Badgers ready for action
Marty Williamson has a vision for the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team.
“I know what I want it to be but I don’t know if it’s there,” said Williamson, who is in his first year behind the bench for the Badgers after 12 seasons in the Ontario Hockey League coaching the Niagara IceDogs and Barrie Colts. “I want to be a puck pressure team and I want to impose ourselves on the game and carry momentum for as long a period as we can.
“Make an investment. Don’t be easy to play against. If you are too easy to play against it gives the other team confidence if they know you aren’t going to finish your checks. If the ice is wide open because your structure is bad, then the game becomes a lot more fun for the other team.”
Williamson has seen his Badgers in action only twice so far and both ended in exhibition losses, 9-5 to Western and 5-3 to Guelph.
“We struggled with that in pre-season for periods at a time,” he added. “We didn’t have guys who could change games around for us and give us good shifts.
Williamson is well aware it will take some time to mesh things together.
“The biggest thing for me will be the learning process. There’s been a lot of change and it takes awhile. An exhibition doesn’t solve all the problems. It’s getting into battles and playing more important games.
“The important thing is learning about these guys in the heat of battle. That’s where you learn the most and you learn from adversity, too. You learn an awful lot about the demeanour of guys and how they can pull through and can we come back in games in the third period.”
Williamson feels his club will live and die with their defence.
“It’s a fairly strong defensive team with a very good goalie (Clint Windsor) with a solid defence core. We don’t score a lot and that always puts a lot of pressure on your team,” he said.
That’s where the commitment comes in, he said.
“You need to be able to bring pucks to the net off cycles and get the puck on the net from the point. You need to make a mess and get screens and traffic. If you’re not willing to do that consistently — we do it but we’re not consistent with it — you don’t get those extra one or two goals and that’s the difference.
“We don’t have a superstar forward who is going to light up this league. We’re hoping our depth can come through for us. We’re not going to be a run and gun team. If there is an issue with this team, if you look at their history, it’s goal scoring.”
Williamson has already noticed the difference between coaching in the OHL and at the university level.
“They’re older so I think your demeanour with them is a little bit different,” he said. “Confidence I don’t think is an issue with this group yet it always is with teams. You have to be careful with that. Confidence is always one of the most important things but older players tend to be more confident than young players. They have been round and seen an awful lot.
“You walk a fine line. Sometimes with older guys they think they are better than they are and they need to be brought back the other way, that there is still a lot of work to be done here.”
The Badgers dropped a 3-2 decision Wednesday in Guelph in their season opener. Ayden MacDonald and Matt MacLeod scored. The Badgers host York Saturday at 7:15 in their home opener. Next weekend, the Badgers travel to Concordia Friday and McGill.
The following is the Brock Badgers 2017/18 roster
Goaltenders: Clint Windsor, Alex Brooks-Potts, Adam Beukeboom.
Defence: Dallas Rossiter, Evan Morden, Skylar Pacheco, Dexter Weber, Dale Deon, Patrick Volpe, Braden Pears, Jeff Corbett.
Forwards: Brayden Stortz, Chris Maniccia, Sammy Banga, Greg Jambrosich, Mitch Nardi, Adam Lloyd, Jesse Blais, Matt MacLeod, Brandon O’ Quinn, Josh Timpano, Nathan Looysen, Nicholas Santoro, Ayden Macdonald, Mack Lemmon, Connor Brown, Ryan Purvis, Brody Silk (injured to start season).