Coming into their matchup with the Windsor Lancers on Friday, the men were looking to move one step closer to clinching a playoff spot with just five games remaining on the season.
Brock got off to the hot start that they were looking for as Mitch Nardi would bury his fifth goal of the season just 3:43 into the first period. After two goals in less than two minutes from Chris Maniccia and Andrew Radjenovic, the Badgers were in a great spot as they were riding an early three goal lead. With just minutes remaining in the first period, Windsor would get one back as Steve Anthony would beat Brock goaltender Alex Brooks-Potts who got the start in place of the injured Clint Windsor.
Taking a 3-1 lead into the second period, it was all Windsor for the next 20 minutes as they outscored the Badgers 3-0 and were able to battle back to a 4-3 lead. An early third period goal from Josh Timpano evened up the game, but just minutes later Windsor would jump back out to another lead as Chris Scott would score the eventual game winner.
With four games remaining in their season, the men currently sit in sixth place in the OUA West Division. The loss to Lancers was a costly one because they missed out on an opportunity to surpass the Lancers in the standings and take over the fifth spot in the division. If Brock wants home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, they need to string together a series of wins to get into one of the top four playoff spots in their division. The fourth spot is currently being held by Laurier with 28 points which is five more than the Badgers. If the playoffs ended today, the Badgers would be taking on the Guelph Gryphons in the opening round of the playoffs. After defeating the Gryphons in the Steel Blade Classic in the preseason, the Badgers hold a 1-1 record against them in the regular season so far this year. With two wins or two losses from Western, the Badgers will clinch a playoff spot.
After dropping four straight games to start off 2017, the women’s hockey team had fallen out of a playoff spot with a limited number of games remaining. They were in desperate need for a win against the Ryerson Rams this past Saturday, and they did just that.
The Badgers were limited offensively, but thanks to stellar goaltending from Jensen Murphy they were able to slip away with a 1-0 lead. Murphy stopped all 34 shots that she faced and Cara Sayles netted her sixth goal of the season. With the win, Brock moved closer to a playoff spot as they try to regain ground before the end of the season.
In their second game of the weekend, Brock travelled to Waterloo to take on the Warriors. After just managing one goal in their first win since November 27, they were eager to generate more offense and help out their star goaltender. After 20 minutes of scoreless play, Angela MacDonald would net her first of two goals on the day to give the Warriors the lead. One goal turned out to be enough as Waterloo goaltender Taylor Reimer was terrific in net, stopping 22 shots and earning the 2-0 shutout. The Warriors picked up three key points that lifted them into a more secure position at fifth in the OUA. With just five games remaining, Brock sits four points behind Laurentian and Western for the OUA’s two final playoff spots.
In their final five games of the season, Laurentian will take on three teams that sit at the bottom of the OUA — Laurier, Ryerson and York. Brock still has to play three teams that currently hold a playoff spot — Guelph, Queen’s and Toronto. It won’t be an easy schedule for the Badgers as they will have to win more games against more difficult opponents than Laurentian to secure the last playoff spot.
The men will travel to North Bay to take on Nipissing on February 3 at 7:00 p.m. The women will travel to Oshawa to take on the University of Toronto Institute of Technology (UOIT) on February 3 at 7:30 p.m.