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Concordia Stingers women’s hockey champions are celebrated at the Quebec National Assembly

‘We want to show the younger generation that it’s possible’
June 10, 2024
Three young women standing outside in front of parliament buildings, holding up gold medals and smiling.
Left to right: Kristina Stathas, Émilie Lavoie and Léonie Philbert. “You realize how much people watch women’s hockey and how we’re growing as a sport,” says Lavoie.

Last week, Quebec’s National Assembly extended its congratulations to the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team, who brought home the U SPORTS national women’s hockey championship title back in March. The team also went undefeated in the regular season.

Several players and coaches made the trip to hear MNA Jennifer Maccarone’s official declaration in recognition of the Stingers’ recent accomplishments.

“The only thing missing from this perfect 2023-24 season was a national title, and the Concordia Stingers women's hockey team rose to the occasion by bringing home the trophy,” pronounced Maccarone, whose Westmount–St-Louis riding includes Concordia.

“I would like to officially welcome members of the team and their coaches here at the National Assembly and tell them how proud I am of their accomplishment. You are all a testament to the fact that women's hockey in Quebec is thriving as never before.”

Exercise science student and forward Émilie Lavoie was among the players who travelled to Quebec City. She said she never imagined a point in her life where she’d be recognized by the politicians she usually sees on TV. But what really stood out for her about the visit was just how much the representatives she met with already knew about the team.

“People did follow us. They knew most of what we did and how our season went. You realize how much people watch women’s hockey and how we’re growing as a sport,” Lavoie said.

For teammate and forward Kristina Stathas, being recognized at this level made her feel grateful for the players who came before her.

“I used to look up to my coaches that I now have, Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu. To have them as my mentors now, and play as their players, is already a great feeling. But they didn’t get the opportunity to be recognized at this level,” she said. “We want to show to the younger generation that it’s possible!”

Ouellette and Chu weren’t available for comment, but assistant coach David Singh said it was an honour for the team to be recognized by the Quebec Government. 

“Personally, I am very proud of the team, our school, and us as a staff for all we achieved this year,” he added.

‘We have high standards and people are looking up to us’

The profile of women’s hockey may be bigger than ever before, but the Concordia Stingers’ team is no stranger to success. This year’s national title is their second in three years, and there is a long history of championship wins dating back to their first in 1998. It’s a reputation that can come with a certain level of pressure.

Stathas acknowledged that the 2023-24 season will be a tough act to follow but she’s confident next year’s crew will be up to the task — as long as they continue to follow the mantra of “one game at a time.”

‘With this team that we have and that my coaches have recruited we will be able to do it again.”

The team enjoyed a brief couple of weeks’ vacation following their win in Saskatchewan, but now they’re back at the gym and on the ice preparing for training camp in late August.

“We know we’re a good team, we have high standards and people are looking up to us,” Lavoie adds. “We just have to show them that we know how to play hockey and we’re a great team.”

Both players also emphasized the importance of being role models to younger players on and off the ice as well as being engaged in the broader community. The day after they got back from Quebec City, the team stopped by Sainte-Justine Hospital.

“We went to just spread some love and joy and smiles into the patients’ rooms. We believe in giving back and making sure we represent our team and Concordia well,” Stathas says.

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