Hawks bounce back against Warriors after ugly loss to Ryerson

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The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team were battered by the Ryerson Rams on Friday night, losing their opening game of 2018 by a score of 7-1.

A back and forth first period featured one goal apiece, with Laurier’s Anthony Sorrentino notching his sixth of the season on a clean tic-tac-toe power play cycle. This goal would be the only that Laurier would score, as Ryerson would take command for the remainder of the game.

The Golden Hawks slipped out of reach in the second period, a period that featured only six Laurier shots and a power play that failed to gain momentum. With Ryerson out skating, out working and out muscling the Golden Hawks, Laurier would find themselves in a two-goal deficit at the beginning of the third period.

The Golden Hawks had at this point been outscored by a total of 11-2 in their past two games, both of which were against teams just ahead of Laurier standings-wise; York and Ryerson.

Ryerson would find the back of the net four more times, to take the game by a final score of 7-1.

“Tonight’s game was a real malfunction for everything for us,” head coach Greg Puhalski said, post-game.

“We weren’t moving our feet, we weren’t skating very well … nothing tonight was very good for us.”

Coach Puhalski spoke to capitalizing on chances when they come, and being effective with the puck.

“It just starts with skating and competing and working hard and you’ve got to have that or nothing else works,” Puhalski said.

“We’ve got to have the puck in the opponent’s zone and when you do that you force them to work.”

Golden Hawk goalie Chris Festarini played the full 60 minutes, stopping 33 of Ryerson’s 40 shots. Laurier on the other hand managed 11 less with 29 shots.

Regarding special teams, Laurier was one-for-two on the power play and killed off the only Ryerson man-advantage.

Most of the Rams’ goals came from in tight to Festarini, but coach Puhalski pointed at another aspect of the game for the lopsided score.

“The puck was on their stick,” Puhalski said. “Ryerson had the puck I would say 50 minutes of the 60-minute game.”

When asked if there was anything he liked from his team tonight, Puhalski was quite frank: “Nothing.

This game was only the second home-ice loss for Laurier all season, where they now settle to an 8-2-0 record. On the road, they fare much worse, recording only three wins in 13 road games.

The Golden Hawks had at this point been outscored by a total of 11-2 in their past two games, both of which were against teams just ahead of Laurier standings-wise; York and Ryerson.

Following the game on Friday, Laurier remained in fourth place in the west with just one point ahead of Brock University, but also just one point behind York University with a game in hand.

However, the Hawks were able to bounce back on the second night of a back-to-back, as they beat the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday by a final score of 3-2.

The Hawks overcame their cross-town rivals in what was a thriller. Danny Hanlon, Will Cook and Jeremy Pullara all got on the score sheet for Laurier.

It was a much needed win for the Golden Hawks, who now hold a conference record of 11-5-2.

The Hawks will look to carry this momentum and continue winning next weekend, as they will hit the road to take on the Windsor Lancers in a double header.


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