Alright, the women are back, now it’s time for the men.
Like the women, the men’s exhibition opponent comes from Montréal, although it is not the McGill Redmen, but rather the Concordia Stingers.
Concordia, who finished last season with a record of 10-12-6 (7th in t.he OUA East Division), doesn’t appear to have an updated roster (despite this being their fourth game of the season), so I’m gonna have to play it by ear using their roster from last year and the ever-reliable EliteProspects.
What they do have, however, is a lot of QMJHL experience. Newcomer goalie Philippe Cadorette led the QMJHL in save percentage in 2013/14 as a member of Baie-Comeau, and was a member of the QMJHL All-Star team twice. The Cats, who struggled offensively last season, have themselves a test early on.
On defense, the Stingers add one of Cadorette’s Drakkar teammates in Mathieu Desautels, who posted 72 points from defense in two seasons with the team. The familiarity between a goalie and a defender can be criminally underrated, and Desautels adds much-needed scoring from the blueline (Concordia’s leading defensive scorer last season had just 8 points) as well.
Up front, they return leading scorer Olivier Hinse. Hinse has been terrific in his Concordia career, posting 111 points in 110 games and wearing the C this season. Their second leading scorer, Jessyko Bernard, did not return; he has joined Albatros de Brest in the French second division. Their third leading scorer, who returns, has a very familiar name to any hockey fan: Frédérick Roy is the youngest son of NHL legend Patrick.
With a tough away game at Clarkson to open the season, Coach Sneddon will look to find chemistry and cohesion in this game, in addition to a team identity, more than victory (although victory would be nice!) During media day, he admitted to tinkering too much early season last year. He doesn’t want to make that same mistake twice.