Hockey Hawks back in the win column
The Golden Hawks men’s hockey team finally solved their losing habits Sunday night. After dropping their first five games of the sea- son, the Wilfrid Laurier University Hawks (1-5-0) got their first win, a 4-2 victory over cross-town rivals the Waterloo Warriors.
“This was an all around team effort. We’ve struggled with putting 60 minutes together and we’ve let some leads go, so to be consistent for three periods was good, and Ryan [Daniels] was really strong in net for us,” said assistant coach Graeme Swan after Sunday’s win.
Following a 4-2 loss Saturday night in Windsor, the Hawks came out very strong against the Warriors (4-3-0). They controlled the game early; creating plenty of scoring chances and playing most of the first period in Waterloo’s end of the ice. Their early dominance resulted in goals by Zackory Ray, Tyler Stothers and Brook Albion.
In the second period, it was a different story as the Hawks took four penalties in the first ten minutes. The penalty kill allowed one goal to Waterloo’s Tyler Moir, but other- wise held very strong. Then, Laurier’s power play would restore their three-goal lead with a goal from defenceman Frank Riddle. The Hawks finished the night two-for-five with the man advantage.
In the third, the Golden Hawks, who have let leads slip away before, showed that they learned from past games mistakes. The team played tight defensively in the third and after allowing another goal to Andy Smith, the team hung on for the 4-2 win.
Goalie Ryan Daniels finished the game with 40 saves, as the Warriors outshot the Hawks 42-22.
“We’ve had a bit of adversity in the early going and it’s taken a bit for our young team to come together but we feel like we turned a corner this week,” said Swan. Laurier’s assistant was actually a former Waterloo assistant coach, and he added that it “was pretty sweet to get the two points against those guys.”
Though the mood in the dressing room was good, the team knows there is still much room for improvement. The group needs to show more discipline, as they racked up 42 minutes in penalties this weekend.
For now, the Hawks will look to keep their winning ways going next weekend with back-to-back home games against Lakehead. The first game is Friday night at 7:30 p.m.