Gryphons steal one from Badgers in overtime thriller

By: John Mignelli- Assistant Sports Editor

Brock conceded a goal with just 14 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Guelph Gryphons (4-3 OUA) a 4-3 win over the Badgers (3-3-1 OUA) at the Seymour-Hannah Centre on October 30.

Hockey pictureThe Badgers played a convincing game for nearly 65 minutes but Guelph stole the victory just before the buzzer went off.

Defenceman Thomas Welsh (Hamilton, Ont.) was precariously close to winning the game for Brock, hitting the bottom right of the Gryphon post from a slap-shot only a minute into overtime.

Despite other chances at wrapping the game up, the Badgers succumbed to the fatal goal when Guelph forward James Merrett (Vernon, Ont.) tucked in a loose puck at the left side of Brock’s net. Winger Teal Burns (Prince Rupert, B.C.) blitzed into the Brock zone and fired a shot wide just right of the net. Unfortunately for Badger goaltender Adrian Volpe (Burlington, Ont.) the puck bounced to the left of the net and the rest was a simple job for Merrett. Daniel Broussard (Fayetteville, N.C.) added the second assist on the game-winning goal for Guelph.

The home team actually started the game mediocrely, giving up two goals in the first eight minutes to Burns and Robert Lepine (Killaloe, Ont.) respectively. Burns was antagonistic on the right wing for much of the game.

Kevin Christmas (Hamilton, Ont.) responded for the Badgers when he wired a one-timer past Guelph goaltender Christopher McDougall (Copper Cliff, Ont.). A link-up between Ryan Purvis (Orillia, Ont.) and Thomas Stajan (Mississauga, Ont.) behind the Gryphon net resulted in Stajan spotting Christmas at the top of the right circle and he fed Christmas a perfect pass for the score, cutting the Guelph lead to 2-1.

A miscommunication between starting goalie Dalton McGrath (Toronto, Ont.) and his skaters gave Guelph a 3-1 lead. Brett Appio (Bolton, Ont) of Guelph shot the stray puck into an empty net from the blue-line less than one minute after Christmas scored.

Andrew Radjenovic (Hamilton, Ont.) cut the lead to 2-1 in the second period when he strung out McDougall with a left-to-right deke. The deke actually caused McDougall to dislodge the net but the goal still stood. Both Johnson Andrews (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.) and Mike McGurk (Hamilton, Ont.) recorded assists on the play.

Finally in the third period Brock tied the game three minutes in, when defenceman Anthony Geldart (Kingston, Ont.) cashed in the product of passes between Matt Abercrombie (Sarnia, Ont.) and Daniel Zweep (Richmond Hill, Ont.).

Guelph came close to taking a lead twice in the third period but they could not manage to score. A left-wing shot rung the post and Kyle Neuber (Sarnia, Ont.) was denied on a breakaway by Volpe, who had come in at the start of the second period to replace McGrath.

Brock also had an opportunity to prevent overtime when Stajan’s point-blank attempt in the slot was tipped over the net and into the mesh above the glass. This came with only 40 seconds remaining and Brock went on to lose a heartbreaker in the extra period. Despite outshooting the Gryphons 43-31, the Badgers still could not manage to win the game.

The Badgers will go on the road next weekend but return home on Nov. 15 when they face McGill University. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. at the Seymour Hannah Centre.

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