The Brock Badgers men’s hockey team is sitting second in the OUA West division after a weekend sweep. After a road game this past Friday night to Toronto — where the Badgers took home a 2-0 victory — they returned to St. Catharines to play host to the Windsor Lancers.
After a first period goal from Dexter Weber on the power play, the Badgers and Lancers played a scoreless second period, where Brock outshot Windsor 19-13. While Brock dominated much of the play on Saturday night, there were plenty of moments where the Badgers looked to be throwing the puck away, giving Windsor a handful of opportunities.
“There’s not a lot of room out there, you’ve got to keep learning, it’s a process,” said Brock head coach Marty Williamson, “But 19 shots in the second period, I thought we were wonderful without the puck.”
Brock’s goaltenders saw a pair of firsts this weekend, as both Logan Thompson and Mario Cavaliere recorded their first OUA shutouts (Thompson, 26 saves against Toronto, and Cavaliere, 32 saves against Windsor).
“We have confidence in both these guys. Logan’s the guy that’s carried most of the games, but I have no issue putting Cavaliere in, he’s done a great job, he just wants to play,” said Williamson.
The Badgers also saw plenty of action from their defensemen during the game. Weber, Jake Ringuette and Ethan Spaxman all generated opportunities for the Badgers, with Ringuette recording two assists, and Weber a goal.
“[The defense has] been outstanding. Our group back there is a group that you have so much faith in. [Walters and Ringuette] fit so well into our group, [Ethan Spaxman] gives us a different element on the power play with the big shot,” said Williamson.
On the weekend, Brock was missing three centres (including Connor Brown and Justin Brack, who were competing in Toronto all weekend at the Baggataway Cup for the Badgers men’s lacrosse team). Williamson was impressed with the gritty win his guys pulled out on Saturday against Windsor, who came into their game with an identical record as the Badgers.
While Brock’s penalty kill was a perfect six-for-six this weekend, their power play only capitalized once — against Windsor — going one-for-ten. In the third period of their game against Windsor, Brock had a 5-on-3 in which Windsor dominated the play.
“Our power play has been pretty good for us, but our goal is to try to get one from our special teams a game and then not give up anything, and win the specialty teams battles,” said Williamson. “I didn’t like the last 5-on-3, but the game had already been in hand then so they’re playing a little loose.”
Williamson credits the Badgers play away from the puck.
“Our play away from the puck it’s gotten real good, we still have to grow our team offensively and score a little more, and [generate] a little more on the power play,” said Williamson. “Lacrosse is done so I get my two centremen back, Pucci isn’t too far away and neither is [Jeff Corbett], so getting them back will generate a little more offense for us. But again, you play to your strengths, and I think we have two of the best goalies in the league and one of the better blue lines.”
The Badgers are currently 8-3-0 (16 points), sitting behind only Ryerson (19 points) in the West division standings (the Rams are 9-1-1-1). This upcoming weekend the Badgers will host last place Waterloo on Friday night, and travel to Western on Saturday night.