The Brock women’s hockey team has four games left before the winter break. The team will play two games on the road this upcoming weekend, followed by two more at home the next week. The winter break is a month long and marks the approximate halfway point of the season.
They played a home game against Western followed by an away game at York this past weekend, defeating Western 2-1 and York 6-3. That being said, this halfway point seems like a good time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture surrounding women’s hockey.
The team has played eight games thus far, by the winter break, they’ll have played 12. They have a 5-3 record, scoring 2.25 goals per game and are first in the league in power play goals. Their penalty kill has been hovering around 90 per cent for the past few weeks. They have 18 goals and 27 assists, but they also have 80 combined penalty minutes. At an average of 10 penalty minutes per game, they’re fifth in the league.
The Badgers have been playing aggressive all season long. It’s not unheard of for them to take four or five penalties in a single game. They have been known to rely on their strong penalty kill and stand-out goaltending to keep them out of trouble. They’re a physical team, they intimidate their opponents. They skate with confidence, they’re not afraid to go into the corners to retrieve a puck and play an incredibly fast game.
They’re messy, but in the most fun way possible. There’s definitely a great deal of fun to be had in watching your team win every game, knowing that they can hardly be beat, but arguably there’s more fun in watching a middling team. A team that won’t win every game, a team that has to work and dig for every victory.
The Badgers are that team. They’re an underdog story in the making. The team hasn’t won the McCaw cup since it’s institution, and they’ve historically struggled in the playoffs. For Captain, Brenna Murphy, and senior goaltender, Jensen Murphy, the window to win with this team is closing, as both players are in their fifth year.
This year has seemed different compared to past years, as the energy surrounding the team is electric. It’s impossible to miss, from watching the women take the ice before the first period, to watching them celebrate every goal like it’s a game winner.
This weekend saw two badgers score their first goals of their OUA careers. Forward, Marissa Ryalls scored against Western and defenseman Morgan Dezell earned her first against York. These two goals in particular, got the entire team fired up. They feed of of one another’s energy. Often the Badgers will score multiple times in the same period, using momentum to their advantage. They’ve come from behind in multiple games, pulling off dramatic overtime wins, and near magical shootout wins.
It could be easy to miss all of this, of course, and most people do. The women’s hockey team plays at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment centre. Whereas the Meridian Centre, host of the Steel Blade Classic, is a short 10 minute bus ride away from the main campus, the Seymour-Hannah can take nearly an hour to get to via public transportation if coming from campus. The women often end up getting the afternoon time slot. It’s understandable why they don’t have the regular season audience that other sports have, however, watching them play is an experience like no other.
If you make the effort to go see a women’s hockey game, at least once this season, you won’t regret it. Even if they lose, they’ll put on a good show. They’ll take you on the ride with them, because when you watch these women play, it seems like anything could be possible.