Men’s hockey netminder Vinny Merante stands tall
Goaltender survives 45-shot barrage en route to 4-1 win
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks were victorious for the second time this year against their cross-town rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, with a 4-1 win on January 23. The win catapults the Golden Hawks to .500, with an overall record of 11-11-0. This victory was courtesy in large part to solid team defence and the play of goaltender Vinny Merante. Merante turned aside a 45-shot barrage en route to the victory. Although the Golden Hawks allowed many shots on goal, Merante stood tall through the pressure from the Warriors. The rest of the team kept the quality scoring chances from a talented Warrior team to a minimum. It was the first time the Hawks have swept the season series with the Warriors in 13 years.
“It was a good one for the boys. They kept shots on the outside. That’s all I could ask for. They did the rest and put the puck in the net,” said Merante on his team’s play in front of him.
The goaltending tandem of Merante and Furlong have been good for the Hawks of late and have contributed to their recent three game winning streak. Both Furlong and Merante have nearly identical save percentages, which gives the Hawks some stability between the pipes — a refreshing change from last season.
Currently, Furlong has a .921 save percentage while Merante has a .919 save percentage. Puhalski is content with the play of both of the Laurier goaltenders and how they are contributing to the team.
— The Cord | Sports (@cordsports) January 24, 2016
“Both Colin [Furlong] and Vinny [Merante] have played well of recent and also played at a high level of recent, for our team that’s been a good lynch pin and they’ve really given the rest of our team a lot of confidence,” he said. “Coming off last year we went a stretch for eight or 10 games not having any of our goaltenders with us.”
The two points the Hawks took from the Warriors are a massive two points as Laurier sits just a win away from tying the Warriors for fourth in the Ontario University Athletics West conference. Merante said that the rivalry between the two teams is always an exciting one, as it’s always a close game.
“It’s always a lot of fun and a lot of intensity and at the end of the game we’re all good with each other, that’s the nice thing about it,” Merante said. “On the ice we battle, when we get off the ice everything goes back to normal.”
The Hawks are back in action Friday, January 29 as they take on the Brock Badgers. Puck drop is at 7:15 p.m. at Seymour-Hannah Centre in St. Catharines.