The Brock men’s hockey team took to the road this past weekend to play two teams from OUA’s Eastern division. The Badgers were heading into their weekend with a 7-4 record on the season. Before losing their previous game against UQTR, they were on a six game winning streak.
“It’s tough to pinpoint any single area that’s been responsible for that streak. We’ve had a combination of good goaltending, consistent special teams performance, and timely goals,” said head coach, Murray Nystrom. “Clint Windsor has really emerged as a quality, reliable university level goaltender. Our group of defensemen have been playing really well, especially transitioning the puck away from our goal and up ice. We have some depth in our forwards and we’ve had different guys step up their game at different times.”
Heading into the Eastern division against the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the McGill Redmen would prove to be challenging and adjustments would have to be made between both games.
“This is a tough weekend, for sure,” said Nystrom. “[Ottawa] plays on Olympic size ice so there are always positional details we need to pay attention to. McGill is always strong, they play on a much smaller ice surface, so again, we’ll have to shift our focus for that game. The standings are tight in the Eastern Division as well, so we know these are meaningful games for our opponents.”
In the nation’s capital, Ottawa opened the scoring merely two minutes into the first period as Marc Beckstead beat Brock rookie starter Adam Beukeboom for his third goal of the season. However, Brock would answer with seven minutes left in the first period. Sammy Banga buried his seventh goal of the season to bring the score to 1-1. The play was made by Brody Silk and Dexter Weber who added the assists.
The Badgers would then take a 2-1 lead 3:27 into the second period. Mitch Nardi and Patrick Volpe setup Adam Lloyd for his team leading eighth goal of the season. The lead was short lived as the Gee-Gees would score two more before the end of the period with goals from Mathieu Newcomb and Connor Sills. Heading into the third, the Badgers were down 3-2. Only three minutes into the final period, Brock would dig deep and equalize to tie the game as Volpe found Skylar Pacheco who beat Ottawa’s starting goaltender, Graham Hunt. Time would expire in regulation making overtime play necessary to decide a winner. After a scoreless first period of overtime, it would be Ottawa’s Kevin Domingue who would be the hero and score with 21 seconds remaining in the second period of overtime. Beukeboom registered 45 saves in the loss while Hunt made 35 stops. The Badgers have consistently been outshot from game to game, something head coach Nystrom has expressed concern about.
“We’ve found that a large number of shots against have come directly of possession changes,” said Nystrom. “We’ve been focusing on puck management decisions the last couple week, and saw an improvement in that area last weekend. While our shots against need to come down, our scoring chance ratio has been relatively even, if not in our favour, so we are pleased with that.”
Although Beukeboom gave a highlight performance in the loss, Brock was playing without their star goaltender, Windsor as he is out due to an ongoing injury. Windsor is being assessed daily, however, there is still no timeline as to when he will return.
Brock then traveled to Montreal to take on the McGill Redmen, who were 9-3 coming into the game. The game was a big test for the Badgers, who were looking to bounce back after two straight losses. Alex Brooks-Potts would start the game in net for the Badgers, with Windsor still out and Beukeboom given a day of rest.
The Redmen jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Patrick Delisle-Houde, who got help from Daniel Milne and Dominic Talbot-Tassi before beating Brooks-Potts. Before the first period was over, Silk would get one back and tie the game for the Badgers. Weber and Brooks-Potts were credited with the assists.
McGill would run away with the game in the second period, as they got goals from Talbot-Tassi, Nathan Chiarlitti and Alexandre Tremblay. By the end of the game, the Redmen would add two more goals and defeat the Badgers by a score of 6-1.
With a three game losing streak, the Badgers will look to bounce back in their next game. They will take on the Windsor Lancers at home on November 25. The game will be at the Seymour-Hannah Centre and the puck is scheduled to drop at 7:15 p.m.