Brock Hockey hopes home-friendly schedule leads to success

After a year of struggling to score goals and finishing last place in the OUA West, the Brock Men’s Hockey team is preparing to make its way back to the playoffs. The team has added three new players to its roster: one forward and two defencemen.

The Badgers struggled on both ends of the ice in 2015-2016. They finished last in the OUA West in goals scored with 69 and tied for second to last in goal against, allowing 107. The most frustrating part for the Badgers was finishing the season on a 10 game losing streak after beginning the season with a 5-3-3 record.

Brock will begin their 2016-2017 season with three straight games, two of three being Wednesday night games. They’ll open up at Seymour-Hannah on October 5, versus York. The York Lions finished first in the OUA West, 18 points better than the Badgers. The Badgers and Lions will drop the puck at 7:15 p.m. Then the Badgers will play Western on Oct. 8 and Ryerson on Oct. 12 at the Seymour-Hannah Centre.

They’ll follow those three home games with five of their next six on the road. However, the Badgers will avoid any long road trips as they’ll play host to Concordia (November 11), UQTR (Nov. 12), Carleton (December 3), UOIT (January 20), Queen’s (Jan. 21) and Royal Military College of Canada (February 11).

The Badgers will however, have to travel to play Lakehead for two games and a game each versus Nipissing and Laurentian.

It’ll be a 28 game schedule for the Badgers, with 14 home games and 14 road games. Their game versus RMC will conclude their season.

No preseason schedule has been released for the Men’s Hockey team, however, there are plans to host the 18th annual Steelblade Classic – the Badgers have won five straight years.

The career of Annie Berg as a Brock Badger will begin on October 13th at the Seymour-Hannah Centre versus Ryerson, a 1:15 p.m. puck drop.

Berg played for the Canadian Under-18 Women’s team at the World Championships earlier this year and turned down a NCAA scholarship to play for the Badgers. Berg’s teammate and Badger fifth-year forward Sophie Herbert also played for her home country of Great Britain in the 2016 IIHF World Championships.

The two forwards and the rest of the Brock Women’s Hockey team hope they can turn it around in 2016-17 after a 10-13-1 season last year.

The Badgers missed the playoffs by four points, after they made a late season surge that fell short. The women started the 15-16 season with a 3-8-1 record, but it began to click late. A 1-0 win versus Waterloo on the road led the Badgers to win six of their last 11 games. However, their final two games were against the first and third ranked Guelph and Queen’s, making it tough on the Badgers to sneak into the playoffs.

Goal scoring was a major issue last season as they finished second to last in the OUA in goals scored with 37. They only scored more than four goals in a game once, when they beat the Windsor Lancers 5-4 – arguably the most entertaining game of the season. Now with Berg, the Badgers are hopeful goal scoring won’t be a major issue.

Following their home opener versus Ryerson, the women will go on a three game road trip to Windsor, Guelph and York. They’ll follow that up with four straight games at the Seymour-Hannah Centre.

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It’ll be a 24 game season for the Badgers, which will conclude on February 18, when the team travels to Toronto to play the Varsity Blues. They’ll play a total of 12 home games and 12 road games.

Top goal scorer from last season, Laura Neu (six goals) will not be returning after playing her fifth her. However, along with Berg the Badgers will have Herbert and Brittany Gillmor, who scored seven goals each a year ago. Kimberly Brown, Bronwyn O’Neil and Brenna Murphy all had six and will be returning as well.

Keep checking for updates on the upcoming schedules for Brock Athletics. Also make sure to like our Facebook page The Brock Press and follow us on Twitter @TheBrockPress.

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