Men’s hockey falls in OT thriller

It was a heroic effort, but the Golden Hawks men’s hockey team came up just short against the visiting Western Mustangs, falling 4-3 in overtime.

The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West’s first place Mustangs had their way early, with rookie Josh McQuade counting twice in the first period. Former WHL veteran Kyle Lamb extended Western’s lead 7:48 into the second, capitalizing on a broken play to give the visitors a commanding 3-0 advantage.

But the Hawks never gave up. Ben Skinner, who has three of his six goals on the year against Western, started the come back on an odd-man rush at the 14:44 mark of the second. Zackory Ray cut the lead to one goal with just under two minutes left in the middle period after converting a blind pass from James Marsden that went out front and found him.

It took untill 15:36 of a tense third period before fifth year Laurier defenseman Ryan Bernardi completed the comeback, wiring one of his patented vicious slap shots past Mustangs net-minder Anthony Grieco, sending the Hawk bench into frenzy.

Although former WHL 20-goal scorer, and current Mustangs sniper, Yashar Farmanara scored in overtime, converting a two-on-one after a bad pinch by Hawks defenceman Zach Shepley, the Golden Hawks proved to themselves, and the league, that they can skate with the best and play with the best. They showed that they could fight back against the best team in the conference, and that with the right bounces, could beat them.

Tonight the Hawks take on the Guelph Gryphons at the Sleeman Centre, the home of the OHL’s Guelph Storm, for the so-called “Frosty Mug” game; a promotional game the Gryphons hold at the Storm’s rink every year. With a win or an overtime loss, or a Lakehead loss against Brock, Laurier can hang on to second place in the OUA’s Western Conference.

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