At times it seems Brock men’s hockey could let a game get a way, but their late-game offense always steps up when it matters. This weekend was no different, as the Badgers found the final two goals on Friday night to seal a 3-1 win, and had five unanswered goals on Saturday to take home a 6-2 victory, to sweep the series against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.
Brock snapped their longest losing streak of the season of just two games with the series-opening win on Friday night. They snapped another streak on Saturday, when Ethan Price notched the Badgers first power play goal since January 5, midway through the third period.
The Badgers still only managed to go one-for-nine on the power play throughout the weekend.
“We can still get a little cleaner, early in the game I didn’t like our decision making,” said Badgers head coach Marty Williamson. “We have to read what they’re giving us and not giving us rather than worrying about the plays that we want to make.”
The Badgers had a slow start to their game on Saturday when Lakehead took an early one-goal lead 30 seconds into the game. Lakehead controlled the majority of the period, and their physicality tilted the ice their way.
“We didn’t react well to the physical play, and we need to be physical, we have to use our speed and push the tempo,” said Williamson.
Badgers forward Frank Pucci recorded a multi-point game on Saturday night, his first of the season. Pucci missed games between October 26 and December 1, due to injury but has regained his presence on the roster the past few games.
“You felt this was going to break out for him, he’s a gamer and a playmaker,” said Williamson.
The Badgers remain in a first place tie with Ryerson in the OUA West division, both with 36 points, and while their nine goals for this past weekend and three goals against certainly make it seem they’re going in the right direction, there is always room for improvement heading into playoffs.
“We have a real tough road trip, it’s a tough turnaround,” said Williamson. “Right now, enjoy the weekend, get yourself ready and make sure we’re peaking at the right times.”
The Badgers will have to travel almost four hours on February 2 to play Windsor, and then head to Toronto the next day to play York.
The Badgers have guaranteed themselves a top-three spot in the OUA West, and a single point or Western loss this upcoming weekend will give them a top-two seed for the playoffs.
For the battle of the first seed, Brock and Ryerson will play each other on Feb. 8, with Brock currently holding the head-to-head tie. Brock’s remaining games are against the current seventh seeded Lancers and two against the fourth seeded York Lions. For Ryerson, their other three remaining games include sixth place Laurier, last-place Toronto and York.