Men’s hockey caps first half in style

It was a bizarre yet effective final weekend of the 2010 portion of the Golden Hawks men’s hockey season as they won both games by a combined score of 8-2 despite being outshot by a total of 80-52 over the two outings.

On Friday the Hawks hosted a familiar foe in the Guelph Gryphons. The visitors dominated in the first and second periods, out-shooting Laurier by a whopping margin of 35-14. Nevertheless, Laurier entered the third period up 3-1 on the strength of goals by Garrett Sinfield, Thomas Middup, and Matthew Reid.
Hawk net-minder Ryan Daniels was brilliant throughout, stopping a very talented and dangerous Guelph attack time after time.

With just under ten minutes remaining in the game, Sinfield scored his second of the game, and his second ever as a Golden Hawk, chasing Gryphons goaltender Andrew Loverrock, and ultimately capping a 4-1 victory.

Saturday brought the York Lions to town; a team Laurier has traditionally had little difficulty in dispatching at home. Yet the visitors from Toronto were up for the fight, pouring 36 shots on the indefatigable Daniels.

Daniels, however, was up for the fight, and the Hawks scored four again en route to another 4-1 victory.

“I just try to give the team a chance to win every night,” commented the third-year goaltender.

The key theme of the night on the offensive side of things for the Hawks was the union of Matthew Reid, and Mitchell Good with team captain Jean-Michel Rizk.

The results were obvious as three of Laurier’s four goals came courtesy of those three.

Rizk scored his team leading tenth goal of the season at the 17:15 mark of the first period after receiving a fancy drop pass from Good, and firing it past a helpless David Blair in the York net.

Veteran centre Colin Williams doubled the lead a mere 12 seconds later, redirecting a Ryan Bellows wrister for his third goal of the campaign.

Lions captain Jesse Messier fired a nice wrist-shot to the far-post past Daniels to cut the lead in half 16 seconds into the second period; but Laurier responded with their nation-leading power play as Mitchell Good converted at the 7:26 mark.
Matthew Reid finished off a gorgeous passing play from Good and Rizk at 9:51 of the second to finish the scoring off for the game.

The rest of the match was a slow, grinding affair as the purple and gold lost a great deal of discipline.

“[York]…had a number of power plays,” said Laurier head coach Greg Puhalski. “And I think that is where they were able to create a lot of shots, and also create momentum for themselves.”

“We killed far too many penalties tonight.”

The Hawks did manage to kill the seven York penalties, including a long two-man advantage in the second caused by the Hawks’ most undisciplined player, Mike Gauthier, who racked up his team leading 108th penalty minute in 16 games (he had 116 in 27 games last year).

“It’s good that we won but we are not playing the way we want,” Rizk mentioned. “We gave up way too many shots from turnovers and it is costing us.”
The Hawks enter the break in decent shape going 9-4-4 on the season; good enough for fourth place in the tough OUA Western Conference (though they are tied on points with Waterloo, the Warriors have more wins).

Don’t forget to log on to thecord.ca for a full review of the first half of the season.

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