The women’s hockey team played the last of five exhibition games against the Laurier Golden Hawks this weekend.
Both teams were slow to start and the first period ended scoreless. Jensen Murphy and Cohen Myers held their own in net. Laurier had five shots on goal and Brock trailed with four.
Laurier took two penalties early in the second, one for slashing and another for hooking. Despite spending four minutes on the power play, Brock couldn’t seem to get themselves on the board. They made an effort to shoot more in the second than they had in the first, but none of their 13 shots could seem to get past the Laurier goaltender.
The team pulled Murphy from goal to allow freshman Emma Balazsi to play the remainder of the game in net.
The Badgers took a penalty for roughing with about five minutes left in the second. An effective penalty kill and stand out goaltending allowed them to keep the score tied at zero.
Laurier finally opened scoring in the third. Despite creating numerous opportunities for themselves, and outshooting the Hawks 15-10, the Badgers couldn’t seem to crack Myers. With 1:50 left to play, the Badgers decided to pull their goalie. It would prove to be unnecessary, though, because as Balazsi skated back to the team’s bench, Maggie Spratt Malick fired a shot into Laurier’s net, tying things up.
Tied 1-1, the women went to three on three overtime. The women practice their three on three regularly, so it was no surprise when Cassidy Maplethorpe slipped the puck past Laurier’s goaltender, assisted by Paige Cohoon and Annie Berg, 15 seconds in to overtime.
Brock head coach Margot Page has been pushing her players physically, practicing for every situation to ready themselves for a game. “We’ve been practicing it every time and that actually was our best three on three overtime so it was nice to be able to win it because we’ve been working on it.”
Page was pleased with the win, but she still believes that her players have more potential.
“I don’t think anyone had the kind of high end game that they normally have. I thought that a couple people were pretty sick but pushed themselves through like Page Cohoon — she was really sick and that was one of her best games, but I still think that she has another gear and another level.”
Much of the Badgers strength lies in goaltending.
“Our goalies are always gonna be our stand outs. They played phenomenal and they always do,” said Page.
Starting goaltender, Jensen Murphy is a fourth year medical science student, she comes to the net with intense focus. Jensen has a smaller frame and relies heavily on her reaction times and reflexes to keep the puck out of the back of the net rather than the butterfly style of net-minding that larger goalies tend to rely on. It remains to be seen what kind of goaltender Emma Balazsi will become. She played two periods in this game, faced 16 shots and conceded a single goal.
The Badgers are a younger team, with a number of their players are in their first year.
“Our young ones, our first year players, it’s really nice to see them getting their feet wet and building a lot of confidence,” said Page.
There are advantages to having a younger team, speed is certainly one of them, but still there are some drawbacks. The team has to be prepared for the kind of mistakes that young players are often susceptible to. Coach Page wants her team to understand that this is all part of the process.
“You know, I think it’s just patience because we will be a good team, we have all the makeup and foundation for a good team, but it’s just gonna take some time, so I think everybody just has to take a deep breath, relax and realize we’re not gonna be perfect right at the start, and we’re going to lose some games because we haven’t been playing well, but it’s just a matter of, going, you know, okay, after Christmas we’ll be awesome.”
This win puts the Badgers at 4-1 in the preseason.
Their regular season begins Saturday where they’ll meet the Golden Hawks once again. The puck drops at 2:15 p.m. at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre.