After an astounding 13-3 season, the Brock Men’s Ball Hockey team took to the Ontario University Ball Hockey League (OUBHL) Championship and won for the first time in their history with a two game sweep.
In game one, the finals against the Carleton Ravens proved to be a slow start for the Badgers. It appeared as if they were going to walk away with a loss. The Badgers then picked up the pace and proved their dominance as they stepped up their performance and walked away with a come-from-behind victory of 7-5.
During game two, the Badgers were able to keep their momentum going as they ended game two with a score of 6-1 to win the championship.
Aside from the first place finish for the team, there were other multiple highlights for the team during the season. Going into the playoffs, Keaton Trethewey proved to be the dominate goalie in the league while Anthony Loveless took the league in scoring as he collected 31 points in just 12 games played.
“Our strong play in the final series was impressive but in particular the 7-5 come from behind win against Carlton in the first game of the series. We were down late but scored the final three goals in a five minute span, including breaking the 5-5 tie with two goals about ten seconds apart with two minutes remaining in the game. After Adam White scored with just over two minutes left to give Brock a 6-5 lead, Jarrod Maidens scored again off of the following face-off to put Brock up 7-5. We actually finished the season on a 16-game win streak after sweeping Waterloo in the Semi-finals and Carleton in the finals,” commented coach Rene Vandenboom when asked what stuck out the most to him as a highlight during the championship.
Despite Brock’s tremendous season ending record, every team faces difficulties and in particular, Brock faced a troubling road trip to Waterloo in early fall when they lost two close games in one day.
The Badgers actually started their season off with a 1-1-2 record on that road trip, but it was those losses that struck fire in the hearts of the ball hockey team to play at their best level. Since those losses, the Badgers battled hard to give them a 13 game winning streak.
Surely this championship win was a pivotal moment for the Badgers as it was their first ever championship win. It was mentioned as a dream come true for Coach Vandenboom as it was something that he was building toward since he first started the unofficial club in 2008.
Adam White commented, “[Coach Vandenboom’s] dreams and hard work would mean nothing without the dedication and work of people like [myself – the President], Eric Warner (Vice President) and Adam Morrow (Treasurer), guys who shared his vision. We built the team by letting students know about it through social media and constant scouting/evaluating around campus. Then by letting the guys play a style that suited our strengths, we had some big shooters and some very fast runners and used this to our advantage in games. Every member of the club for the past few years has been working toward something like this and we are glad we could make Coach Rene proud.”
Every player on the roster stepped up to the plate when they were needed, but players who made an impact on the game specifically were: Shane Johns, Adam Morrow, Keaton Trethewey, Peter Accardo, Adam White, Anthony Loveless, Jarrod Maidens and Steve Doll.
Despite losing some key players next season, the team will still have a strong core and will start building the roster in September with some new, key players while the ball hockey team expects and hopes to win the OUBHL Championship again next season.
“We showed this year we have the lineup to win again next year and hopefully next year there will be an even bigger league for us to play against. As of now there are potentially four more schools interested in joining the league. With the OUBHL win, the Badgers actually qualified for the Tier three Winter Ball Hockey Provincial Championships this year,” commented Adam White.
The team would like to thank Coach Vandenboom for the hard work and dedication he has put into the team ever since he started it at Brock, we know this win meant a lot to him and he is excited to keep this success going in the future.
Assistant Sports Editor