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Women’s hockey team loses to Concordia Stingers in home opener
THE UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa women’s hockey team kicked off their season, playing their home opener against the Concordia Stingers Oct. 15. Despite support from a small but energetic crowd and a strong first period start, the Gees were unable to come out on top, losing a close game 4-2.
“We had a great start into the game,” said head coach Yanick Evola in an email to the Fulcrum. “We were first on the puck and we used our speed … but we didn’t maintain that intensity for 60 minutes.”
The team hit the ice with confidence, noticeably excited to be playing their first game of the season in front of a home crowd. It took less than two minutes for the squad to put one behind the Stingers’ net, when third-year forward Dominique Lefebvre scored the Gee-Gees’ first goal of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport season. The Gee-Gees were able to carry the momentum they got from that first goal throughout the rest of the period, finishing it with a one-goal lead.
Penalty trouble for the Gee-Gees in the second period allowed the Stingers to apply some offensive pressure of their own. The Garnet and Grey were handed three penalties, but those remaining on the ice stood strong against the Stingers. Second-year goalie Tia Marley showed a solid effort during the period. The Stingers were able to swing the momentum in their favour and, with only six minutes left in the period, slipped one pasrMarley, tying the game at 1-1.
“It is really important that we display consistency [with] every shift and every game. It is an aspect that we want to get better at as a group, and we need to find solutions right now,” said Evola.
The Stingers came out aggressive in the third period and caught the Gees off guard with an early goal by third-year forward Emilie Bocchia. Fast-paced action up and down the ice saw both teams produce chances in the offensive zones as the game continued.
With encouragement from the home crowd, the Gees managed to battle back, bringing the game to 2-2 with a goal from second-year forward Asha Kauffeldt.
That was about all the offence the squad could muster. Concordia silenced the home crowd when, with only seven minutes left, they scored on a Gees give-away in the defensive zone. The Stingers added one more goal in the last minute of the game, sealing the deal to their advantage.
“We played good for the first five minutes,” said Gees fifth-year forward and team captain Érika Pouliot, “But the rest of the game we didn’t play our [best]. We let them play, and we played their game.”
The next day, the Gees came out strong when they faced off against the top-ranked McGill Martlets, but despite a valiant effort, lost 3-0 by the final buzzer. Evola said that regardless of the loss, the team played well. knowing that McGill is a tough team to beat and that they only let in three of 45 shots taken on the net, he believes the team will go far.
“McGill is the best team in the country, and we were able to play with them, and keep a close score for the entire game,” he added. “We [just] need to find a way to get back on a winning streak as soon as possible.”

The Gees (0-2) will play their cross-town rivals at Carleton  University (1-0) on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

—Kyle Nightingale