Double trouble: Badgers, Gryphons playoff preview


The Brock Badgers and the Guelph Gryphons will continue their long-lived hockey rivalry this week as the women’s and men’s hockey teams are set to potentially play six games in five days. It’ll begin tonight as the Badgers and Gryphons women’s hockey teams will begin a first round best-of-three series, and the men’s team’s faceoff in the second round with game one of the series going Thursday night.

The women’s matchup will see the number two seeded Gryphons versus the seven seeded Badgers. Although the Gryphons finished 14-points ahead of the Badgers in the standings, the two matched up evenly over the course of their two regular season games. In November, the Badgers picked up a 1-0 victory, and lost 1-0 in overtime earlier this month to the Gryphons.

The season for the Badgers has been up and down, however, their 36 points is the highest since the 2010-11 season when they finished with 44 points and second in the OUA.

This season it looked as if the Badgers were trending towards a 40-point season as they were once ranked nationally in the top-10 for about three weeks. The season started with them winning nine of their first 12, which concluded with a season-high five game win streak. However, they closed out the 2017 portion of their schedule losing 4-2 to Western and 2-1 in overtime to the last place Laurier Golden Hawks.

When the calendar turned the Badgers won two of their first three, but proceeded to lose six of their final seven games. Lack of goal scoring has been the story for the Badgers, who enter the playoffs as the worst goal scoring team at 2.08 per game.

Jensen Murphy continues to be the star for the Badgers, producing a 1.98 goals against average and .942 save percentage in 23 games this season. However, Murphy won’t be able to do it on her own as the Gryphons also have one of the best goalies in the league in Valerie Lamenta. The Gryphons goalie supports a 1.30 GAA and .943 save percentage.

The Gryphons offence also ranks second in the OUA at 3.04 per game, led by Kaitlin Lowy’s 15 goals and Kelly Gribbons 12 goals on the season.

If the Badgers can make this series into a defensive matchup, like they did in the season series, it’ll give the women a chance. The Gryphons enter having won eight of their final 10 games, so the Badgers will need to tighten up defensively.

The series schedule looks as followed:

  • February 21: Brock @ Guelph – 7:30 p.m.
  • February 24: Guelph @ Brock – 2:15 p.m.
  • February 25: Brock @ Guelph – 2:00 p.m. (if necessary)

On the men’s side, the fifth seeded Badgers come into the second round after beating Laurier 2-0 in a best-of-three, taking the first two games 3-0 and 2-1. The one seeded Gryphons pulled through in three games beating Windsor.

The Badgers and Gryphons have a rich history this season alone having played in five total games, including exhibition.

  • September 15: Guelph 5 – Brock 3
  • October 11: Guelph 3 – Brock 2
  • November 18: Guelph 4 – Brock 2
  • January 6: Guelph 2 – Brock 1
  • January 19: Brock 3 – Guelph 1

Looking at the five games, the Badgers began to figure out the Gryphons as the two played relatively close games.

The Badgers continue to be led by their goalie Clint Windsor, who posted a .987 save percentage in the two games versus Windsor. The Gryphons are the best offensive team in the OUA west, averaging 4.36 goals per game and rank fifth overall in the OUA in powerplay percentage at 20.8.

The two teams are equally matched on the penalty kill, with Brock killing off 84.8 per cent and Guelph at 84.6 per cent.

The series schedule looks as followed:

  • February 22: Brock @ Guelph – 7:30 p.m.
  • February 24: Guelph @ Brock – 7:15 p.m.
  • February 25: Brock @ Guelph – 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
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