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January 10, 2002 Last-minute heroics pay off for women's hockey team



Stingers teammates celebrate their victory.

Battling it out in the preliminary round.

Team captain Lisa-Marie Breton (left) with centre Marie-Claude Allard. Right: Battling it out during the preliminary round.

Photos by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by John Austen

She may be only 4-foot-10, but centre Dominique Rancour stood tall for the Concordia women’s hockey team last weekend. Rancour’s unlikely goal with just two seconds remaining in regulation time lifted the Stingers to a 4-3 win over the Cornell Big Red in the final of the Therese Humes Invitational Hockey Tournament, played last Sunday afternoon at the Ed Meagher Arena.

For Rancour, one of the smallest players in Canadian women’s college hockey, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

“I knew the time was almost up so as soon as I got the pass from Marie-Claude [Allard], I flipped it towards the net,” said a beaming Rancour. “Then I watched as the puck went over the goalie’s shoulder and in. It was an amazing feeling.”

The Stingers held one-goal leads three times in the game only to see the Big Red battle back to tie the score each time.

“[Cornell] is without a doubt the best team we’ve played this year,” said Concordia coach Les Lawton. “They have a strong forecheck and do the little things well.”

The Stingers, who have now won nine of the last 10 Humes titles, had difficulty coming out of their zone through much of the game, and as a result, the visitors outshot them 34-25. Concordia goaltender Jessica Anderson was forced to make several key saves.

“We didn’t really bring our game to the rink today,” said Lawton. “I think maybe we were lacking a little confidence. Winning our tournament should really help us in the second half of the season though. We beat McGill in the last game before the holidays and we play them again this week [Friday, 7 p.m., at Concordia]. We’re really looking forward to it.”

Stingers captain and tournament MVP Lisa-Marie Breton says the team should be on a high in the second half.

“Winning this should really help our morale,” she said. “We know we can score goals, but we just have to settle down in our own zone. Cornell was a good test for us. We knew we had the better team but beating them the way we did should help boost us.”

The Stingers, ranked sixth in Canada, didn’t lose a game in the tournament. They opened play Jan. 4 with a 7-1 win over H.C. Cergy-Pontoise from France and followed that up with a win over the Middlebury (Vt.) Panthers by the same score.

The Toronto Varsity Blues, last year’s CIAU champions and winners of the 2000 Theresa Humes Invitational, were upset 3-2 in the semifinals by Cornell. The Blues went on to win the consolation championship with a 3-1 win over Middlebury.

Other teams in the tournament included the Ottawa Gee-Gees, McGill Martlets and Trois Rivières Patriotes.