Haters gonna hate, Warriors gonna win eight

On the weekend of Jan. 16 and 17, the men’s hockey team looked to improve on their six-game winning streak as they hosted Laurentian and Nipissing.

In their first game against Laurentian, the Warriors got goals from six different players, with defencemen Joe Underwood and Stephen Silas pitching in with two assists apiece. These efforts led the black and gold to their seventh straight win with a 6-2 decision over the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday night.

Riley Sonnenburg, Tommy Tsicos, Colin Behenna, Daniel Perigo, Joey Champigny, and Mitchell Smith all found twine for Waterloo. Mike Morrison kicked away 34 shots in the victory.

On the other side of the ice, the Voyageurs lost their sixth straight contest to fall to 6-10-4. Brent Pederson and Graham Yeo scored for Laurentian, while Joel Vienneau stopped 31 shots in a losing cause.

The Warriors looked every bit the team on a hot streak in the first period, but Vienneau’s heroics kept the game scoreless through 20 minutes. But Waterloo would break through early in the second, as Sonnenburg roofed a wicked wrister past Vienneau’s short side to make it 1-0 for Waterloo.

After Pederson squared the score at 1-1, Waterloo got back-to-back power play goals from Tsicos and Behenna — the latter of the highlight variety — to head into the third leading 3-1.

Yeo drew the Voyageurs back to within a goal early in the third, and his marker seemed to ignite the visitors. But Perigo snuffed out the Laurentian attack with an incredible solo shorthanded effort, fending off all five Voyageur defenders to slide a backhand home, making it 4-2 for the Warriors.

Champigny’s fifth of the season made it 5-2, and Smith scored his first career CIS goal into an empty net to round out the scoring.

Traditionally, seven is considered a lucky number. However, on Jan. 17 against Nipissing, the Waterloo Warriors’ lucky number was eight.

Behenna notched three points, and captain Joe Underwood scored the eventual game winner in the second as the Warriors sunk the Nipissing Lancers 4-2 for their eighth consecutive victory.

Rookies Perigo and Cam Nicoll also scored for Waterloo. Backup goaltender Chris Hurry made 36 saves, as Morrison got a much-deserved night off.

Dale Deon and Jim McDowell scored for Nipissing, who saw their record fall to 8-8-3. Kirk Rafuse was saddled with the loss in between the pipes, turning aside 31 shots in defeat.

The scoreless first period was marred with a steady parade of minor penalties, but neither team could capitalize on their power play chances. Waterloo finally cracked the goose egg early in the second, when Perigo’s seeing-eye wrister found the back of the net to put the Warriors up 1-0.

Later in the second, Nicoll converted a pretty feed from Brett Mackie, and Underwood hammered one home on the man advantage to put the Warriors comfortably ahead 3-0. But the Lakers weren’t going away, and they earned a pair of goals to cut their deficit to 3-2 after forty minutes.

The Lakers kept coming in the third, but Hurry was able to hold them at bay. Waterloo salted it away late in the third when Matt Amadio made a gorgeous move and fed Behenna, who made no mistake.

The Warriors improved to 12-8-0 overall and 9-2-0 at home, and they’ll look to continue that trend next Friday, Jan. 22 when they host the York Lions. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. at the Columbia Icefield Arena.