Men’s hockey jumps in standings after weekend sweep

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The men’s hockey team swept this past weekend, winning against Nippissing on Friday night and Laurentian on Saturday afternoon. The Badgers are now 6-5-3 and sit fifth in the standings in the OUA West conference.

Brock was able to sneak away with a 2-1 victory over the Nippissing Lakers thanks to goals from Mack Lemmon and Brandon O’Quinn. Back-up goaltender Alex Brooks-Potts recorded his first win of the season in his first start, making 33 saves on 34 shots.

Brooks-Potts was in net for just the second time this regular season, after having played 45-minutes in the loss to Laurier two weeks ago. Though he came up with multiple game-changing saves, there were some scary moments when the second-year goaltender went to play the puck.

“He did a great job, he goes in there and only lets in one and gives us a chance to win. For a guy who hasn’t played that much, he goes in there and does a heck of a job,” said head coach Marty Williamson of his goaltender.

Nippissing, who came into the weekend sitting second in the league in penalty minutes, also held the best penalty kill. Brock had three power play opportunities on the night, but couldn’t seem to capitalize on any.

Brock killed off all six penalties they had against the Lakers, including two in the third period. Though both teams racked up plenty of penalty minutes in the first period, the Badgers struggled to put pressure on the Lakers.

“I didn’t think we really got going until the second period. It was a slow first period, both teams feeling each other out,” said Williamson. “We needed to take advantage of their long road trip and we didn’t.”

Defensemen Jeff Corbett was highly involved in creating offense for the Badgers the entire night, and helped bail the Badgers out in their own end many times throughout the night.

“I like the whole blue line, their gap control is so good, we don’t give teams room to breath,” commented Williamson.

After a missed pass from Skyler Pacheco led to a turnover in the Brock zone, Brooks-Potts came up with a huge save to keep the Lakers off the board.

Brock quickly turned the play around, with Brayden Stortz getting a great chance at the top of the circle, only to have Nippissing’s goaltender Domenic Graham snag it with his glove.

The Badgers broke the scoring drought 13 minutes into the second frame when Corbett jumped into the play, and after a great forecheck was able to find Mack Lemmon whose patience gave him a prime opportunity in the slot.

Brock had a number of chances in the last few minutes of the period, but it was Nippissing who was able to find the back of the net with just over a minute to play when Joel Herbert knocked home Deverick Ottereyes rebound.

The third period was one of Brock’s best this season. Brandon O’Quinn netted his fifth goal of the season off a great pass from Sammy Banga, with another helper from Skylar Pacheco just over four minutes into the final frame.

Brock killed off two penalties in the third period, but the Badgers were all over the Lakers and left no room for them to breath. Brooks-Potts came up with a big save with under two minutes to go, and Brandon O’Quinn made a huge hit which livened up the Badger bench.

“Our last ten minutes, we smothered them, probably our best ten minutes in a long time,” Williamson said.

The Badgers returned to the ice against Laurentian on Saturday afternoon, and after a slow first period, were able to score three goals in the second period and one in the third to earn the weekend sweep. Brock outshot Laurentian 43-29, the most shots they’ve recorded on net all season.

Brock hosts Waterloo on December 1 and Toronto on December 2 to close off the 2017 portion of their season.

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