Men’s hockey’s wild weekend was worthwhile

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It was a thrilling weekend for Waterloo hockey fans as the men’s team won both their games out east against Royal Military College (RMC) and Carleton Jan. 27 and 28, respectively.

In their first game of the weekend, the men’s team travelled to Kingston Jan. 27 to face off against the RMC Paladins.

Early penalty problems would be Waterloo’s downfall in the first period. At the 7:03 minute mark, Waterloo’s Eric Cimino was called for hooking. On the ensuing power play, RMC’s Seamus Maguire found the back of the net to give RMC a 1-0 lead.

Later in the first period, Waterloo’s Stephen Silas was called for high sticking and RMC’s Dylan Giberson converted another power play goal, extending RMC’s lead to 2-0.

The second period was all Warriors, as they outshot the Paladins 18-8, but were not able to get one through RMC goaltender Austin Hannaford. The offensive outburst was able to contain the Paladins from extending their lead.

The Warriors were finally able to stop the scoring drought when Stephen Silas found the back of the net 47 seconds into the third period. This marked his sixth goal of the season, with an assist from Cole Murphy and Matt Amadio.

Once more Waterloo was able to control the flow of the game in the third period as they continued to pile on shots on goal while limiting RMC’s offence. Their pressure was enough to net them a second and game-tying goal by Riley Sonnenburg, his eighth of the season, assisted by Eric Diodati and Joey Champigny.

Neither team were able to break the 2-2 tie in regulation so the game went into overtime. Overtime did not decide anything, so a second overtime was needed.  After 70 minutes of gameplay, the score was still tied at 2-2, and the game would be decided in a shootout.

Seven shooters for each team would line up to try to put their team on top, but Waterloo’s Mike Morrison and RMC’s Hannaford were brilliant between the pipes. It was not until Waterloo’s Silas stepped up and got one past Hannaford, earning Waterloo the shootout win, 3-2.

The Warriors would not have much time to rest or celebrate after this grueling match, as they had to travel to Ottawa to face the Carleton Ravens the following day.

Despite this being their second game of a back-to-back, the Warriors were able to hold their own against the Ravens early on, but Carleton was able to strike first. Carleton’s Curtis Meighan picked up a loose puck and fired it past Morrison for the early 1-0 lead.

Waterloo was able to strike back in the second period, when Eric Diodati picked off a pass at Waterloo’s blue line and beat Ravens goaltender Justin Nichols with a top shelf shot, tying the game at one apiece. That was Diodati’s third goal of the season, coming with no assistance.

The game remained tied until halfway through the third period, but was broken up by a Carleton goal coming from Alexandre Boivin; the Ravens regained their one-goal lead with a score of 2-1. Fortunately for the Warriors, Carleton’s Adam Chapman was called for kneeing just three minutes later.

On the ensuing power play, Diodati beat two defenders and slide a gorgeous pass to Silas, who shot the puck past Nichols and into the net, tying the game 2-2. This was Silas’ seventh goal of the season and second of the weekend.

For the second game in a row, a winner would not be declared in regulation, forcing the game into overtime. And for the second game in a row, neither team could convert a goal in overtime or double overtime, which led to another shootout for the Warriors.

Diodati put Waterloo in front, getting one past Nichols, but, Carleton’s Brent Norris tied it up right after with a goal of his own, making the shootout at 1-1. With the game on the line, Silas stepped on the ice, and for the second game in a row, he deked out the opposing goalie and win the game for Waterloo.

Silas finished the weekend with two goals and two shootout winners. Morrison was outstanding between the pipes all weekend, with 21 saves against the RMC Paladins and 36 against the Carleton Ravens. Morrison also faced 11 shootout attempts and only one slipped by him.

The Warriors now sit seventh in the OUA standings and have a very important back-to-back set next weekend, when they play host to the Lakehead Thunderwolves who sit one point behind the Warriors in eighth place. The action starts on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in CIF.

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