While most Brock Sports teams held down the fort at home, the women’s hockey team managed to clinch a playoff spot with an overtime win on the road. The swimming team had a successful OUA meet where they took home two medals.
The Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre played host to the OUA championships this past week. University of Toronto was the favourite from the start and they did not disappoint. The Varsity Blues took both the men’s and women’s titles by a wide margin. Fifth-year swimmer and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Kylie Masse took home the OUA’s Swimmer of the Year award for the fifth time with the University of Toronto..
The men of Waterloo, although no match for the powerhouse that is the Varsity Blues, finished strong by taking home second. Western took third in the men’s division, aided by Matthew Loewen who was awarded the distinction of Male Swimmer of the Year. Over on the women’s side, McMaster finished in second followed by Western in third.
The hosting Badgers finished ninth on the men’s side and eighth on the women’s and although they couldn’t achieve a top three finish, they took home a handful of medals in individual events. Physical Education student, Gökhan Bozyiğit set a personal best in the 1500 m Freestyle, taking home a silver medal in that event, he also took bronze in the 400m Freestyle. Maggie-May Smith also had an impressive weekend finishing eighth in the 50m back event contributing to the Badgers final points total of 135 points for the women. The men finished with 172 points.
The team headed north this weekend to play a game against Nipissing on Saturday and another against Laurentian on Sunday. The team started off the weekend with a touch of revenge. After a regulation loss to Nipissing in their last home game on February 2, the team rallied to defeat them 2-1 on the road. Nipissing scored early in the first and with no scoring in the second, things looked bleak for the Badgers. Kim Brown scored with 30 seconds left in the third to force overtime where the team’s strong 3-on-3 took over. Coach Margot Page has said that the team practices this regularly so it was no surprise when Paige Cohoon, assisted by Spratt-Mallick and Ieradi, scored the game winner less than a minute into overtime.
The game against Laurentian was a highlight for Brock’s power play unit. The first period went scoreless but the second opened with back to back power play goals from Amanda Ieradi and Katreena Whiteye. Laurentian answered back, scoring near the end of the second. They carried that momentum into the third scoring the next three goals. A final push from Maggie Spratt-Mallick on the power play would ultimately earn the Badgers their third goal of the game but would not be enough to force overtime. The Badgers headed home with a 4-3 loss in regulation.
With these two games, the Badgers clinched a spot in the playoffs. They currently sit in eighth with 35 points, UOIT (who the Badgers will play next Friday) are in ninth, trailing by a wide margin with 27 points. There is now no scenario in which the Badgers can be knocked out of the playoffs. However, with Waterloo sitting precariously in seventh place with 36 points, the Badgers do have the ability to win themselves into a higher standing. Each team has two regular season games remaining and the potential to earn six points (three for a regulation win, two for an overtime win, and one for an overtime loss). If Brock were to win their next two games in regulation or in overtime, and Waterloo were to lose one game in regulation, they could leapfrog them to take the seventh seed in the playoffs. If Brock were to lose a game in regulation, the Warriors would have to lose both games for Brock to jump ahead.
Brock plays their remaining regular season games this weekend against UOIT on Friday and then the next game against Queen’s on Saturday.
The playoffs start on Feb. 20 and will be played in a best-of-three structure. If Brock remains in eighth place they will be playing the first place Guelph Gryphons who swept them in the first round in the 2017-18 playoffs. If they jump up to seventh they will more than likely end up playing the second place Western Mustangs.