Men’s hockey falls to Gryphons

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

Less than 24 hours after their first win of the season in which came thanks to a late-game comeback against the Windsor Lancers, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s hockey team looked to make it two in a row as they hosted the Guelph Gryphons Saturday evening.

However, an early Gryphons lead made things tough for the Hawks on this night, as they would succumb to a 6-2 loss.

“We got behind early, eight minutes in and it was 3-0, two turnovers resulted in [two of the] goals,” said head coach Greg Puhalski.

“We play close to the vest, [we need to] play a tight checking game to win, and that got away from us in the first period,” admitted Puhalski.

The second period would see the Hawks go down 4-0 before rookie Brett Priestap scored to break the ice for the Golden Hawks. Second-year Tyler Stothers would register another goal, but the early lead proved to be insurmountable and the game ended 6-2 in Guelph’s favour.

Laurier goaltender Ryan Daniels made 33 of 39 saves on the night, displaying the same performance that he exemplified all of last year. Although, according to Puhalski, Daniels is not playing up to his own standards.

“If you were to ask [Daniels], he’d say he isn’t playing as strong as he wants to but he can turn it around,” said Puhalski of his veteran goalie.

With 14 new recruits on the team, this is one of the younger teams Laurier has had in recent years.

The team started the season with four consecutive losses until they pulled a come-from-behind victory against the Lancers.

When asked if this Golden Hawks team was better than last year’s that snuck into the playoffs, Puhalski said that it is far too early to make assumptions.

“It’s too early to tell if we’re a better club. We need to play with more consistency, pay attention to [the] smaller details. But this team has a better work ethic than any other team I’ve coached at Laurier,” he said.

Next on the schedule for the Hawks is the Ryerson Rams this Thursday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

They’ll then head to Kingston to battle RMC. Laurier’s next home game will be Nov. 9 when they host Carleton.

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