Concordia Stingers | Concordian successes

The Concordia Stingers finished the season with a record of 25 wins and no losses. They won the provincial title in women’s university hockey in early March. Then the national title last weekend. “It’s the closest to perfection we’ve experienced here,” says Caroline Ouellette. A look at the ingredients of the Concordian recipe.

Ouellette was at the airport, waiting for the team’s flight home, when she returned the call from The Press, Monday afternoon. On the phone, she took the time to tell us about this almost perfect season.

“Often, people see 25-0 and think that it was easy, but I can tell you that we experienced all kinds of things, challenges, viruses…” she says at the outset. game.

“I’ve been here for several years, I think we’ve never had a team that played so well together: the movement of the puck, the execution… We activated our defenders as much as we had depth on all our trios. »

This is the third time in three years that the Stingers have reached the national grand final. In 2022, they triumphed. In 2023, they conceded an equalizing goal with 1.8 seconds left in the match before losing in overtime; a cruel end, which remained on the hearts of the players and the coaching staff.

In 2024, there was no question of escaping it.

“I think it gave everyone a little more motivation to come back prepared with this feeling of revenge, this objective of erasing this match. It allowed us, the coaches, to push them all year long, to challenge them, to increase the tempo in our practices to bring our overall game to another level. »

From training camp, head coaches Julie Chu and Ouellette were “amazed” by the physical condition of their players. As the season progressed, “it became a goal” to maintain the perfect record. “The girls wanted to accomplish it together. We knew that had never been done in a 25-game season in the RSEQ. »


Concordia Stingers coach Julie Chu celebrates with forward Emmy Fecteau.

Depth and leadership

In the playoffs, the Stingers suffered their first ever loss in Game 2, before winning 13-0 the next day. Throughout the games, the team had to deal with injuries, including that of goalkeeper Arianne Leblanc.

At the National Championship, it was Jordyn Verbeek who kept the goals; she was “extraordinary in all three matches,” says Ouellette. Without its performance in the first game against Saskatchewan – a 4-0 victory – the team “could have fallen behind in that game.”

“Just yesterday (in the final, a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues), she made some big saves. She was so confident and calm, it was extraordinary. »

Without being asked, Caroline Ouellette lists for us one by one the reasons which allowed the Concordia Stingers to win everything this season. These reasons are the names of each of the players on the team. Because everyone contributed to this historic season.

Jordyn Verbeek, “extraordinary” at the National Championship; Megan Bureau-Gagnon, “who scored such important goals in the series against Montreal”; Jesymaude Drapeau, “who works so hard all the time”; Sandrine Veillette “who worked hours and hours” to return to the game; Emmy Fecteau and Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, “who were phenomenal” at the Canadian Championship… And so on.

“We had so much depth with all these girls and so much incredible leadership,” summarizes Ouellette.

Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, who finished her university career on a perfect note, agrees. “There was always someone different who stood up when we needed them,” she explains.

So many reasons, therefore, which explain these championships.

The final word belongs to Ouellette: “I think that ultimately, we can bury the memory of 1.8 seconds. »

New goal

Players who finish their university career can now aim for the Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF). This is the case of Emmy Fecteau and Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, who have what it takes to “aspire to play pro”, according to Caroline Ouellette. “It would be one of my goals, but it will be something to see! » Bégin-Cyr rightly tells us on this subject. As there are currently only six teams in the circuit, the lack of space could “become a problem,” believes Ouellette. “I will encourage girls who want to continue playing to look at all kinds of options,” she says. (…) There are other leagues in Sweden, in Switzerland, where you can continue to play and have a good professional career. »


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