Men’s hockey sweeps weekend

Laurier celebrates a goal against the Nipissing Lakers (in purple) Friday night. (Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

Laurier celebrates a goal against the Nipissing Lakers (in purple) Friday night. (Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

The Wilfrid Laurier men’s hockey team handed the Laurentian Voyageurs a 6-0 loss to round out their weekend home stand on Saturday night.

After demonstrating control over their last matchup versus the Nipissing Lakers, the Hawks are finally starting to find some success going further into the season, in which they lost five straight games, including an overtime loss against Waterloo before picking up their first win against Concordia. They won the matchup against Nipissing 6-2 on home ice.

The Hawks started out early against Laurentian with a goal by Greg Cerilli halfway through the first period to make it 1-0, and then adding a second goal nearing the end of 20 minutes by first-year Tanner Olstad.

The second period started out more conservative, with the Voyageurs battling back at the Hawks’ net, but goaltender Duncan Long stood strong, stopping all shots headed his way with the help of his defence.

Second-year Derek Schoenmakers would add a powerplay goal in the middle of the second period after coming out of the box from a four-minute major penalty to add to the tally, extending the lead 3-0.

With two of the six goals scored on the man advantage, and another scored while shorthanded by Ben Skinner, Schoenmakers knows the importance of being able to capitalize on opportunities while being up a man.

“We’ve just been working on it, it’s one of those things that we started the season off not very well, and then since then we just started working on it in practice and stuff and it’s really started to come around.” he said. “We’re started to get some chemistry out there. It’s really about moving the puck well and finishing off our chances now so it’s going good.”

The third period showed desperation from the Voyageurs, taking 30 shots overall with none of them successfully touching the twine. Laurier would score three more goals, including the shorthanded goal by Greg Lamoureux, and Skinner would score a second for the Hawks to be up 6-0.

Schoenmakers, who played two games with the Hawks last year before playing with the Kitchener Rangers for the rest of the season, also assisted with two other goals during the game.

“It’s different just because everybody here is older,” Shoenmakers explained, comparing the intensity between Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) competition. “The OHL is 16 to 20 years old, or 21 year olds, and playing here is 21-22, to 26. It’s pretty comparable, the hockey out here is really good, and it’s not too much different here.”

Schoenmakers is content being able to find success after a rocky start to the season has put them behind in the standings, currently sitting last in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West division.

“Yeah it was a good weekend for us. They are two good teams and we’ve been playing well lately so it’s good to get two wins.”

With this victory, Laurier improves their record to 3-5-1 in the regular season. They are back in action Friday night as they face the McGill Redman in Montreal. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

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