Homestand split by men’s hockey

The WLU men’s hockey team is continuing their battle this season despite a handful of injuries.

Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team is continuing their battle this season despite a handful of injuries.

On Nov. 15 the Hawks saw three key offensive contributors step up as Laurier showered the Concordia Stingers with a flurry of first period goals, taking the game in a convincing 6-3 manner.

Third-year forwards Derek Schoenmakers, fifth-year Tyler Stothers and third-year Ryan Lopes each scored two goals to spread out the scoring.

First-year goaltender Harrison Pharoah came in after second-year Vinny Merante re-injured himself early in the second period.

Pharoah stood tall, turning away 24 shots in relief of Merante for two periods.

The Stingers tried to stage a third period comeback but fell short as Laurier was able to hang on to the lead.

“We haven’t been too worried about the offence, we actually had contributors from all third and fourth lines here. We just have got to be able to take care of the puck in our own end,” Stothers said. “Scoring goals hasn’t been an issue, it’s been keeping them out.”

Head coach Greg Puhalski commented on the first year goaltender’s play in relief on Saturday evening in Waterloo.

“Harrison came in, I thought in the second period he really played well. Had a bit of a tough third period for us but we got to play a little better defensively in front of him and make sure we don’t give up any shots, period.”

“Vinny wanted to be in the pipes — he didn’t want to leave,” Stothers said.

“He’s such a battler, but he’s been battling an injury now for a while and Harrison has been able to come in and he’s been fantastic. He’s giving us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask. It’s not an easy position in being asked to do what he’s asked to do, so it’s been nice.”

Sunday was a different story, as Laurier was held off the scoreboard for the first time all season facing off against the fifth-ranked Universitie du Québec  a Trois-Rivières  Patriotes, dropping the game 0-7 after a difficult third period. The loss was largely due to some penalty trouble as it dug a hole the Hawks could not escape.

Laurier’s special teams was an issue on Sunday, as the Patriotes’ power play went 4-6 and was a major factor in the lopsided loss.

The Hawks are a dismal 61 per cent on the penalty kill this season and rank in the number 12 spot in power play efficiency, with only four teams beneath them in both the OUA West and East divisions.

The Patriotes are the fifth-ranked team in the country and first in the Ontario University Athletics East division at 10-1-1.

However Laurier has mostly been able to rely on Pharaoh, who was called up from the Laurier intramural league after both goaltenders ran into some injury trouble.

Over the weekend, Pharaoh faced a total of 80 shots, with 53 of those shots coming from a very difficult Patriotes squad.

Next Friday, the Hawks go on the road as they face off against the Carleton Ravens. Puck drops at 7 p.m. in Ottawa.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros
Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros


Leave a Reply