Men’s hockey snaps losing skid

Last Friday, the young Golden Hawks men’s hockey team got a rude demonstration of just how good the talent is in the upper echelon of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) west division. Six different Mustangs had multi-point nights as Western trounced Laurier 7-2 at Thompson Arena in London, giving the Hawks their second straight road loss.

On Saturday evening the purple and gold had a chance to redeem the weekend and they took full advantage to shake off the cobwebs with a hard-fought 3-2 home win over the visiting Brock Badgers. Ryan Daniels made 27 saves on 29 shots in the Golden Hawks’ net while former Western Hockey League net-minder Kurt Jory was strong stopping 40 of 43 shots for Brock.

“I thought we had a much better effort tonight than Friday,” commented Laurier head coach Greg Puhalski. “We got our behinds kicked at Western. [Tonight’s game] was a good win for us, a good bounce back game considering how poorly we played Friday.”

Brock opened the scoring at the 15:58 mark of the first period after Laurier showed the after-effects of the previous night’s shelling at the hands of the Western Mustangs. The Golden Hawks were slow, sluggish and lethargic in their attack for almost two full periods until veteran forward Ryan Bellows fired a wrist-shot over Jory’s right shoulder at 19:21 of the second. 

“We came off yesterday’s game where we got totally embarrassed,” Puhalski said. “When that happens to you, especially with a young club, you start questioning yourself. We were just a bit tentative and did not want to make mistakes.”

“It was a key goal by Bellows that broke the ice for us at the end of the second period.”

The third was all Laurier as Jory was called upon to make save after save, preventing the Hawks from pulling away. It looked as though he was unbeatable until the 11-minute mark when rookie Alexander Poulter scored on a wrap-around from a bad angle. The tally was Poulter’s third of the year. 

“I thought we had a real strong third period,” continued Puhalski. “We controlled most of the play and were able to create 43 shots. That is, by far, our largest output of the year and a good benchmark for us to aim for.”

Another freshman, former Sudbury Wolves power forward Kain Allicock, doubled Laurier’s lead a mere 15 seconds later, potting in on another wrap-around. His goal would turn out to be the game-winner.

“We were definitely tired heading into the game,” said Allicock, the hulking Hawks’ winger. “I’ve been out for a while and it was nice to get on the game sheet and get the goal for the team…. I really needed that.”

Dan Dooley cut Laurier’s lead to one on Brock’s only shot of the period, but that was as close as they got as the Golden Hawks continued the pressure, cruising to the 3-2 victory.

Laurier embarks now on the road for three games before returning home Nov. 11 to play cross-town rivals the Waterloo Warriors.