The Brock men’s hockey team has fallen to a 7-7-1 record after this weekend’s two OUA regular season games. The Badgers were on a season high five game win streak until they came across the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes on November 12. At that point in their season, the Badgers were at a comfortable 7-3-0 record and looking like a team who could easily clinch a spot in the postseason. However, since then the Badgers lost a thriller on the road in double overtime to the Ottawa Gee-Gees that could have seen either team come away with the victory. Their bad luck continued as the Badgers would drop another decision to top ranked McGill Redmen in a 6-1 loss on the road.
The Badgers were all set to put an end to their losing woes as they took on the Windsor Lancers this past Friday at home in the Seymour-Hannah Centre. Things didn’t start the way the Badgers wanted as the Lancers would open up the scoring only 3:04 into the game. Chadd Baumann of the Lancers buried a powerplay goal from Dylan Denomme and Steve Anthony to give the Lancers an early 1-0 lead. The rest of the period remained scoreless thanks to exceptional goaltending at both ends.
It took until the beginning of the second period for the scoring to resume. At 6:45 Mike Christou and Dylan Seguin would set up Blake Blondeel who extended his team to a 2-0 lead. The Lancers ongoing pressure resulted in another goal at 14:29 in the third period. Brock took a penalty and the Lancers were able to convert their second powerplay goal of the night, this time coming from Ian Foubert with assists from Kyle Hope and Sebastian Beauregard.
Brock would dig deep in the third and push for their lone goal with nearly two minutes left in the game preventing their opponents from completing a shutout. Chris Maniccia put one passed Lancer goaltender, Blake Richards, for a powerplay goal with assists from Sammy Banga and Adam Lloyd. Windsor would add an empty netter from Justice Dundas only one minute later to conclude the competition.
Brock was outshot 34 to 20, an ongoing issue head coach Murray Nystrom has noticed his team is struggling with this season.
“We’ve found that a large number of shots against have come directly off of possession changes. So we’ve been focussing on puck management decisions the last couple weeks,” said Nystrom.
The Badgers put that game into the books and quickly turned their attention to Saturday’s home matchup against the Waterloo Warriors. The Warriors were 3-10 going into the matchup and sat in second last place in the OUA West division. Unfortunately for the Badgers, they got off to a slow start again. Sam Caldwell and Cam Wind both scored to put their team ahead 2-1 early in the match. Brock answered back with a power play goal scored by Brody Silk, his fifth of the season. Braden Pears and Jeff Corbett registered with the assists as the Badgers would cut the lead and make it 2-1. Celebrations were short lived as the Warriors answered back with a goal from Nick Halagian.
The second period saw the Badgers allow three more unanswered goals to make the score 6-1. At this point, Brock retired started Adam Beukeboom and put in Alex Brooks-Potts for the third period. Brooks-Potts was sharp in net and made 13 saves on 13 shots shutting out the Warriors for the remainder of the game. Brock couldn’t get things going on the other end of the ice and were held at one goal.
In this current situation, one must ask where can Brock look to strengthen their game to get back on their prior winning track? After this weekend, the men’s team is currently tied in third last place for powerplay goals against in the league. This coupled with the fact that Brock is consistently outshot in not only losses but also wins is an issue. Their other team stats are all very acceptable but in order for the Badgers to succeed they need do better on the penalty kill and shutdown offensive momentum by taking away chances to put the puck on their net.
Although the Badgers have hit a rough patch in their season their fans can remain confident that the team will turn things around in their upcoming games. The Badgers will be taking on two teams with very similar records so they have a great opportunity to pull away two big wins before the holiday break. The Badgers will return to action at home on December 2, as they take on the 7-7-2 Laurier Golden Hawks. They will then finish their 2016 schedule against the Carleton Ravens who have a 9-7-0 record.