Lancers pull away to beat Hawks 3-1

Again. And again. And again. And again.

It seems almost like déjà vu for the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s hockey team (7-16-1), as their games seem to start and end the same way.

And Saturday was no exception, as the Hawks returned home after a tough 4-2 loss to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks the night before.

Looking for redemption, Laurier welcomed the Windsor Lancers (11-12-1), but couldn’t capitalize, as they lost 3-1.

Starting out strong, Laurier created good scoring opportunities and matched the Lancers with physical play, but was brutally outshot 23-12 in the first two periods.

The third would be the deciding factor, as Windsor ran away with the game. With less than eight minutes left, the Lancers scored two goals to widen the gap and seal the Hawks’ fate.

“We just had a few mental lapses,” Hawks captain Kyle Van De Bospoort said. “I mean, we could string a couple good shifts together and then we would just fall apart. That’s the game of hockey.”

The first period showed strong puck control for Laurier, where the Hawks developed multiple good scoring opportunities against Lancers netminder Parker Van Buskirk.

However, the period quickly turned into a contest of goalies. Both Van Buskirk and Laurier’s Ryan Daniels displayed stellar performances to keep their teams in the game early on.

But the first goal of the game came from Windsor on the first shot of the second period to put them ahead 1-0.

Laurier would get an equalizer soon after when Van De Bospoort found the back of the net to tie it up.

This would be the Golden Hawks’ only goal of the game, as the Lancers ran away with two more in the third period to solidify their win.

Laurier was outshot 36-20 and seemed to be scrambling for much of the game. After being pulled Friday against the Ridgebacks, Daniels made an evident statement about his position.

“[Daniels] has been our MVP all year,” Van De Bospoort said. “I honestly believe that without him playing the way he is that we don’t have a chance. He’s got to play well and when he does, he gives us a chance to win every night.”

However despite Daniels’ strong presence, it seems like the Hawks cannot develop a good balance with their style of play.

“I think a few of us gotta’ look inside and be smarter with our shift lengths and be smarter with the puck and it’ll all work out,” Van De Bospoort said.

With only four games left in the season, it’s unknown whether the Hawks will be able to pull together to keep them out of the bottom of the West in the OUA standings. They sit four points ahead of UOIT in the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Hawks will battle the York Lions Thursday at 7:30 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreational Complex.

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