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Photo by Marta Kierkus

Men’s and women’s teams defeat Concordia, will head to provincial playoffs

Their recent weekend wins against Concordia mean that both the men’s and women’s hockey teams will be heading into their respective league’s playoffs in a couple weeks.

The Gee-Gees women’s hockey team conquered the Concordia Stingers 3–2 with 43 saves from third-year goalie Stéphanie Mercier on Feb. 8. This game was a must win for the Gees as they are currently third place in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSÉQ) league. The next two games before playoffs won’t change their place in the standings. However, they will give the team confidence heading into the playoffs, which is important to U of O’s playoff success.

“I think we have a hardworking team with a lot of potential,” said Mercier. “We just need to keep working hard and play at the top of our game as a unit more consistently. It’s about work before glory and I think concentrating on the process instead of the destination will give us the results we are looking for.”

This game wasn’t the prettiest for the Gees, but with strong play from Mercier and early goals, the garnet and grey were able to pull out a win and secure their spot in the playoffs. The top four teams of the RSÉQ will be battling it out for a spot at nationals. Mercier said the underdogs are always known to give a good fight and she has confidence in her team.

The Fulcrum asked Mercier who her favourite Olympian is and if she thinks team Canada will bring home the gold.

“I become a legit couch potato during the Olympics. They are the reason I have had the motivation to push myself to the varsity level and I love witnessing the hard work of so many athletes being rewarded during the games. My favourite athlete isn’t, however, a hockey player. The athlete I look up to the most is Clara Hughes, a speed skater that has achieved success through failures. Her mental side is what makes her the exceptional athlete that she is, accepting defeat as a challenge instead of a result and never giving up. She is a great role model to have. Team Canada is bringing home the gold, and I can’t wait to watch them do it.”

Sports_HockeyUpdate_MartaKierkusWEBThe men’s hockey team also accomplished a solid 4–3 victory over the Concordia Stingers on Feb. 7, with merely 15 skaters. Unless the Queen’s Gaels lose their next game, which isn’t likely, the Gees will be heading into Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs seeded in fifth place, meaning they’ll likely face Queen’s.

Although the Gees lost their only game of the season against the Gaels, it was by a narrow margin, meaning the Gees could take their first playoff game. Their game against Concordia, however, was a well-fought battle and, more importantly, a well-deserved win. The short bench worried the team before the game, but with character and determination, the men battled it out well into shootouts.

Both teams came out with strong play in the first period, but it was in the second and third periods that the Gees lit up and scored some goals. Overall, the Gee-Gees outshot the Stingers every period. Head coach Réal Paiement said it was a good game because the team took on new and different responsibilities.

“The players had to play roles that they’re not used to and the players played for each other,” he said.

During the playoffs, every team has a chance to move forward. It’s about whether the team will make the improvements on the fly, which are necessary to win. Fourth-year defenseman David Foucher said the team has to play every game like it’s their last.

“We need to improve our discipline during the game and the game plan,” he said.

Next, the men’s hockey team will play on Feb. 14 at the Minto Sports Complex against Laurentian at 7 p.m.