The Concordia University Stingers will have the chance this Sunday to win a second straight title at the Canadian Women’s University Hockey Championship. They disposed Saturday night at CEPSUM of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, 3-1, in a long undecided game.

Once again, it was the special teams that tipped the scales, with all the goals scored on the power play. Emmy Fecteau gave the Stingers the lead early in the game (5:57), but Rylind MacKinnon tied the score four minutes later and the game remained tense until Rosalie Bégin-Cyr scored 16:6 into the second period. Playing with more confidence, the Stingers confirmed their victory when Bégin-Cyr scored his second goal 11:46 into the third period.

Crowned last year in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the Stingers will this time have the chance to play the final in front of their Montreal audience. They will face the amazing Mount Royal University Cougars in Calgary.

“It’s going to be a big game again, against another good team out west. We are going to celebrate tonight, but we know that it is not over, that everything has to start again [Sunday]. We know what we want to accomplish and we will be ready. »

Head coach Julie Chu acknowledged, “It was really quite the game, very exciting. UBC has a whole team and we had to play our best game. That said, we haven’t won anything yet and we still have to do better in the final if we want to win. »

“The Cougars have the same style of play and we really have to be focused on our game plan. The special teams made the difference again and that’s normal at this level, when all the teams can neutralize each other five against five. We did very well on the power play, but also on the disadvantage, and we will have to do it again in the final. »

In the first semi-final, the Université de Montréal Carabins suffered a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to the Cougars, the eighth-ranked team at the start of the tournament. After allowing a shorthanded goal at the start of the second period, the host team dominated the game, but they came up against goalkeeper Kaitlyn Ross who multiplied the acrobatic saves.

Long trailing after Alex Spence’s goal, the Carabins thought they had gotten out of the trap when Amélie Poiré-Lehoux tied the game midway through the third period. Morgan Ramsay, however, restored the Cougars’ lead two minutes later and Kaia Borbandy scored into an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining.

The emotion was strong after the match on the side of the Carabins. “It hurts all the more that we have been waiting for this semi-final for a long time, that we had the chance to go all the way at home, in front of our supporters, an opportunity that only presents itself. once in his life, underlined head coach Isabelle Leclaire, very moved. And we really dominated from the second period with several opportunities, breakaways, posts.

“[The Cougars] play a different style, fast, physical, and the game was very tough. But we never gave up, even at the end when we led the game for more than two minutes with our goalkeeper withdrawn. Their goalkeeper was really very good, ours too [Aube Racine], who outdid herself when we opened the game. I’m proud of the girls, they are warriors, and I hope they will know find the resources to go for the bronze medal [Sunday]. »

On the side of the Cougars, the atmosphere was more euphoric. The team upset two favorites en route to a first final. Ross, who had already been outstanding on Thursday against Toronto, said she remained relaxed throughout the match: “It’s the way I play, I like to dance when there’s music, interact with the crowd . It helps me stay calm and I think it helps my teammates too. That said, the Carabins have a very good team and we really had to fight. It’s crazy to think that we’re going to play for the title. »

“It’s really amazing,” said head coach Scott Rivett. This is only our second appearance in the Championship, the first ended quickly and now we are one game away from winning the national title. It would really mean a lot, for the program, for the girls, for our conference. The competition is very fierce in the West, all our series have been at the limit. I think that gives us an advantage in these tournaments where there is no tomorrow. »

Fifth Place Final: Toronto v. StFX, 11 a.m.

Third Place Final: Mount Royal v. Montreal, 3 p.m.

Finale : Concordia c. UBC, 19 h