Brock Women’s Hockey inches closer to final playoff spot

Led by Brock’s Female co-Athlete of the Week, goaltender Stephanie Loukes and the Badgers came into this weekend confident from last week’s sweep against Nipissing and Laurentian.

The team faced the last placed Ryerson Rams on Feb. 6 and traveled to the fifth seeded Western Mustangs on Feb. 7. The Rams arrived at the Seymour-Hannah Centre ready to end their 6 game losing streak. They did so in fashion as they cruised through the Badgers 5-1. On Sunday, Brock defeated Western in a tight 2-1 victory.

On Saturday, the Brock Women’s Hockey team hosted the Ryerson Rams. Prior to this game, the Rams scored only five goals during their six game losing streak. Ryerson came in this game with no confidence. The red hot Loukes started the game for the Badgers.

Both teams battled for possession in the first period as they recorded only six shots each. However, the Rams’ Michelle Evagelou opened the score at 9:49 of the first period.

Ryerson was now thriving with this new hope. Early in the second period, Alyssa Connolly and Blair Malthaner were able to score on Loukes. Malthaner’s goal, during four on four hockey, at 6:20, chased Loukes from the game. Allowing three goals on 12 shots, coaches Margot Page and Sara Bauer decided to send Jensen Murphy in the game hoping to wake up the team.

The coaches’ decision allowed the team to stop the bleeding as Murphy stopped all nine shots she faced during the remaining minutes of the second period. Despite the team’s inability to score, the offense was able to get ten pucks on target in the second period.

With their playoff hopes on the line, Brock cannot let the last placed team leave with all three points.
Down by three goals starting the third period, Page and Bauer’s team pushed to get on the scoreboard.
Both teams started the third period with a few opportunities on each side. The Rams were the first team to get a goal in the third. At 9:21, Karli Nummikoski scored the first goal on Murphy.

Now down by four and half a period left, the game seemed out of reach for the Badgers. At 14:28 of the third period, rookie Cara Sayles scored her second goal of the season. With just over five minutes left to go, the Badgers needed a miracle to get back in the game.

In the last four minutes of the game, the Badgers sunk their own ship by taking two penalties. With 3:26 left to play, the referee called a minor penalty to Christina Ieradi for checking to the head. Then with 1:58 left to play, Lauren Webb was called for slashing.

With the player advantage, the Rams were able to score once more and put the game away. Malthaner scored her second goal of the game during Webb’s penalty.

Women’s hockey upset #6 Western / Christy Mitchell

Women’s hockey upset #6 Western / Christy Mitchell

In the end, the Rams upset the Badgers 5-1. This was only Ryerson’s third win of the season, and second against Brock. These two losses against the last place team might haunt the Badgers as they try to qualify for the playoffs.

On the Sunday, the Badgers traveled to London to take on the Mustangs. With their 2-1 loss in double overtime against Laurier on Saturday, Western secured their spot for the playoffs.

After the upsetting loss on Saturday, Page and Bauer decided to put Murphy in net to start the game. After a slow 0-0 first period, the Badgers gained confidence as they only allowed Western four shots.

After outshooting their opponents in the first, Brock’s rookie Jazz Kennedy scored her first goal of the season. She picked up a free puck in the slot and scored an easy one as Western’s goaltender Kelly Campbell was completely out of position.

To start the third period, as Brock’s Brittney Cabral served her penalty for body checking, Laura Neu assisted Brittany Gillmor’s shorthanded goal. Only 30 seconds in the period, the Brock Badgers were leading 2-0. In this must-win situation, the Badgers had to protect the lead for an entire period.

Halfway through the third period, Western’s Brittany Clapham scored to cut the Badger’s lead to a single goal. In the second half of the period, Murphy stood up and stopped the Mustangs’ final attempts. She finished the game with 23 saves, helping her team to keep playoff hopes alive.

With this win, Brock now have 26 points with three games left to play. Brock is now only six points behind Laurentian and the final playoff spot.

Luckily for Brock, Laurentian lost to Queen’s 3-0 on Saturday and lost to UOIT 4-3 on Sunday. They will play their final game of the season on the road against the number one ranked Guelph on Feb. 13.

Next weekend, the Brock Women’s Hockey team will be in action at York on Feb. 14. Coming back from Brock’s reading week, the team will host Guelph on Feb. 20 and Queen’s on Feb. 21, both games at 2:15 at Seymour-Hannah Centre.

Mathieu Mantha

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