The Brock Women’s Hockey team jumped up two spots in their division with a key victory over the Windsor Lancers on Jan. 17. They now stand just outside the last playoff spot and need only six more points to get them within range.
The home game at the Seymour-Hannah Centre saw Windsor come out strong in the first half of the first period to establish an early two-goal lead. The momentum changed, however, after captain Laura Neu scored an unassisted goal.
“It got everyone’s spirits up,” said Neu following the game.
After Neu’s goal, Brock scored two more goals within two minutes. Kimberley Brown evened the score and Brittany Gillmor found the back of the net in a wild scramble at the very end of the period as the buzzer rang.
“We did some little things to get those opportunities,” said associate head coach Sara Bauer. “Lots of net pressure, and presence in those gritty areas that got rewarded.”
Windsor controlled most of the play in the second period, although Brock was able to hold them off with smart defensive plays. Halfway through, Windsor capitalized on a power play and evened the score.
In the last period, the Badgers lost the lead again as the Lancers scored after only a minute of play, making the score 4-3 against Brock. Staying focused, the women kept up the pressure and Brock goals were scored by Sophie Herbert and Brown’s second of the night. The Badgers held off Windsor for the last five minutes of the game and the final score of the game was 5-4 for Brock.
Good offense by the women was one of the key factors in this win. Going into the game, Brock held the second-worst offense in the division, averaging only 1.20 goals per game. This was the first time they scored five times in a game all season, even though they were outshot 32-24. The points for the Badgers also came from players from all lines, showing good depth and teamwork.
“We’re not catering our style of play to one player,” said Bauer. “We play as a unit which makes us more versatile and stronger.”
In net for the Badgers was back-up goalie Stephanie Loukes. Loukes made some key saves throughout the game, especially when Windsor showed some aggressive net presence.
“[Loukes] has held the fort when we needed her to,” commented Bauer. “She bounced back from a couple of bad goals and helped get us the win.”
With eight games remaining in the regular season, the Badgers need to continue to be able to find those scoring opportunities. They are within range of clinching that last playoff spot if they bring the same level of offense to the rest of their games.
“It’s just another step in the process,” said Bauer. “We focus on the way we do things, not on the outcome of the game.”
“We need to focus on just improving our all-around play as a team, and continuing to get more shots on net,” added Neu.
The win against Windsor came after a 4-2 loss against UOIT on Jan. 16. Brock outshot the Ridgebacks 27-21 but could not find the back of the net more than two times. They stepped up their offense Sunday and showed that they are a team that can produce goals.
“It’s definitely good to end the weekend with those three points and go into the next game with a win streak,” said Neu.
The women face off next against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Jan. 23. Toronto is currently ranked sixth in the division and a win will move the Badgers even closer to a playoff spot.