The Waterloo Warriors hosted the York Lions’ men’s hockey team on November 12 at Columbia Icefield. The game saw the Warriors lose 5–3 on home ice; York won its third game of the season, and Waterloo saw its sixth defeat. The loss was unexpected to those who watched the game, with Waterloo taking the lead three times and the Lions only leading for the last 10 minutes. In the eastern division of Ontario University Athletics, Waterloo Warriors sit in seventh out of 10, trailing the Laurier Golden Hawks by one point.
The first faceoff saw the Lions take possession of the puck, passing it around in the defensive third and slowly building offensive plays. At the start of the matchup, Waterloo struggled to keep control, losing the puck to defensive strategy, turnovers, and bad breakout passes. A critical moment in the first period saw good defensive play from the Warriors. Even though the Lions maintained the puck in the offensive zone, the Warriors were able to stop them from scoring. York took more shots in the first period but could not secure a good conversion. It was a surprise then when Tate Popple, assisted by Jack Phibbs and Nolan lee, scored the opening point for the Warriors.
The Warriors closed the first break with a 2–1 lead over the Lions, owing to a power play that saw three players on the outside and two players covering the goal to secure a rebound. The game was far from over, with the York Lions playing a more aggressive game after scoring the first point. There were fights and brawls on the ice, which gave Waterloo its next opportunity. Due to a penalty, Waterloo had a one-person advantage over York, with Chase Campbell scoring from short range with less than one minute left in the first period.
However, the Lions did not waste time coming into the second period: Nate Bierd’s tripping offense in the first period meant that the penalty would be applied in the opening minute of the second period. Michael Horon of the Lions, assisted by Klim Georgiev and Brock McLeod, took 20 seconds to set up a play from the faceoff and struck the puck into the back of the goal, equalizing for York. Although a disappointing start to the second period, it saw rough plays from both sides, including Dan Walker getting the first of his two 10-minute misconduct penalties. There was three power plays for the Warriors, the last of which Jacob Cascagnette ensured to convert into a 3–2 lead, assisted by Nick King and Chase Campbell. The 3–2 lead meant that at the end of both periods, Waterloo had scored in the last two minutes to ensure a lead going into the break.
Waterloo lost control of the game in the third period, though it was cleaner than the second, with only one penalty by York. Dan Walker was sent off for another 10-minute penalty, perhaps owing to the Warriors’ 5–3 loss. Seven minutes into the third period, CJ Clarke equalized for the York Lions, but Lacombe’s two goals in the last 10 minutes saw the Warriors unable to fight back against York. Horon and Georgiev assisted on Lacombe’s first goal, and McLeod and Horon assisted on the second. The latter came during the last two-minute power play due to Nick King’s faceoff interference penalty.
Next, the Warriors will face the Guelph Gryphons — a team at the bottom of the OUA Western Division, with only two victories in their record. If they can snag a win, the Warriors will edge closer to Laurier and Lakehead in the standings. The game takes place on November 18 at CIF.