The Brock Badgers men’s hockey team picked up two points this weekend, winning the first game against York 2-1 and losing to the Ryerson Rams by the same score.
The Badgers are a team that plays best when they’re generating a lot of high scoring chances. They’re a team that is most comfortable when they’re sitting on two or three goals. That didn’t happen this weekend and it ended up costing them against the Rams.
The Badgers played York once before in the season when they lost 3-2 at home. Ryan Burton opened the scoring for the Badgers in the second period on a power play. Connor Brown, who also played in the Baggataway Cup with the Badgers’ lacrosse team, scored an empty netter late in the third. This allowed the Lions to score on the man advantage with seconds left in the game.
Though the Badgers came away with the win, this was an uncharacteristic game based on how they’ve played over the past month. Brock has been steamrolling opponents, there was an 8-2 game against RMC, a 6-3 game against Waterloo, a close but still high scoring 4-3 game at Guelph. After their slow start to the season, it seemed that the team finally had some of their confidence back.
Their identity is based on their ability to score goals. It’s what head coach Marty Williamson has most consistently praised his team about. Anyone can join the rush and score and they’ve been doing that consistently.
Last weekend’s 5-1 loss to their biggest rivals, the Guelph Gryphons, may have slowed them down.
The OUA is such an even league that player confidence can often play a big role in the result of any given game. The Badgers are fortunate that they have a deep lineup, players who play on the third and fourth lines consistently scoring goals. It’s not disastrous if one player has an off night but when Guelph came in and made the Badgers’ home ice feel like their own, they lost the momentum they’d been building during their seven game win streak.
The Badgers took their road trip to Toronto to play Ryerson on Saturday. The Rams scored first, halfway through the second. Adam Berg tied the game with the Badgers only goal of the night. He was assisted by captain, Connor Walters. The Rams would have the last word as Hayden McCool’s second period goal would end up being the game winner.
This was a game with multiple penalties being handed out to both sides, though Brock’s infractions outnumbered Ryerson’s 7-4. Christian Girhiny of the Badgers and Jared Walsh of the Rams served matching 10-minute misconducts after getting into an altercation in front of the Badgers bench.
The Badgers had the opportunity to tie the game again heading into the third, but with Girhiny still serving his penalty and another misconduct being handed out to Ayden MacDonald, the opportunity slipped through their fingers. Brock limited Ryerson’s scoring chances but couldn’t generate any of their own.
The Badgers have another chance to beat the Rams next Thursday when they return to Toronto, before heading home on Friday for their last game of 2019 against Toronto.