Defeat extends losing streak to six straight

Men’s hockey continues to slip in the standings after losing to the Redmen.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaourous
Photo by Andreas Patsiaourous

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team could not scrap out a win against the McGill Redmen Sunday night. They fell to the eighth-best team in the country by a final score of 6-2.

Laurier came out strong in the first period against the highly favoured McGill team at Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. In what the first few minutes promised to be an exciting match, turned dismal.

Laurier’s record slumps to 5-13-1 with last night’s loss, adding to a losing streak of six games. Last night was Vinny Merante’s first full game of the season and second start of the year.

The second-year goalie made 31 saves on the night and let in six McGill goals.

The fourth-year captain Tyler Stothers spoke on Merante’s performance.

“[He] got a couple bad bounces, pucks came off the boards a little weird for Vinny, but other than that I thought he battled for us and he gave us a chance to win and we just kind of came out flat for him in the second half of the game,” he said.

Head coach Greg Puhalski noted that Merante’s lack of playing time may have been a factor in his performance.

“That’s his first game he’s played all season long and looked like he was just trying to find [the] puck and pick up the puck — it’s one of those things, you know. Hopefully with more playing time he’s able to get better,” he said.

Laurier’s goalie situation has been plagued with injury all season long.

Injuries to Merante and their other starter, Chris Festarini, forced intramural goalie Harrison Pharoah to be called up for several games.

Stothers and company were outshot by the McGill team by a margin of 25-37. The shot differential posed problems for Laurier all night.

“It all starts in the defensive zone. I mean if were taking care of our own zone then the shots will come in the offensive zone … we can go to work there and create some offence,” Stothers said.

“I thought the first period we weren’t too bad, it was a pretty even period” Puhalski added. “It was as poor as we’ve played all season long … but for all intents and purposes that second period was the killer for us.”

Defenceman Taylor D’Andrea had a strong performance on Sunday, scoring Laurier’s only two goals of the night to take an early lead.

“It was nice to see him score two goals, because it’s his first two of the year,” Puhalksi said.

“It was nice he was able to jump on the attack on his first goal, and a nice shot ­— and the second one he was just able to put it up through the net and he found the hole. So anytime you can get some goals from your defence it’s always a bonus.”

Puhalski is working hard to try and turn their season around in a hurry, as the Hawks sit four points behind the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the standings for the final spot.

“Its desperation for us, so we want to make a drive or a push here to make the playoffs. Our playoffs have started already,” he said.

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