OSHAWA, Ont. – The UOIT men's hockey season came to an end on Saturday night after a 3-2 loss to the Concordia Stingers in Montreal.
After taking game one 4-0 on home ice, the Ridgebacks could not find a way to pull out a win in Montreal as the Stingers won 5-2 and 3-2 to advance to the second round of the OUA playoffs for the first time in 17 years.
Trailing 3-0 in the third period, UOIT fought back with two goals to cut the deficit to one. Although they had a number of late chances, the puck did not bounce the Ridgebacks way as they could come up with the equalizer.
"I am proud of the way our team fought their way back into the game," said UOIT head coach Curtis Hodgins. "They showed a lot of heart out there and left it all on the ice. The puck didn't bounce our way in the closing minutes but we have nothing to hang our heads about."
Concordia offence came out the same way it finished game two as Olivier Hinse scored at 1:14 to put the Stingers up 1-0.
The home team would pile on to their lead as Raphael LaFontaine and Antoine Masson scored back-to-back goals in the late stages of the period to put them up 3-0.
UOIT dominated the flow of the game in the second frame outshooting Concordia 12-5 but they did not manage to solve Philippe Cadorette in goal.
Loren Ulett (Port Perry, Ont.) finally got UOIT on the board at 3:35 of the third period as he banged home a rebound following a long rush. Nate Mitton (Kitchener, Ont.) assisted the Ridgebacks opening goal.
UOIT cut the Concordia lead to just one with ten minutes to go as Mike Robinson (Stouffville, Ont.) scored from the side of the net.
The Ridgebacks fired 17 shots on goal in the third period but could not beat Cadorette for a third time as the Stingers pulled out the series win.
"It is always tough to lose but our guys should be proud of themselves for what they accomplished this year," said Hodgins. "Our graduating seniors will look back on their career and know that they played a huge role in creating a winning program at UOIT."
Tyson Teichmann (Belleville, Ont.) got the start in goal and made 33 saves in his UOIT postseason debut. Cadorette stopped 39 saves for the Stingers.
With 21 overall wins UOIT had the second-best season in program history, just two victories shy of last season's totals. This year also marked the first time the men's hockey program was nationally ranked as they got as high as No. 4 in Canada.
UOIT's season has now finished for 2016-17, meaning the focus will now turn to recruitment and preparing for the 2017-18 campaign.
Source: UOIT Ridgebacks