Women’s hockey team drops final home game of regular season to Concordia

The University of Ottawa women’s hockey team played their last regular season home game on Saturday, Jan. 28, where they lost to Concordia by a final score of 3–2.

The Gee-Gees simply couldn’t hold onto their two-goal lead, and were eventually overtaken by a zealous Stingers offense late in the third period.

The Gees’ lineup was hurt by the absence of a few key players, including star forward Mélodie Bouchard, who is busy representing Canada at the International University Sports Federation Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan. However, her teammates still figured out how to start the game off on the right foot.

Marimée Godbout-Parent scored right from the opening face-off, giving the Gees a 1–0 advantage only 12 seconds into game.

From there the goaltenders on each team took turns shutting down scoring opportunities, with neither side being able to capitalize on a multitude of power-play opportunities.

The next big offensive highlight came late in the second period, where Gees forward Shanie Deschatelets picked up on a rebound and buried the puck behind Concordia goaltender Katherine Purchase, extending the U of O’s lead to 2–0.

Unfortunately, this marked the last time the Gees would find the back of the net on Saturday.

The scoreboard belonged exclusively to Concordia in the third period, with forwards Melinda Prévost and Claudia Dubois netting a goal each to tie the game up at 2–2.

For a while it looked like the game was headed for overtime, with both teams battling to a standstill as the clock passed the final minute mark.

However, Dubois managed to deflect the puck past Gees goaltender Émilie Bouchard with 40 seconds left to go in the period, sealing Concordia’s victory with a 3–2 final.

After the game, Gees head coach Yanick Evola admitted that this was not the result his team wanted for their final home performance of the season. However, he remains optimistic about their prospects in the upcoming playoffs.    

“It’s my first time in seven years that we clinched our playoff spot in January,” he said. “Usually it was last game of the season. So it’s good that we can play with confidence and not be stressed out about the results.”

If anything, Evola said he was disappointed that this game didn’t serve as a proper send off for graduating teammates who won’t be returning next year.

“These girls played with heart and emotion for four years, five years, so it’s going to be tough to see some of them leaving,” he said, referring to players like Carol-Ann Upshall, Cindy Laurin, Vickie Lemire, Cynthia Whissell, Julie Lévesque, and defender Émilie Bouchard. “It’s a special night for them. It makes it even more frustrating, not having the result we were expecting.”

With only three games left in the regular season, the Gees still need to work out some of the kinks in their lineup.

The loss brings the Gees’ record to 9–7–1, which ties them for second in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec. While they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, they will be playing for better seeding and home ice advantage in their final three games.

Since these final bouts are all taking place in Montreal, where the Gees have not found any success this season, hopefully these upgrades come sooner rather than later.

The Gees will get their rematch against Concordia in Montreal on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.