The final quarter final game at the U SPORTS Women’s Hockey National Championship brought the round to an end with a bang. The Concordia University Stingers took the St. Francis-Xavier X-Women to task with a 8-1 win Friday night.
The Stingers got the ball rolling just past the eight minute mark in the first period. Vyckie Gelinas opened scoring for Concordia, followed a minute later by Marie-Pascale Bernier on the power play at 9:33 to get their side out front 2-0.
The second period was no better for the X-Women as the floodgates opened and the RSEQ champions poured it on. Claudia Dubois notched her first of the tournament five minutes into the frame. Then Kate Gotaas put one by Katherine Purchase to get St. Francis-Xavier on the board.
But the momentum quickly swung back Concordia’s way as Bernier picked up her second of the game at the 9:07 mark, and Lidia Fillion scored just over a minute later. Keriann Schofield added a powerplay marker and the Stingers went into the second intermission riding a 6-1 lead.
Sophie Gagnon went on to score twice in the third as Concordia booked its ticket to the semifinals with an 8-1 blowout of the X-Women.
Concordia entered the national championships with a fire in the belly, as the team’s ‘optional’ practice Wednesday was anything but. Stingers head coach Julie Chu had nearly her entire squad out on the ice running drills and situations at game tempo. The former U.S. Olympian’s hard practice paid off as the Stingers paced the X-Women Friday night.
St. Fx entered the tournament with the top ranked offence in the nation, putting up an average of 3.29 goals per game and was expected to get into a track meet with the nation’s second ranked offence in Concordia – at 3.20 goals per game. However the Stingers turned the table on their Atlantic opponent, keeping them to only 21 shots compared to their 44.
The defensive side was also in favour of the X-Women heading into the game, as Concordia had the worst team goals against among teams at nationals with 2.10, and giving up one more goal than their opponents during the year – 43 compared to 42.
Concordia and the University of Manitoba Bisons will square off in the second game of the semifinals, Saturday at 6 p.m.. Meanwhile the St. Francis-Xavier X-Women will meet the Queen’s University Gaels in the consolation round, Saturday at 12 p.m.