Game of opposites for men’s hockey
The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team experienced both sides of a blow-out this weekend as they rolled over the Brock Badgers 5-1 on Thursday night, before being crushed by the Western Mustangs 9-3 in London on Saturday.
On Thursday, the Hawks (3-7-0) stepped up their physical play, frustrating the Badgers early and often.
A Brock penalty late in the first frame would lead to former Kitchener Ranger Chad Lowry’s first goal of the year, and a 1-0 Laurier lead at the break.
The second period was a rough one, particularly for Laurier’s Trevor Atkinson. Atkinson suffered a vicious hit from behind early in the period, and a few shifts later got thrown into the boards after the whistle.
Both plays resulted in misconduct penalties for Brock (5-6-1). Laurier would do its retaliating on the scoreboard with a power play goal by James Marsden.
Then, late in the period, a misplayed puck by Brock goalie Kurt Jory would lead to an easy goal for Thomas Middup, and a 3-0 Laurier lead.
Tyler Stothers would add two goals in the third period, to put Laurier way out in front. With three minutes left, Brock’s Andrew Boudreau would break the shutout bid, but the outcome of the game was never really in question.
“I thought effort-wise, we were good tonight. Our execution at times was sloppy but our effort was there. We had some fortunate bounces on some of the goals,” said head coach Greg Puhalski.
“I thought Ryan Daniels had a strong game in net for us, when we had our chances to score, we buried it and that’s good for us.”
Brock’s penalty box needed a revolving door with so many players going in and out. During the game, they racked up 61 minutes in penalties. With plenty of opportunities, Laurier would finish the night 4-for-13 with the man advantage.
“That’s an area that has kind of been a sore point,” said Puhalski, “but we did score four tonight with the man-advantage but they weren’t what you would call execution type of goals. In the end they all add up to the same.”
“It was a good, well-rounded team effort and that’s the kind of way we need to play when we want to win,” stated Daniels after the win. “I thought we had a really good week of preparation and practice and the guys came out hard from the drop of the puck.”
Daniels had 39 saves in the win.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, they could not replicate the same effort against the No. 4-ranked Western Mustangs (8-0-2). Laurier was thoroughly dominated in the 9-3 loss.
Laurier would get goals from Middup, Mitchell Good and Zackory Ray but it was not nearly enough.
Ryan Daniels and David Clement would split time between the pipes in the loss.
The Hawks would surrender 51 shots against Western and have now been out shot in every game this season.
The men are still looking for their first road win; something they hope to get in St. Catharine’s this Friday.
They will then return home on Saturday for a rematch with Western.