Good and his top line break out in Hawks’ 3-1 victory

Mitchell Good has a reserve of talent that he likes to use.

There are just certain moments that are more appropriate than others.

“When you get up 2-0 like that, you have a little bit of confidence in yourself to maybe do some of the plays that you wouldn’t do against Western or maybe Lakehead,” said the third-year Wellesley native.

Good had a goal and an assist in the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ latest 3-1 victory over the York Lions.

And with goals as hard to come by as they are for the Hawks this season, head coach Greg Puhalski likes nothing more than to see Good and his linemates of Mitch Lebar and Tyler Stothers use both their inherent skills as well as hard work.

“They played with real positive energy,” said Puhalski. “They were all skating extremely hard and finishing checks and that’s how they created chances for themselves … It was because of their strong hustle and strong play along the walls.”

With the second-least goals scored of any team with 63, ahead of only Royal Military College (RMC), Puhalksi rewarded offensive hard work with ice time.

And Good saw no shortage of that.

“He’s a very well-conditioned athlete,” said Puhalski of the right-winger, who played vital minutes on the top line and penalty kill. “That’s probably his strongest asset. When he’s able to combine his energy and his speed with good decision making, he’s by far our best player.”

Good could have had at least two more goals after breaking in past a York defender just onside and forcing York goaltender Andrew Perugini to make a terrific glove stop in the third period, as well as making another defender look foolish with a toe drag in the slot.

In the second frame, Good fed Stothers for the Hawks’ third goal, while Lebar scored 57 seconds into the contest to give the Hawks the lead they would never relinquish.

“I just feel like we got off to a really good start,” said Good. “My linemates made it real easy for me to play down low and play our game. We just got up 3-0 [in the third] and it was smooth sailing from there.”

Although the ship may have hit a couple rocks along the way.

Laurier netminder Ryan Daniels gave up a powerplay goal by York’s Jeremie Perron, with 2:25 left to play in the game. It was the Lions’ only powerplay goal out of eight chances. The marker went off Hawks’ captain Kyle Van De Bospoort’s skate and slid behind Daniels to end the shutout bid.

“After we went up 2-0, we weren’t playing as hungry as I would have liked,” said Puhalski, preaching discipline. “Although we gave up one late, the penalty killers did an extremely good job and Ryan Daniels had a real solid game.”

What else is new?

Daniels stopped 34 of 35 shots to come his way and currently leads the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) with 778 saves. That’s a lot of rubber for the former Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West goaltender of the year.

“No matter how many I have to stop, whether it’s 50 or it’s 10, I’m just trying to do my job,” said Daniels.

Daniels awarded Good with the “golden hammer”, the team’s ceremonial award after every win, going to the most deserving Hawk.

Forward Thomas Middup has re-joined the team after appealing the school’s decision to cut him based on his academic standing. Middup played Thursday.

Laurier sits in the eighth and last playoff spot in the OUA West, six points ahead of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and four behind the University of Guelph.

The Hawks visit those Guelph Gryphons on Saturday at the Gryphon Centre Arena at 7:30 p.m. to try and clinch a playoff spot. One point is all the team needs.

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