John Mignelli- Assistant Sports Editor
The Brock men’s hockey team (5-5-2 OUA) lost back-to-back games on November 15 and 16 at the Seymour Hannah Centre. Brock fell to the McGill Redmen (8-1-1 OUA) in a closely contested match, 4-3, and then lost to the Ottawa Gee-Gees (7-5-0 OUA), 7-3.
Kaine Geldart (Kingston, Ont.) scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season for Brock against McGill, although these goals were not enough to win the game.
The Redmen played a very fast and physical game, but Brock was able to keep up with them throughout, which is impressive considering McGill’s first place standing in the East division.
Brock took a two-goal lead within the first seven minutes, scoring on a two-man advantage and then again on another power play. Geldart tipped in a slap-shot taken by Matt Abercrombie (Sarnia, Ont.) for the first goal and then just a minute and a half later smashed home a rebound which was the result of a Kevin Christmas (Hamilton, Ont.) shot. Brock forward Andrew Radjenovic (Hamilton, Ont.) was also awarded an assist on the second goal.
The Badger penalty kill was put to work during the middle part of the first period, but came out unscathed, even killing a five-on-three for almost two minutes. McGill’s power play was very well organized and dangerous but they struggled with accuracy. Brock did a great job of blocking some shots and getting sticks in passing lanes, contributing to their shorthanded showing.
McGill cut the Brock lead in half when Samuel Carrier (Varennes, Que.) put a shot past Badger goaltender Dalton McGrath (Toronto, Ont.). Alexis Millette (Sorel-Tracy, Que.) of the Redmen gained the zone on the left wing and slid a pass to Carrier who popped the puck in from the top of the right circle, only 48 seconds into the period.
Carl Gelinas (Sherbrooke, Que.) tied the game midway through the second, off an assist by Hugo Laporte (Ste. Julie, Que.). Laporte threw a pass all the way from his own zone to the streaking Gelinas, who made a left-to-right power move and backhanded a shot into the goal, over the outstretched arms of McGrath.
With only thirty seconds left in the period, Marc-Olivier Vachon (Thetford Mines, Que.) gave McGill their first lead of the game. Vachon blazed into the high slot and received a pass from Max Le Sieur (Montreal, Que.) and then fooled McGrath with a lightning fast deke and finished on the play. This was Le Sieur’s second assist of the night, his first coming as a secondary assist on the Carrier goal. Benoit Levesque (Vaudreuil, Que.) was also in on the goal.
Down a goal heading into the third period, Brock came out very aggressively and pressed the Redmen in their own zone. This strategy rewarded the home team when C.J. Dickson (Thorold, Ont.) knocked down an airborne breakout pass and slid it to Jordan Gignac (Hamilton, Ont.) who cashed in the product of a superb fore-check. The game was now tied at three goals apiece, and despite a few chances for both teams, no more goals were scored in the period or in overtime.
With a shootout required, Brock sent out Radjenovic who drew quite a reaction from the crowd when he swooped from right to left, leaving the puck far away from both he and Redmen goaltender Andrew Flemming (Quispamsis, N.B.) and tapped it in with one arm.
Despite this pretty move, both Carrier and Cedric McNicoll (Thetford Mines, Que.) came through for McGill and secured the win, as both Geldart and Dan Tanel (Brampton, Ont.) were denied for Brock.
After a disappointing loss, Brock took on the GeeGees on Nov. 16. This game, not as close as the previous match against McGill, did not end well for the Badgers.
Ottawa was able to capitalize on five of seven power play opportunities and put the game away in the third period.
Much like Friday’s fixture, Brock struck first when Thomas Stajan (Mississauga, Ont.) scored a goal assisted by Johnson Andrews (Niagara-on-the-lake, Ont.) and Ryan Purvis (Orillia, Ont.).
Unfortunately, Ottawa responded with three unanswered goals, two of them on power plays, with Nicolas Therrien, Alexandre Touchette (Acton Vale, Que.) and Mathieu Guertin (Terrebonne, Que.) scoring for Ottawa.
A miniature comeback was completed, as goals by Radjenovic and Andrews for Brock actually tied the game at 3-3 but Ottawa added four more goals to run away with the win. Both McGrath and Adrian Volpe (Burlington, Ont.) played in the loss.
This weekend snapped a two-game win streak for Brock who had beaten Carlton (6-4-1 OUA) and the Royal Military College (0-11-0 OUA) in previous games.
Next up for the Badgers is Concordia University (2-4-3 OUA) on Nov. 22, in Montreal.