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Concordia Stingers reclaim the U SPORTS national women’s hockey championship title

The team brings the Golden Path trophy back home after a decisive 3-1 victory over Toronto Varsity Blues
March 18, 2024
A women's sports hockey team on the ice, gathered together for a group photo, celebrating a win at Nationals.
Third-year player and tournament MVP Jessymaude Drapeau scored the U SPORTS women’s hockey championship game–winning goal for the Stingers. | Photo by Liam Richards

Undefeated regular season? Check. Provincial title? Check. Team captain named Hockey Canada’s female player of the year? Check, check, check.

The only thing left to cap off a perfect 2023-24 performance was a national title — and the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team rose to the occasion. They beat the Toronto Varsity Blues 3-1 Sunday night in Saskatoon to win the U SPORTS Golden Path trophy for the second time in three years.

If you ask right winger and veteran player Rosalie Begin-Cyr, the victory was exactly what the team expected of themselves.

"We wanted to finish better than last year, so it was perfect," she told CBC Sports after the game. In 2023, the Stingers watched the championship title slip through their fingers after a devastating overtime loss against the Mont Royal Cougars.

Three women hockey players in play on the ice First-year forward Émilie Lussier stickhandles between two Toronto players during the final. | Photo by Liam Mahoney

With a chance at redemption within their reach, the team wasted no time after puck drop last night. Star rookie Emilie Lussier opened the scoring for the Stingers just over a minute into the game. Third-year player Jessymaude Drapeau followed up with a goal at 8:19 to close out the first period with a 2-0 lead for Concordia. Drapeau would go on to be named most valuable player in the tournament.

But even if it was just the start they’d hoped for, the players and coaching staff knew better than to get comfortable.

“We take nothing for granted, and like everything all season long — you have to earn it one shift at a time, one period at a time,” said head coach Julie Chu in an interview with CBC Sports’ Ryan Flaherty after the first.

Both goaltenders kept any further scoring at bay throughout the second period. Then Begin-Cyr slipped one past Toronto’s Erica Fryer five minutes into the third on a powerplay shot.

With 47 seconds left in the game, the Varsity Blues negated Stingers’ goalie Jordyn Verbeek’s shutout, but it didn’t matter at that point.

The buzzer went and Concordia’s team piled onto the ice and onto one another in jubilation in front of a cheering crowd at Merlis Belsher Place.

"For us, it is a huge accomplishment,” Chu told CBC Sports of the gold medal win. “There is a lot of pride in the journey that we took to be able to be the team that we are today."    

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