WATERLOO, Ont. (February 19, 2016) – The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s hockey team had their 2015-16 season come to an end on Friday night as they lost Game 2 of their best-of-three OUA West Quarter-final series 4-1 to the Western Mustangs at RIM Park.
After losing Game 1 in London on Wednesday night, Laurier needed a victory to extend the series, as well as their season. However, two goals 29 seconds apart in the second period proved to be the difference maker for Western as they earned a sweep of the series.
Despite the hill facing the Hawks heading into Friday night’s game, the team got off to the perfect start as just five minutes into the contest, rookie Christian Mroczkowski of Wellesley, Ont., scored a beautiful goal to get Laurier on the board first. Mroczkowski dangled a pair of Western defenders before roofing a shot over Mustangs starter Peter Delmas of Bedford, N.S., to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Western would respond before the period was 10 minutes old as Shaun Furlong of London, Ont., beat his defender to the far post and slipped a shot underneath Laurier netminder Colin Furlong’s (Cambridge, Ont.) pad to tie the game at one.
Colin Furlong would hold the Mustangs at bay for the remainder of the period and made a number of outstanding saves despite Western holding a 15-7 edge in shots.
The second period was when the game turned for the Mustangs and it was Western’s special teams that made it happen. After Hawks captain Greg Cerilli of Barrie, Ont., was sent off for slashing, the Mustangs moved the puck around before setting up Noah Schwartz of Toronto, who picked the top corner to give his team the lead.
Twenty-nine seconds later, Western added to the advantage when Luke Karaim of St. Catharines, Ont., jumped on a Laurier turnover and snapped a shot past Colin Furlong before he could react to make it 3-1.
And the Mustangs weren’t done there as before the period was out, Spenser Cobbold of Ottawa, notched his first of the playoffs to give Western a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Needing a big third period to keep their season going, the Hawks upped their offensive pressure, outshooting Western 16-11, but they were unable to beat Delmas as the Mustangs skated away with the series sweep.
Delmas would finish the night with 31 saves to earn the victory while Furlong, who was under siege for much of the first two periods, made 42 saves.
The contest marks the end of the careers for six graduating Laurier seniors including Cerilli, Ryan Lopes of Brampton, Ont., Matt Provost of Oakville, Ont., Matt Brown of Calgary, Taylor D’Andrea of Hamilton, and Mike Webley of Stittsville, Ont. However, head coach GREG PUHALSKI could have as many as 24 players back from this year’s team and the experience gained in this series will be critical as Laurier looks to continue to climb their way back to the top of the OUA West division.