The Brock Badgers men’s hockey team is headed to round two of the OUA playoffs. After taking the lead in the best of three series against the Windsor Lancers with a 6-3 road win on Wednesday, the Badgers completed the sweep with a 5-4 victory at home last night.
Despite goals from Cosimo Fontana at 12:32 in the first period and Ayden MacDonald at 5:05 in the second, it was Windsor’s game for the first 40 minutes. They led 4-2 going into the third.
“We were disappointed in ourselves. We didn’t think we played two good periods today,” said Brock head coach Marty Williamson. “Unless we wanted to get on a bus and go back to Windsor and play in their building, we knew we needed to have a heck of a period.”
The Badgers came out of the dressing room after the second intermission more organized, a little less tentative and it paid off with an early goal from Jared Marino, his second in the series against Windsor. The Badgers were within one.
“We just kept attacking and attacking, it’s the way we play best,” said Williamson.
The next successful attack came from an unexpected place. First year defenceman, Matthew Barnes, had played in just seven games this season, but scored the game-tying goal (and first of his career) for the Badgers.
“He’s one of those guys that’s been here all year with us, practicing, hasn’t played as much as some of the other guys,” said Williamson.
Barnes’ goal was a rebound off an initial shot from his defence partner, Dexter Weber.
“Every time we go out on the ice together we just kind of click. I don’t know what it is between us but we just kind of click,” said Barnes.
“It’s funny come playoff time, it’s always a different sort of guy that you wouldn’t count on steps up and is a bit of a hero — and he’s doing that for us,” said Williamson.
Jordan Maletta scored the game winner. It was a bad bounce for the Lancers, just narrowly hitting the post and sliding behind their goalie, but it was good enough for the Badgers.
“We’re not a fancy team, the slogan on the back of our shirts is ‘we’re not pretty’. We need to find ways to get it done,” said Williamson. “In the third period and we had to win, the guys did it.”
The team will head into the second round with an extra day of rest. They’ll need all the help they can get as the competition gets tougher.
“The playoffs are one game at a time, one period at a time we’ll wait and see who our opponent is, it could be the best team in the league [University of Toronto] it could be Ryerson, they’re both fantastic teams but we’re going to be going to one of them on Wednesday.”