The Golden Hawks headed just down the road on Saturday to face off against their neighbours in the Battle of Waterloo, The Waterloo Warriors.
In a bit of a one sided match for the Warriors, the Hawks managed to come out victorious with a 2-1 victory.
The game started out with a fast pace, as the Waterloo Warriors began to dictate the pace of the game controlling possession and hemming the Hawks into their own end.
The Hawks got some momentum going down the ice and on only the Hawks’ second shot on net first-year defenceman ,Jamie Watson, was able to find the back of the net and give the Golden Hawks a 1-0 lead.
That’s the way the period would wrap up as goalie Amanda Smith would keep the Warriors scoreless after one.
The Warriors’ hard work paid off early in the second, as Rachael Marriott managed to beat Smith from the slot on the power play and tie this one up at one a piece for her eighth goal of the season.
That’s all the action that would be seen in the second as the teams would break for the second intermission all tied up.
The third period began and the Warriors came out strong and were poised to take the lead in this one.
The Hawks weren’t making it easy on themselves in the final frame as they took three minor penalties in the period.
The final frame remained scoreless until the the final five minutes when Carly AuCoin was able to find then back of the net for her first OUA goal.
Smith was quick to deflect the praise from herself and point out the strong play from the entire team.
“I think our girls were really into the game — definitely a lot of hard work going on. 2017 has definitely been a lot different for us compared to the first half of the season. It’s nice to see some of the girls starting to find some chemistry,” head coach Rick Osborne said.
That would be enough for the Hawks as they were able to skate away with a 2-1 victory over the Warriors.
The story here was really the outstanding performance from Smith, who recorded 37 saves for the win.
“In a game like that, I’d definitely rather be on the 40 shot side than the 10 shot side. It’s easier to find your groove,” said Smith.
The Hawks can thank Smith for this win as they were only able to muster up 10 shots of their own towards the Warriors net.
“[Smith] had to be really, really good and she’s given us a chance and we’ve gotten points in every game so far in 2017 … she’s given us real consistent lately which is something we didn’t have early on,” Osborne said.
Osborne didn’t seem overly concerned, however, about getting badly outshot.
“I was fine with getting outshot … the shots on goal are counted differently in each building you go to. I was more concerned with us not giving Stephanie Sluys [of the Warriors], who’s a very good goaltender, a lot of easy catches on shots from the outside.”
When asked about having to adjust to the smaller ice surface that UW has, Osborne said it has a big impact on the players.
“Waterloo is a smaller ice surface, a narrower ice surface and on this particular day it was a more hostile environment because of it being alumni day for them, as well as a big promotion for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. There was a lot of excitement around the rink,” he said.
The Hawks are back in action this weekend as they host the Guelph Gryphons and University of Toronto Varsity Blues.