Canadian University Women’s Hockey Championships | The Stingers ready to defend their title

Defending champions, the Concordia University Stingers are still the favorites for the Canadian Championships this year, especially since they will play in Montreal, even if it is on the ice of their great rivals, the Carabins of the Montreal university.

With a well-balanced roster – no less than six players have been selected to be part of the RSEQ all-star teams this season – impact players like Emmy Fecteau, a solid goaltender, Alice Philbert, the Stingers have no weak point. And it’s not with coaches like Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette that the champions will fall into complacency.

“At the start of the year, we agreed that we should not be satisfied with the title acquired in 2022, but build on this success with the group of players we had this season, explained Julie Chu, this week in an interview. . We have progressed throughout the season, facing very strong opposition in the Quebec conference, with the Carabins, but also four other very good teams. »


Emmy Fecteau, Concordia Stingers

While they have plenty of stars, the Stingers also have plenty of first- and second-year student-athletes. “Several of our best players were back this season, but others had graduated and we still had a young team, insists the head coach. We had to be patient, trust the “process”, and we saw during the provincial playoffs that we were ready. We are playing really good hockey right now and we are happy to be able to defend our national title.

“We are playing in a very strong conference and we are well prepared for the nationals. Even though we haven’t faced teams from other conferences this season, we have been able to study them on videos, identify their main trends, prepare our game plans,” adds the coach.

And the most important thing will be to impose our style, to play our game, while making the necessary small adjustments during the match.

Julie Chu, Stingers coach

The Stingers will play their first game this Friday night against the Nipissing Lakers, a replay of last year’s final where Concordia won decisively 4-0. And they hope to find the enthusiastic public that has supported them this season.

“We really had incredible support, especially during the playoffs, recalls Julie Chu. It’s a chance for us to play in Montreal; the families and loved ones of the players will be able to see them play in a major competition, it’s very exciting.

“The Montreal public has always been very supportive of women’s hockey and I hope they will be there for all the games, because all the teams, all the girls deserve to be encouraged. »

Carried by the crowd, the Carabins in the semi-finals

There had been such an atmosphere in the CEPSUM amphitheater for a long time and the Carabins took advantage of it Thursday night to win a decisive 4-1 victory over the University of New Brunswick Reds. They have thus qualified for the semi-finals of the Canadian University Hockey Championships, where they will face the Mount Royal Cougars on Saturday.


Mylène Lefebvre (41), of the Carabins, who scores one of her two goals of the evening.

“The crowd was incredible,” said Mylène Lefebvre, player of the match with two goals. We wanted to play with energy, but the crowd really carried us. They have a good goalkeeper and I managed to wait for the openings. It was important to win this first match and there, we want to go all the way and continue to live this experience in front of our public. »

Head coach Isabelle Leclaire hoped her players would start the game strong and they did, but it took until halfway through the first period before Kaleigh Quennec cemented the clear domination of Les Bleues. Continuing their momentum in the second period, the Carabins added two goals.

Mylène Lefebvre first took advantage of another power play to surprise goalkeeper Kendra Woodland after showing patience in front of the net. And Amélie Poiré-Lehoux quickly added a third goal, still on the power play, after a superb climb and a pass from Audrey-Anne Veillette. In the third, Lefebvre added a fourth goal, before Lilian George deprived goalkeeper Aube Racine of a shutout by scoring a shorthanded goal late in the game.

The “favorites” already eliminated

The Mount Royal University Cougars, the tournament’s lowest-ranked team, caused a big upset Thursday in Game 1 of the Championships by beating the seeded University of Toronto Varsity Blues 3-2. The Western Conference runners-up Cougars scored two late goals to overthrow champions Ontario and secure a berth in the semifinals. Breanne Trotter scored the winning goal after catching a perfect pass from teammate Athena Hauck.

The Mount Royal University Cougars celebrate their win over the tournament favorites University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

In the national semi-final, the Cougars will face the Carabins, while the Varsity Blues will face the New Brunswick Reds in the consolation semi-final on Saturday morning.

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