Hockey team suffers first loss of season
On Halloween night, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s hockey team looked to avenge last year’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semi-finals elimination at the hands of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs. Though the Hawks fought hard, a shortened-bench, poor offensive execution and a couple of bad bounces gave the visiting Mustangs the 4-3 win. The loss was Laurier’s first in regulation this season
“I think we just needed to execute better on the power play,” said head coach Kelly Nobes. “We generated some good chances on the first few chances, but we made some bad passes later in the game and it cost us.”
The purple and gold dominated the first period, keeping the talented Western offence at bay and out-shooting them 15-4. Nevertheless, the Hawks’ forwards showed a lack of a definitive cutting edge, especially with third-year sniper Craig Voakes out of the line-up.
Veteran Nathan Peacock finally got the Hawks on the board when he jammed in a loose puck past Western net-minder Anthony Grieco.
In the second period, Mustang forward Keaton Turkiewicz tied the game on a two-man advantage, while Jason Furlong hammered in a rebound to give Western the lead three minutes later.
Hawk assistant captain Chad Kennedy scored his first of the year to tie the game with less than a minute left in the period. But former London Knights’ Captain Scott Aarssen snapped a wrist-shot top shelf past Laurier goaltender Jeff MacDougald right when the buzzer sounded to end the period, putting the Mustangs back on top.
In the third period, newcomer Paul Bradley converted from a beautiful give-and-go with second year Clinton Pettapiece to tie the sea-saw battle at three.
Just over four minutes later, however, Mustangs’ grinder Chris Corbeil fired home the eventual winner off of a rebound just after Western had killed a penalty.
Western’s checking tightened right up after that, and forced many of the Hawks’ chances to the outside. It was a game very much reminiscent of last year’s playoff series between the two teams, as Western took away a hard fought one-goal victory.
“We are definitely working hard out there,” said defenceman Chad Kennedy. “We just need to finish; getting 37 shots and only three goals is not good enough.”
“Going forward I don’t think we have to change a ton,” added Nobes. “We need to get some people healthy and just keep working.”
Next weekend the now number 10 nationally ranked Laurier Golden Hawks travel to Thunder Bay to face another rival in the Lakehead Thunderwolves for a two-game set