. I’ve been playing with Rosalie (Bégin-Cyr) for 15 years. I wanted to win for them.”
Bégin-Cyr was the only Stinger named to the tournament all-star team. She had three goals in three games at the nationals.
Concordia has been to the national championship tournament three times in the last five seasons, and the team has three medals to its credit. The Stingers were bronze medallists in 2018, won gold in 2022 and now have a silver-medal finish. Goaltender Alice Philbert is the only player to have competed at all three championships.