Women’s hockey playoff hopes slipping away after fourth straight loss

The Brock Badgers women’s hockey team is reaching for anything that will get them a win as they have fallen into seventh place in the OUA standings. With only three games remaining in their regular season schedule, the Badgers playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread.

After dropping a 1-0 decision to the Guelph Gryphons in overtime this past Thursday, the Badgers are on a four game skid that has seen them drop four places from third. In those four losses, Brock has been outscored by their opponents 14-7, despite three of those games being decided by one goal.

Waterloo is the team in the hunt for the final playoff spot, should Brock end up fighting for the eighth seed.

The Warriors split their weekend with a 1-0 loss to UOIT, and a 4-1 win against top-seeded Queen’s (a team Brock wasn’t able to beat this season in two contests).WomensHockey_Sam

Waterloo sits in eighth right now in the standings, with only three points separating them from Brock. On their road trip this weekend, they will play Nipissing who sits one seed ahead (with 36 points), and ninth seed Laurentian (with 29 points). Nipissing, Waterloo, and Laurentian each have played 20 games, while Brock has played 21 games.

Laurentian has dropped three straight games, including a 7-1 thumping to Nipissing on January 27. They will play host to Guelph the day before they host Brock, but their final two games will play Waterloo and Laurier. Laurentian is 5-3 at home this season, as opposed to their 4-8 road record.

Nipissing has dropped two in a row — a 2-0 loss to Ryerson and a 3-2 loss to Toronto, but is 5-3 in 2018. The Lakers are 7-1 at home this season, their only loss coming in their first regular season game against Western on October 20 (6-3 loss).

Despite both Laurentian and Nipissing’s strong home schedules, Brock has a 7-3 road record this season, compared to a 4-7 home record. While most teams struggle on the road, Brock seems to have found more of a groove on the road this season.

It’s hard to imagine that the Badgers team was in the national rankings just a month ago. The Badgers looked to be having one of their most successful seasons in team history, but, like any sport, the past month has proved that you can’t sleep on any team any day. The Badgers have faced opponents this month who — back in November — may have seemed like easy wins. Though, it’s teams like Waterloo, who have caught their momentum at the right time that are showing the Badgers just how hard it is to be a playoff team from start to finish.

The Badgers will go on the road this weekend to play Nipissing on Saturday and Laurentian on Sunday, with their season finale on February 17 at home against York.

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