Men’s hockey team post second straight shutout in regular season home opener

Photo by Mark Landman on Unsplash

Saturday Oct. 15 marked the regular season home opener for the Brock men’s hockey team’s home opener. Their first game, the day before on the 14th, featured a decisive 6-0 victory over the University of Waterloo Warriors. In fact, the majority of Brock’s young season has seen them in the win column.

After a tight 1-0 loss in their first exhibition game against Windsor, the Badgers won their next four exhibition games in a row, including 6-2 wins against both the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) All-Stars and Guelph University in the Steel Blade Classic, a 5-3 win against Wilfrid Laurier University, and a 2-1 win over Ontario Tech University. Their last home game during the preseason, however, was a tough 4-3 overtime loss to Western University. 

Brock started off their regular season strong with a 6-0 win over University of Waterloo, and returned home on Saturday to face Western University. Western, coincidentally, were not only their opponents in their home opening contest, but  will also be again this Wednesday in London, teeing up what should be a fun, close-fought series.

The game started out slow with both teams playing a chip-and-chase game, but around the two-minute mark, the pace began to pick up with both sides trading rush chances.

Captain Jared Marino opened the scoring, cashing in on one such rush chance at 17:11 when he drifted into the mid-slot as a trailer and put a hard shot right over Western’s goalie’s left shoulder.

With the lead, Brock stayed all over Western, creating more rush opportunities, breaking up plays in the neutral zone and getting to work on the forecheck.

Justin Kyle set up two high-danger chances, one on a two-on-two break to find Tyler Burnie alone in front, and another by forcing a turnover and targeting Cole Thiessen in the slot. Western would break out of Thiessen’s miss and come in for one of their only chances of the period, but their miss would subsequently set up another odd-man opportunity for Burnie. The pair of Burnie and Kyle seemed to have their fingerprints all over the game early for the Badgers, even if it wasn’t showing up on the scoresheet.

Brock would leave the first with the 1-0 lead and a commanding 12-4 lead in shots.

That 1-0 lead would hold for the entire remainder of the second period as well in what was looking to be another tightly fought affair between Western and Brock.

Things quickly broke open for the Badgers in the third, however. Just over five minutes into the third, Burnie was rewarded for his efforts with the first goal in over 42 minutes of game play. Kyle would get the primary assist on Brock’s second goal.

Centre Ethan Sims would grab another goal for Brock five minutes later, putting Brock up three with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

Burnie would all but seal the deal with his second of the night at 9:41, with the assist once again coming courtesy of Kyle. 4-0 would stand as the final score, leaving the Badgers standing at 2-0 to start the season.

Brock goalie Mario Peccia once again performed very well, running a 21-save shutout against Western. This was Peccia’s second consecutive shutout who already looks in mid-season form.

Brock’s next game is on Wednesday, Oct. 19 in a rematch with Western University in London. You can follow their schedule and all their scores on their Go Badgers page.

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