Hawks bounce back
The Wilfrid Laurier women’s hockey team were back to their winning ways Saturday night as they defeated the winless Brock Badgers 4-1 on home ice. It was the Hawk’s first game since being handed their second loss of the season, 5-3, to the Guelph Gryphons on Wednesday night.
Despite being heavy favourites coming into the match, Laurier found themselves in a battle to begin the game. The Hawks struck first with a goal from veteran forward Devon Skeats with 11:04 left in the first period. However, the Badgers tied the game up thanks to a bad Laurier turnover that sprung Brock’s Leigh Vanderveen on a breakaway, who put it past second-year goaltender Kayla Brown.
The Brock goal seemed to re-motivate the Hawks as they began a relentless offensive campaign against the Badgers that continued for the rest of the game. This resulted in three unanswered goals which powered the Hawks to victory.
Leading the rejuvenated Laurier offence was Devon Skeats, who netted her second goal of the game and team-leading sixth goal of the season. Skeats is also tied for third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) point leaders with nine points in seven games.
“We stayed focused, tried to keep our legs moving, and got shots to the net and the pucks went in,” said Skeats. “It was a really important game for us to bounce back and show other teams what we’ve got.”
Another important figure for the Hawks was third-year forward Jessie Hurrell, who was instrumental in the offensive attack as she assisted on both of Skeats’ goals. Hurrell’s performance was praised by head coach Rick Osborne.
“The biggest catalyst in the last two games was Hurrell … I can’t say enough about the work she did over the summer,” said Osborne.
The game also featured Laurier goaltender Brown in her first start of the season. Brown guided her team to victory as she stopped 21 of the 22 shots that faced her.
“We did a pretty good job in front of [Brown] and she made the saves that we needed her to make,” said Osborne.
The win puts Laurier in a tie with the Gryphons, who have identical records, for second place in the OUA standings with 10 points each. They trail the Western Mustangs and Queen’s Gaels, who both have 12 points.
The Golden Hawks will be looking to carry over their strong play to their next game against the Queen’s Gaels who remain unbeaten in regulation and sit atop the OUA standings. The game is scheduled for Sunday, November 3 at the Waterloo Recreation Complex. Puck drop will be at 3 p.m.