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October 24, 2002 500 victories for coach Les Lawton



by John Austen

Les Lawton, the winningest coach in women’s hockey history, reached another milestone last Friday night in Trois Rivières. Lawton won his 500th game as head coach of the Concordia Stingers when his troops beat the host squad 6-2.

Players and coaches poured onto the ice at game’s end to congratulate Lawton for his incredible accomplishment. An enthusiastic crowd that included at least 50 boisterous Concordia supporters witnessed the milestone event.

The game was initially close, but the Stingers had a 4-1 lead by the end of the second period and chipped in another two goals in the final 20 minutes to seal the victory. Scoring for the Stingers were Dominique Rancour, M.C. Allard, Sue Kaye, Leanne Martell, Geneviève Dupuis and Catherine De Abreu.

Lawton began his career as Stingers coach in the 1983-84 season. Since that time he has a 500-157-63 record for a .739 winning percentage. He was named CIAU Coach of the Year in 2000 and has been named QSSF Coach of the year six times. His Lady Stingers won the National Championship in 1998 and 1999.

“I was paid about $300 during my first season as coach of Concordia,” laughed Lawton. “I probably thought it was a lot of money at the time.”

The last puck of the game and the jacket worn by Lawton at the historic event will be sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Concordia community will also celebrate Lawton’s illustrious 20-year career on Saturday, Feb. 15, with a ceremony before the Concordia-Carleton matchup at the Ed Meagher Arena. Festivities begin at 2 p.m.