Dominance over the York Lions continued Wednesday night for Brock men’s hockey. For the third time in 11 days the Badgers opened the scoring against the Lions. The difference this time compared to the first two was that the game had a little more meaning.
Wednesday nights contest was game one of the opening round for the OUA Queen’s Cup playoffs. The Badgers concluded their regular season with two of their final three games coming against the Lions, with the Badgers coming out on top 3-1 and 5-1. Brock also swept the season series 4-0.
The first period in game one of the best-of-three series started off a little chippy. York’s Dexter Bricker took a cross-checking penalty with just over a minute into the opening frame. Following the conclusion of that penalty, Brock’s Tyler Rollo and York’s Nick Zottl took offsetting slashing penalties. Nothing came of it as both teams moved back to even strength.
It wasn’t until 7:12 into the first when Adam Berg found teammate Jared Marino as the Badgers opened the scoring. Jake Ringuette also picked up an assist on the play. The two teams had minimum chances with the shots being 10-9 for the Lions after one.
In the second, the Lions were able to find their offensive attack just before the midpoint of the period, when Nik Coric and Nik Malencia found teammate Justin Maiolino to tie it up at one. However, a minute and 49 seconds later Rollo scored to give the Badgers a 2-1 advantage and the eventual victory. Skylar Pacheco and Ryan Burton picked up assists on the goal.
The third period concluded with no goals, although the Lions outshot the Badgers 34-30 for the game. Bricker would get his second penalty of the game for the Lions, but the Badgers were unable to score. Seven seconds after Bricker’s penalty, Berg went to the box for the Badgers, but the Lions weren’t able to capitalize.
Lions goaltender Alex Fotinos made 28 saves, but Badgers goalie Logan Thompson was slightly better making 33 of 34 saves.
The Badgers and Lions also met during last seasons OUA semi-finals, where the Badgers also took the first game and eventually the series 2-1. It was part of the Badgers Cinderella run that began with series sweeps in the first two rounds on route to a shot at the Queen’s Cup, which would be lost to McGill.
Badgers will now head to North York on February 15 for game two versus the Lions, as the Badgers look for a series sweep. Puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m.
If a third game is needed, it’ll be back in St. Catharines at the Seymour-Hannah Centre on Feb. 17, with puck drop at 3:15 p.m.