The Brock men’s hockey team split their two road games this weekend after opening their 2017 season on a two game win streak. First, the Badgers travelled to Toronto on Thursday to take on the number eight ranked Ryerson Rams.
Due to early penalty trouble for Brock, Ryerson jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period. After allowing three goals on only 9 shots, starting goaltender Clint Windsor would be replaced by rookie Alex Brooks-Potts. During the first period the Badgers were badly outshot 20-6 and could not setup effectively in the offensive zone. Scoring for the Rams were Devon Paliani with two power play goals goals and Aaron Armstrong with a single. The Rams would then go up 4-0 at 7:39 into the second period. It would be Josh Timpano who would silence the Ryerson crowd with a goal assisted by Sammy Banga and Matt MacLeod. Ryerson’s Michael Fine would net the final two goals, bringing his total to 12 on the year. Brock would chip away at the Ryerson lead late in the third period with a goal scored by MacLeod on the power play. Brooks-Potts would turn away 30 shots in the loss. Nothing was going right for the Badgers who would have faired much better if they could stay out of the penalty box. In total the Rams scored half of their goals on the power play in their 6-2 victory.
The Badgers then travelled to London to take on the Western Mustangs. For the majority of the season the Badgers have had immense trouble beginning games as they have only managed to score first in five of their 20 games coming in.
This game was no exception as Mustang’s Ray Huether scored 15 seconds into the game giving Western a quick 1-0 lead. During the first half of the first period Brock struggled to break out of their own zone effectively. They were caught offside multiple times and even gave the puck away in their own zone before they could collect any momentum to change the pace of the game. This much needed momentum change came as a result of a Western penalty with 4:29 remaining in the first period. Right off the faceoff Banga would take the puck and put it on the net. This shot was turned away but Banga followed up on his shot, got his own rebound and backhanded the puck passed Luke Peresinni for his tenth goal of the season. Brock would add their second goal of the game and take the lead a minute and 39 seconds later when Skylar Pacheco took advantage of a quick transition and beat Peressini down low. The first period wouldn’t end without another offensive burst this time from captain Andrew Radjenovic. The Badgers were utilizing a cycle system along the boards when Radjenovic picked up the puck and skated to the top of the hash marks to fire one glove side for his seventh goal of the season. The Badgers ended the first period 3-1 all thanks to the morale boost gained from Banga’s earlier power play effort.
It didn’t take the Badgers long before they struck out in the second period as well. MacLeod received a beautiful pass which split the defense and gave him a breakaway opportunity. He buried his eighth goal of the season and gave Brock a 4-2 lead. Throughout the beginning of the second period the Badgers were physically dominating the Mustangs and were cleaning up on defense. The few shots Western managed to put on Windsor were easily handled. Just passed the ten minute mark in the second period Western was caught with a delayed penalty. Brock took this opportunity to pull Windsor for the extra attacker as they set up in the Mustang zone. Radjenovic would receive the puck at the point from Brody Silk and Chris Maniccia. He then fired a slap shot through traffic that found its way to the back of the net.
After this play Windsor would go down with a lower body injury and was taken out of the game for further examination. Alex Brooks-Potts was installed in the Brock net with a 5-1 lead. This gave the Mustangs another wind as they pushed to answer the barrage of Brock goals. Their efforts paid off with 2:40 left in the second period. Huether picked up and shot a rebound while the Badger defense scrambled and failed to pick up the open man. Andrew Goldberg would conclude the Mustangs scoring early in the third period cutting the lead to 5-3. Nearing the end of the game Western pulled their goalie, adding an extra attacker. Brooks-Potts was under heavy pressure but he managed to stand on his head and hold the lead until the game ended. Windsor will be credited with the victory, his 9th of the season, as he stopped 19 of 20 shots. Brooks-Potts registered 16 saves on 18 shots to hold the lead. After this weekend Brock remains 6th in the OUA West division with a 11-9-1 record. The Brock men’s hockey team will return to action against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology at home on Friday January 20.
The Brock women’s hockey team also saw OUA action this week as they welcomed the Toronto Varsity Blues to the Seymour-Hannah Centre on Friday. The Badgers brought in a program record crowd of 1003 spectators. After a scoreless first period the Badgers got on the board first, 1:16 into the second, as Christina Ieradi and Annie Berg set up defenseman Alex Finlayson for her first goal of the season. Brock would then take a 2-0 lead with six minutes into the second period. Maggie Spratt-Mallick beat Varsity Blues starter Katey eekasign. Cara Sayles and Kailey Peirson added assists in the play. With five minutes left in the second, the Varsity Blues cut the lead in half, as Katherine Gale got an unassisted marker for her second goal of the campaign. With 10 minutes left in regulation, the Varsity Blues Lauren Straatman evened the game 2-2. Becki Bowering scored the eventual game-winner, her first of the season, with 6:34 remaining for the road victory. In the third, Toronto outshot the Badgers 19-7. Brock goaltender Jensen Murphy recorded 31 saves in the loss. This is the Badgers second straight loss after opening their 2017 season.
Brock will now take on rivals Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers in their next two games, which are both important games for playoff positioning.