Men’s hockey drops two

The Golden Hawks men’s hockey team played catch-up all weekend, never leading in either of their games this past Thursday and Friday.

On Remembrance Day at the Waterloo Recreational Complex, captain Jean-Michel Rizk bagged a pair of goals and the Hawks came back from a 3-0 third period deficit against cross-town rivals the Waterloo Warriors. However, the purple and gold skaters were unable to score in either overtime or in the shootout while former Prince Albert Raider and Chilliwack Bruin Andy Smith beat Hawks’ goalie Ryan Daniels’ five-hole to give the visitors the victory.

The next day Laurier visited the Windsor Lancers, a team who continues to prove that there are no longer any easy games in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Western Conference. Windsor was dominant, pelting Daniels with 50 shots and was always one step ahead on the scoreboard ultimately pulling out a 3-2 victory.

Thursday’s match against Waterloo was a tale of two games. The first, consisting of the first and second periods, went the way of the Warriors.

“We didn’t skate the first two periods,” commented Laurier head coach Greg Puhalski. “We were waiting to make mistakes.”

Waterloo captain and tremendously talented centre Chris Ray scored the first of his two goals after intercepting an errant Laurier pass on the penalty-kill in the Warriors’ zone. He made no mistake, converting on the breakaway with a snap shot to the roof behind Ryan Daniels.

The second period was not much better.

A harmless looking wrist-shot by Ray handcuffed Daniels at 10:26 to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Fourth-year winger Kyle Schwende made it 3-0 when he fired a shot past a screened Daniels from the slot on the power play at 13:56.

The third, however, looked like a totally different game.

“We kept it simple [in the third],” Golden Hawk captain Jean-Michel Rizk added. “We were more aggressive, finished hits and had lots of shots on net… [Warriors goaltender Keaton Hartigan] gave up a couple rebounds and we put them away.”

Rookie Thomas Middup fired home a rebound only 23 seconds into the frame, and then Rizk calmly converted on a two-on-one with Laurier’s leading point-getter Ryan Bellows.

Rizk potted his second of the affair after connecting on a beautiful power-play passing play with less than two minutes left in regulation to tie
the game up.

Overtime solved nothing, and UW rookie Andy Smith was the only one to score in the shootout handing the Hawks a 4-3 defeat.

The next day at Windsor it was a tired-looking Laurier team that fell 3-2. Outshot 50-34, the only bright spot for the Golden Hawks was Daniels who bounced back from a shaky game against Waterloo to make 47 saves in the loss.

“We are disappointed,” Rizk mentioned.
“We keep doing the same thing. We try to play catch-up hockey and only play one period…. You can’t win like that.”

The rough weekend means Laurier has lost four of the last five, and drops to sixth in the OUA Western Conference.

The good news is that next Friday and Saturday they host Eastern Conference weaklings Royal Military College (RMC) and Queen’s respectively.