Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Game story: Concordia puts up a fight against Carleton, loses 3-0

Concordia puts up a fight against Carleton, loses 3-0

By Naila Jinnah

For the first time this season, the Carleton Ravens woman’s hockey team beat the Concordia Stingers by a score other than 4-3. Carlton goaltender Valerie Charbonneau stopped all 32 shots against her to earn a 3-0 shutout, her first of the season.

“It’s amazing,” said Charbonneau. “I’m really happy that it was a team effort, more than just a shutout.”

The first period ended tied at zero, with both goaltenders keeping their team in the game. Despite both teams hooking and slashing away, only four penalties were called.

The second period was much more aggressive. Carleton started out strong, scoring two goals in the period’s fourth minute. Right-wing Carly Snell passed the puck to Kristina Romeo in a 2-on-1 that caught Stingers’ goalie Meggy Hatin-Léveillée in the middle of her lateral movement. Forty-eight seconds later, Caitlin Cadeau accepted a breakaway pass from Amanda Stillar to secure a two-goal lead.

Concordia retaliated by tightening their defence and dishing out a strong forecheck, spending most of the next two minutes in the Ravens’ zone. The Stingers’ aggressive play forced Carleton to take three consecutive penalties, but the Ravens were excellent in killing the penalties.

“Out of the 10 penalties called in the period, (8) were against us,” said Carleton head coach Marco Ouellette after the game. “I really think the penalty-kill came strong for us, especially from our goalie.”

The Stingers’ offensive efforts ended with a two-minute hooking call on captain Andrea Dolan.

On her next shift, Dolan and Carleton defender Maxime Vaillant collided at the Stingers’ blue line. Vaillant received a delayed cross-checking penalty. As the play moved to the Ravens’ zone, Carleton captain Michelle Higgins elbowed Dolan, who was in mid-stride. For several minutes, Dolan writhed on the ice. Finally, she was carried off to the dressing room, helped along by her teammates and cheers from the stands.

Higgins was served with a 5-minute penalty for cross-checking, a 10-minute game misconduct, and a 2-minute subsequent penalty for elbowing (served by Jessica Bradley).

“It was unexpected,” said Charbonneau. “I knew emotions were running high, but my captain is always in control of her emotions. I asked her after the game and she said she wasn’t intentionally trying to (injure her).”

“She was just trying to get off the ice,” concluded the Carleton goalie.

With less than a minute left in the second period, Concordia had a 5-on-3 opportunity, but they were unable to capitalize on their chances.

Dolan returned to the bench to start the third period and brought with her a renewed and energetic team. But motivation was not enough, as star player Angela Di Stasi was called for roughing.

“We were in a position to get back in the game,” said Stingers’ coach Les Lawton, visibly disappointed. “We had a 5-on-3 for three minutes, then we took a needless penalty.”

Carleton would add an insurance goal midway through the third period. Veteran Stingers’ defender Esther Latoures handled herself well on the one-on-one, but Hatin-Léveillée gave Ravens’ centre Tara O’Reilly a soft rebound.

The Stingers could have stopped trying, but instead, they battled with almost fierce determination until the final buzzer.

“We never got control on the ice,” summed up Lawton. “We’re working on that, but I think everyone was on a different page tonight.”

On paper, Carleton and Concordia are evenly matched. Carleton is only four points in front of Concordia in their division, with one game in hand, and all four of their wins have come against the Stingers.

The Carleton coach thinks both teams are very talented. “Concordia only won one game,” said Ouellette, “but they’re one of the strongest teams in the (Canadian University Sports League), as they proved at the Theresa Humes Tournament.”

It remains to be seen if Concordia can be competitive when it actually counts – not just in exhibition games. The Stingers next take the ice against the Ottawa Gee Gees on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 pm at the Ed Meagher Arena.


P.S.: My Canada's Top Female Athlete in 2006 article earned me an A+

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