Coming off an 0-2 weekend in Thunder Bay after a 3-2 overtime loss on Friday and 3-0 loss in regulation on Saturday, the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team returned home Wednesday and got back in the win column with a 4-3 victory over the Ryerson Rams.
Brock struggled to get the puck out of their own end in the first four minutes of the game, but after a Ryerson penalty with 16:09 to go in the period, it didn’t take long for Brock to turn things around. Nine seconds into the power-play, Ayden MacDonald took control of the play behind the net and found Josh Timpano in front. The winger buried the puck on his third try against Ryerson goaltender Taylor Dupuis.
Brock controlled the play for the majority of the first period from behind the Rams net, despite being outshot in the frame.
At the other end of the ice, Brock’s defence managed to keep most of Ryerson’s 17 first period shots to the outside, but with 4:29 left in the period, Ryerson’s Matt Mistele beat Brock goalie Clint Windsor over his glove.
Both teams exchanged odd-man rushes to start the second period, with Brock forcing a turnover on a Ryerson 4-on-2, and Ryerson escaping a 3-on-1 by the Badgers without allowing a shot.
Numerous times in the second, things got chippy between the teams around the Ryerson net. Head coach Marty Williamson said he felt his team didn’t cross the line with what went on after the whistle.
“I didn’t think our discipline was bad. Both teams went at it, and you’ve got to play hard,” said the coach.
Sammy Banga scored twice in the game to give Brock a two goal lead. Williamson has been impressed by Banga’s leadership and play since the announcement of the forwards return to the team.
“He’s been good, it’s nice to see him get the elephant off his back,” said Williamson. “[Banga’s] been one of our better players and it’s nice to see it pay off for him.”
Ryerson’s Matt Mistele would notch his second goal of the night shortly after Brock took the 3-1 lead to get the game within one heading into the second intermission.
In the third period, Brock found the back of the net just over a minute in with a rebound from Adam Lloyd, the eventual game winner for the Badgers.
Both teams exchanged golden opportunities in the third period, but the Rams couldn’t manage an equalizer. Windsor shut the door on the rams with another stellar performance, finishing with 39 saves on the night.
Williamson liked the compete his team had versus the Rams, but noted that continuing to correct the mistakes will be helpful for the Badgers.
“There’s some fine tuning we have to do,” said Williamson. ”At Lakehead, we didn’t impose ourselves enough [and] we made some mistakes today but at least we made them being aggressive. We’ll work with the guys about eliminating those.”
Brock returns to action this Friday night in Kitchener to play the Laurier Golden Hawks.