Last second goal snaps streak

(Photo by Madeline Turriff)

(Photo by Madeline Turriff)

It was a case of too little too late for the Wilfrid Laurier men’s hockey team on Thursday night, as a pair of third-period goals from the purple and gold would not be enough to come back against the Toronto Varsity Blues.

Laurier was handed their third straight loss in a 3-2 chippy affair.

The Hawks were riddled by penalties throughout and were forced to play shorthanded on many occasions in the match with 16 minutes of penalties. In turn, the penalties lead to the demise of the Hawks as the Blues registered two man-advantage goals, including the game winner on the powerplay from Tyler Liukkonen.

“Flat out, our performance was not good enough,” emphasized Laurier head coach Greg Puhalski.

A pair of third period markers came courtesy of second-year Greg Cerilli and fourth-year Ben Skinner. Cerilli fired home a quick shot to beat the Blues goaltender Brett Willows to reduce the two-goal deficit to just one.

Liukkonen restored the lead for the Blues on the powerplay, but Skinner found the back of the net on a lucky bounce off a defenders skate to pump some life back into the purple and gold squad.

“At times we played really well throughout the game, but at other times we really didn’t. To be better, we need to be more focused on competing while on the ice,” Puhalski said.

The Hawks were all over the Blues in the final minutes of the game and were pestering Blues starter Willows with shots from all angles, but couldn’t find that much-needed tying goal before the buzzer sounded to end the game as the Hawks were handed their third straight loss.

“We need all of our players contributing to our team effort and competing during the game,” said Puhalski on the importance of consistency and focus during tight games.

However, the Hawks shot their way back into the winners circle the following night on Friday in an exhilarating matchup against the Western Mustangs. The game was a stalemate for most of the match as the teams carried a 2-2 deep into the third period. Tyler Stothers and Derek Schoenmakkers provided the offence for the Hawks who each had a tally, but the most important goal came from rookie Peter MacIntosh who scored with one second left in the game to lead the Golden Hawks to their first victory in three games.

The Golden Hawks look to build off their dramatic late-game victory when they face off against the Guelph Gryphons at home as they aim to improve on their 6-10-1 record.

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