Points in six straight games for Golden Hawks hockey
Coach Puhalski and his Golden Hawks men’s hockey team have started the new year with a bang!
Laurier came out of this weekend’s games with two dominating home wins, and have won six of their past seven games dating back to the end of 2019.
On Friday night against their rivals, the Western Mustangs, Laurier was able to win on the strength of seven goals scored.
Laurier was able to get scoring from almost all of its forwards, as 14 different players ended up getting a point on a night in which the Golden Hawks offense looked unstoppable.
The following night, the Golden Hawks relied on goalie Matt Williams who played a stellar game and led the team to a 3-1 victory over the nationally ranked Ryerson Rams.
Williams stopped 38 of 39 shots and made some crucial saves to hold one of the top offenses in the country to only one goal on the night.
These two factors have been the consistent driving force for Laurier’s hottest stretch of the season.
An offense that has seen production from all of its lines and has scored four or more goals in five of their last seven games has significantly helped, especially with the powerplay unit.
As has rookie goaltender Matt Williams who has started five straight games for the team and was named male athlete of the week after last weekend’s games.
The rookie continues an impressive season that has him positioned inside the top ten of the OUA for goals against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV %).
The offense scored ten goals over the two games on the weekend, which included a power-play hat trick by Anthony Conti, who scored all the goals for the Golden Hawks against the Rams.
Conti leads the team with 23 points and was named the male athlete of the week for this week, which is his first time winning that award.
With 11 goals on the season, the fifth-year winger Conti has already hit a career high in goals and points.
Laurier is playing their best hockey at the right time and is finally winning at home to the delight of coach Greg Puhalski.
After losing their first four games of the season at home, the Golden Hawks have now won four of their past five games at the Waterloo Recreational Complex, including the two wins this past weekend.
Coach Puhalski’s team has also been fortunate as the Golden Hawks were credited a win from one of last weekend’s game due to the Windsor Lancers having to forfeit.
The explanation given to coach Puhalski was that Winsor had an ineligible player, which led them to forfeit their win.
“One of [Windsor’s] players should have been suspended and he dressed against us,” said Puhalski.
Laurier continues to climb the rankings in the tight OUA West division, as they surge towards another playoff appearance.
Coach Puhalski was impressed with his depth scoring against the Mustangs on Friday night and stressed the need for that to continue.
“Any success we have as a club relies on scoring by committee and we need to have goals by everybody, including our defense, which was nice to see tonight” Puhalski said after Laurier’s win against Western.
A big reason for Laurier’s continued success is the penalty kill and power play units.
Laurier was successful on all three of their penalty kills against the second ranked power play unit of the Western Mustangs on Friday night, and capitalized themselves on Saturday night by scoring three power-play goals, all from Conti.
Coach Puhalski has not been impressed by either of the units over the course of the season but was pleased with the team’s performances this week.
“I thought our angles were good, we took away time and space and was one of our best jobs of the season,” Puhalski stated.
Laurier’s power-play has rapidly climbed the rankings over the past couple of weeks, as thier powerplay is now ranked fourth in the OUA, having scored a power-play goal in five straight games – seven total.