Playoff push begins for Badger hockey, basketball and volleyball teams

Brock Sports has just had one of its most successful Fall semesters in years. With both men’s and women’s soccer teams making playoff appearances, the men’s lacrosse team making it to the CUFLA championship game, and women’s rugby completing an undefeated regular season, the Fall sports had unprecedented success. Oh, and let’s not forget about the men’s ultimate team winning the division two national championship. Brock’s winter sports teams got off to an impressive start, with men’s basketball starting 9-2, women’s hockey ranked in the top ten in the country, and men’s hockey finishing the 2017 portion of their season on a four game win streak.

With all of that early success comes high expectations. The wrestling program is well on their way to another national championship season, and Brock’s other winter sports teams are in a position to lock up a playoff spot in the next few weeks.

The Brock Badgers men’s hockey team is currently sitting in fifth place in the OUA West division with a 9-6-3 record, and has 10 games remaining on their schedule. Brock will have to play Ryerson three more times in that ten game span — the Rams are currently in second in the OUA West division — but the Badgers won a narrow 4-3 game against the Rams in November. The Badgers will also play York and Guelph again in two weeks, both of whom are sitting above the Badgers in the standings. The other portion of the Badgers schedule has them facing the bottom four teams in their division (Windsor, Western, Waterloo and Toronto).WVolley.21.CC

The Badger women’s hockey team is sitting third in the OUA conference with 29 points (tied with Guelph), behind just Western (31 points) and Queen’s (32 points). In their remaining nine games, the Badgers will play top-seeded Queen’s in Kingston, and will travel to play Guelph in February. Brock also has to travel to play Nippissing in February, who currently sit behind Brock and Guelph with 26 points.

The Badgers men’s basketball is currently in first place in the OUA West division with a 10-2 record. Despite two losses going into the winter break — to Ottawa and Carleton in overtime — the Badgers are well ahead of second-place Western (6-6). Of their 12 remaining games, Brock will play Lakehead twice — who are in last place in the West division, and Guelph (3-9) twice. The question for Brock men’s basketball is not if they will make the playoffs, not even if they will make the OUA Final Four, rather, will they manage to find their way to the U Sports Final 8?

Men’s volleyball is in a tough position to make the playoffs right now with an 0-6 record. The Badgers open the second half of their season at McMaster on Friday, and host Western on Saturday. The Badgers will play two winnable games before the regular season ends, however, when they host Trent (currently 0-7), and travel to RMC (currently 1-7). Only the top four teams from each division will move on to the conference quarterfinals in March. The Badgers have played the least games of anyone in their division, and have 11 remaining on their schedule. Both teams sitting ahead of Brock have played three additional games, and only have eight games remaining. The Badgers need to make up for their winless start if they want a shot at making the playoffs this year.

Women’s volleyball also has scheduling advantages over their divisional opponents — though the Badgers are in sixth place in the division, Lakehead and Waterloo are ahead by just two points, and Windsor is ahead by only four. Both Waterloo and Windsor have played nine games to the Badgers six. The Badgers will get a shot at Windsor this month and Waterloo next month to conclude their home schedule, and they will also get two games against Lakehead to finish the regular season. Both of Brock’s wins this season came against teams who they will play again (Western — who they host this Saturday, and Guelph — where they will travel in two weekends). Brock will also play Trent (currently 0-8) and RMC (currently 1-8) from the East division. Though their place in the standings isn’t ideal, the Badgers are in control of their playoff hopes, and if they can manage wins against the aforementioned teams, they’ll likely find themselves in a playoff spot come February 24.

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