Laurier: 3 Windsor: 2
WATERLOO, Ont. (February 12, 2017)- The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s hockey team won their regular season finale 3-2 against the Windsor Lancers on Saturday night at the Waterloo Recreation Complex.
Anxious to finish off the 2016-17 season on a winning note, the Golden Hawks were the first to get on the scoreboard. After out-shooting the Lancers 10-7 in the opening period, Laurier’s Will Cook
(Port Stanley, Ont.) redirected the puck past Lancer netminder Kris Joyce (Prince George, BC) just two minutes before the first intermission.
Minutes into the second period saw the purple and gold increase their lead to 2-0, with defenceman Alex Annecchiarico
of Richmond Hill, Ont., earning his first goal as a Golden Hawk.
Midway through the second twenty, an equipment malfunction forced Laurier netminder Colin Furlong
(Cambridge, Ont.) to be relieved by Vinny Merante
of Niagara Falls, N.Y. During his five minutes of play, the Lancers Blake Blondeel put the puck past Merante and closed Laurier’s lead by a single goal. Shortly thereafter, Furlong returned to the net for the remainder of the contest.
Eager to regain a comfortable cushion, veteran winger Luke Hietkamp
of London, Ont., answered Windsor with a goal of his own to give Laurier a 3-1 advantage after 40 minutes of play.
Moving into the final period, Windsor was looking to overthrow the Hawks. In an effort to do so, second year goalie Blake Richard of Hamilton, Ont., took over for the Lancers between the pipes.
Although the Hawks wasted no time in testing the netminder with their offensive prowess, it was Windsor’s Dylan Denomme of Windsor, Ont., who capitalized off a power play goal. This yet again threated the Hawks lead, and put the home team up 3-2.
With two minutes left in the game, Windsor pulled Richard for the six-on-five advantage, but to no avail.
The Golden Hawks prevailed to secure a 3-2 victory over the Lancers, which not only has the regular season end on a positive, but also extends the team's win streak to five games, leaving them as the hottest team in the conference entering the postseason.
Furlong had yet another solid performance between the pipes, having shut down 24 of 25 shots. With a .928 save percentage, Furlong ends the regular season at fourth in the OUA and a 2.48 goals against average puts him at tenth in the league.
With a 15-9-4 record on the season, 34 points have the purple and gold finish third in the OUA West. The 15 wins also match the most Laurier has recorded under head coach GREG PUHALSKI
, matching the total the team won in his first year as bench boss in 2010-11.
Meanwhile, the Lancers fall to a 13-13-2 record, which puts them at sixth in the same division.
Tonight’s performance may act as a foreshadow of what’s to come for the Hawks next week, as they prepare to play the Windsor Lancers in the first round of playoffs in a best-of-three series.
Having earned home ice advantage, the Hawks will host the Lancers in Game 1 on Wednesday, February 15th. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex.
Game 2 is scheduled for Friday night, February 17, in Windsor while Game 3, if necessary, will be played in Waterloo on Saturday, February 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the game can be purchased by visiting tickets.laurierathletics.com
and the game will be broadcast live on OUA.tv