Photo: Parker Townes.
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Concordia Stingers took the lead 11 seconds in, didn’t look back

The Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Concordia Stingers Women’s Hockey teams squared off in the first game of their first round series on Feb. 21 at the Ed Meagher Arena in Montreal. Being the higher seed, the second-place Stingers earned the right to the home-ice advantage in the series, and they indeed proved to be the better team, giving no chance at all to the Gee-Gees in a 5-0 rout.

Concordia attacked early, took the lead quickly, and hung on until the last second for the 1-0 series lead. They were in control of all aspects of the game, including a commanding 40-14 advantage in the shots on goal category.

Fans who were late to the game didn’t even have time to see the home team’s opening goal, as they broke the ice 11 seconds in on a penalty shot, scored by forward Sophie Gagnon. Her shot beat Gee-Gees’ goaltender Maude Lévesque-Ryan top-shelf blocker side to get the game–and the home crowd–going. This happened moments after she was tripped on a breakaway by Ottawa’s Christine Deaudelin.

That 11 seconds was in fact the only time Concordia did not lead the game, as they never looked back from then on, scoring the next four goals unanswered. Forward Vicky Gélinas then made no mistake in adding to her team’s total, scoring six minutes later to double up the home team’s lead. It would later be Audrey Belzile’s turn to put her name on the scoring sheet, adding a third one with 33 seconds left in the first on a breakaway.

Belzile did not stop there. The Stingers got their first chance on the power play two minutes into the first, and it became a two-player advantage for them in a matter of only eight seconds later. Standing to the right side of the net, Belzile accepted a pass from her teammate Claudia Dubois and hammered it past Lévesque-Ryan to put the team up by four before the period was four minutes old. From then on the visiting Gee-Gees just wanted to get out of this nightmare of a game and get ready as soon as possible for their game two clash.

While the rest of the second remained pretty even, Concordia’s Audrey Belzile completed her hat-trick in the third, on a shot from the high slot that beat Lévesque-Ryan on the left side less than seven minutes in the third, also on the power-play. Lévesque-Ryan’s night was over, as Ottawa’s coach Yanick Evola rested her for the rest of the game and sent Sarah-Maude Labrecque into action for the rest of the third.