Concordia mounts comeback against struggling Gees thanks in part to Hylland’s two goals
The University of Ottawa men’s hockey team faced off against the Concordia Stingers on Sunday afternoon in the Minto Sports Complex. Anthony Brodeur got the start between the pipes for the U of O as the Gee-Gees looked to beat the Stingers, a possible playoff opponent.
The game got chippy before the puck even dropped as two players picked up coincidental minors. The Gee-Gees were buzzing around the ice to start the game, testing Stinger’s goalie Kyle Jessiman early. Jacob Sweeney dropped a pass to Marco Azzano who slid the puck to Antoine Pouliot, rifling one past Lefebrve and opening the scoring for Ottawa.
Brodeur made some solid stops early, keeping the lead for the Gee-Gees. Mike MacLean of Concordia then got an elbowing penalty, giving the Gee-Gees their first powerplay of the game.
Medric Mercier scored off a one-timer, set up by both Michael Poirier and Daniel Hardie to make it 2-0 Gee-Gees.
The Gee-Gees suffered a penalty but aggressively killed it off, and a couple of big saves from Brodeur helped kill off the Concordia massive attack. However, the Gees headed back to the penalty box minutes later, giving Concordia another chance to deploy their menacing powerplay unit.
During the powerplay, Brodeur made a big pad save but had no chance on the rebound as the Stingers scored and cut Ottawa’s lead in half, bringing the score to 2-1 Gees.
The Gee-Gees took another penalty not long after and headed back to the penalty kill yet again after Medric Mercier got two minutes for high sticking. The Gee-Gees managed to kill off the penalty, keeping their lead.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Domingue, who leads the team in scoring, capitalized on an opportunity created by Jacob Hanlon and Cody Drover, making the score 3-1 for Ottawa. The Gee-Gees finished the first period up 3-1.
The Stingers responded early into the second period with a shorthanded goal from Tyler Hylland 27 seconds into the period to cut the lead to 3-2.
However, Ottawa answered 26 seconds later with a rocket from the top of the left circle from Poirier to regain the two-goal lead, with assists coming from Yvan Mongo and Hardie.
The Stingers then changed goalies and put in backup Sebastian Lefebvre.
Late in the period, Lefebvre shut down a couple of odd-man rushes by the Gee-Gees to keep the game within reach for Concordia. Gee-Gee Matt Dunlop then headed to the penalty box for elbowing a Concordia player.
Concordia converted on the man-advantage on a point shot from Philippe Sanche to bring his team back to a one-goal deficit.
The Gee-Gees tried to respond but Lefebvre stayed solid for the remainder of the period. The Gees received a powerplay but gave up another shorthanded goal and Concordia tied it at four, silencing the home crowd.
After the period ended, competitive spirits created a kerfuffle in the corner and after the dust settled, Ottawa received another powerplay to start the third period.
The Gee-Gees started the period on the powerplay but a turnover allowed Concordia to break in on a 2-on-1 and score shorthanded, with Hylland putting Concordia ahead on his second of the game. The Gee-Gees could not convert on the powerplay and continued to trail 5-4.
Late in the third, Poirier blocked a shot labelled for Ottawa’s empty net to give the Gee-Gees a chance. Sadly, the Gees could not solve Concordia’s netminder in the third period, losing a nail-biter 5-4.
The Gee-Gees allowed three short-handed goals in the loss and have now dropped four out of their past five games.
“When you get goals against on your powerplay like that, you should not deserve to win,” said Gee-Gees head coach Patrick Grandmaitre.
Veteran defenceman Jacob Sweeney spoke with Fulcrum after the game on the advice he gives to younger teammates
“It’s a short season,” said the former Moncton Wildcat. “Every game now is pretty much do or die, so it’s preparing for those last four games mentally and physically, just to get there and be ready for when the puck drops in playoffs.”
The Gee-Gees drop to 15-10 on the season and will look to break their losing streak at 7 p.m. on Sunday at home versus the RMC Paladins.