Looking for their first win at home, the Waterloo Warriors (1-2-1) hosted the Brock Badgers (2-3-0) at CIF Oct 20. Their efforts would eventually prove to be not enough, losing 2-1 in overtime and continuing their mini-slump to start the 2016-2017 season.
The slow start is a little troubling but not completely unexpected, given that the Warriors roster features eight rookies who might still need time to adjust to the league, their teammates, and university life.
Departing from last year’s squad was Waterloo’s biggest offensive weapon, Colin Behenna, and the longtime captain and defensive stalwart Joe Underwood. Bad luck may also be a factor, as the Warriors have fired 30 or more shots at their opponents in three of their four contests but have only scored a total of five goals.
This game was very much a goaltending battle, with 76 shots taken in total between both teams. It was also a rather physical tilt, with three ten-minute misconducts given out — two to the Badgers and one to the Warriors.
The first period ended scoreless, but not for either team’s lack of trying. Waterloo veteran netminder Mike Morrison and Brock goalie Clint Windsor were putting on a clinic, frustrating shooters and keeping their teams in the game. Waterloo had the majority of the pressure in the first, aided by the two 10-minute misconducts the Badgers committed, both a result of checking from behind penalties.
Waterloo gained the lead early in the second on a Michael Siddall goal that resulted in good zone pressure by the Warriors and a loose rebound he made no mistake on. Morrison kept the Warriors up, including making one of the biggest saves of the game on Brock forward Brody Silk. Pressure from the visitors resulted in a rebound that trickled out to Silk’s stick and gave him a wide open net. Morrison managed to quickly move laterally and got a piece of the shot with his blocker, preserving the lead.
Waterloo came on strong during the third period but it was Brock that managed to tally, bringing the game to a stalemate that would need extra time. The goal was a power play marker that Morrison didn’t have much of a chance on. Thanks to some nice tic-tac-toe passing, Brock’s Matt Macleod sent a perfectly placed shot into the net and evened the game.
Brock forward Andrew Radjenovic would also end up being the overtime hero for the Badgers. After disrupting the Waterloo breakout, Radjenovic would receive a pass from Silk that and started a rush that the Warriors defenders weren’t ready for. A wrister from the top of the slot was all it took to end the game in the Badgers’ favour.
Morrison stopped 28 of 30 shots while his counterpart Windsor saved 45 of 46. The men’s hockey team looks ahead to their next game, visiting Laurier on Oct. 22.