Men split weekend

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s hockey team saw their record move to 10-4-1 over the weekend after a home loss to the Western Mustangs on Thursday and a road win over the Brock Badgers on Friday.

The Hawks dominated against Western in the first and third periods – out-shooting them 10-5 and 18-5 in those frames, respectively – but were defeated for the second time in a row against the Mustangs by a score of 5-4.

“We created a lot of opportunities to score and we let a few chances slide,” said Hawks’ head coach Kelly Nobes. “They were, on the other hand, very opportunistic.”

The first period was a see-saw battle as the two teams traded markers and combined for five goals.
The Mustangs got the scoring started, but Jason Bergeron and Jean-Michel Rizk countered in the stanza for the Hawks. 

Golden Hawks’ goaltender Jeff MacDougald had a game to forget as he was pulled following the first period after giving up three soft goals on only five shots. He was replaced by freshman Ryan Daniels to begin the second, who was solid for the rest of the game, making 24 saves to keep Laurier in the game.

“Everybody has off nights,” commented Laurier captain Jean-Michel Rizk of MacDougald’s playing. “They were good shots and we knew [MacDougald] was trying hard. He will bounce back.”

The Mustangs extended their lead early in the third period, which seemed to ignite the Hawks as they put on the pressure, forcing Western net-minder Keyvan Hunt into many quality saves and hitting two posts.

Forward Ryan Bellows cut the Mustangs’ lead to one with 10 minutes left in the game, but the Hawks just could not find the equalizer.

“We just could not bury,” said Rizk. “We hit some posts and their goalie made a lot of good saves. It was a tough night for the team.”

Laurier has a four-game losing streak against Western, with all games being decided by one goal.

“They are the third-ranked team in the country for a reason,” said Nobes. “They are loaded with talent from top to bottom and they work hard. Tonight we outshot them 38-31, but the pucks were just not bouncing our way.”