Brock roundup Jan. 13: Tatti, Girhiny athletes of the week
Women’s basketball guard Melissa Tatti and men’s hockey forward Christian Girhiny were named the Brock University Athletes of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 12.
Tatti, a senior point guard from Ancaster who is studying social sciences, scored 18 points, dished out 10 assists and recorded five rebounds and four steals to help the women’s basketball team to a 84-69 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Meridian Centre on Jan. 11. Tatti also added 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds during a 66-63 road loss to the York Lions on Jan. 8. Tatti is third in the OUA with 16.2 points per game and leads the league with 7.1 assists per game.
Girhiny, a first-year forward from Thorold who is studying social sciences, scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the men’s hockey team defeated the Guelph Gryphons 4-3 at Seymour-Hannah Arena on Jan. 9. Girhiny played a role in helping the Badgers open the scoring versus Western by recording a first assist as Brock won 4-2 on the road on Jan. 11. Girhiny is tied for third in Badgers scoring with three goals and 13 points in 20 games.
The Badgers painted the Meridian Centre red with a double win Saturday night during their fifth annual Paint the Meridian Red event in downtown St. Catharines.
The No. 8-ranked women’s team defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues 84-69 and the men’s team celebrated a 75-65 win, their first at the Meridian.
“The experience of playing in this venue, in front of our crowd, there’s nothing else like it,” women’s head coach Mike Rao said. “It’s a great event for the university and the program.
“It’s a great day for Brock basketball and Brock University.”
Brock carried a 38-25 lead into halftime and 65-46 into the final quarter.
After posting seven points in the first half, forward Jessica Morris led all Badgers with 20 points.
“Jessica Morris played a tremendous second half,” Rao said. “I thought she was dialled in.”
Melissa Tatti finished with 18 points, 10 assists and five rebounds while Kristin Gallant netted 13 and Sam Keltos tallied 10, including six rebounds.
The Badgers were coming off a loss in their first road game of the season on Jan. 8.
Forward Lauren Golding scored 25 points to help lift the York Lions to a 66-63 win over the Badgers at the Tait McKenzie Centre in Toronto.
Keltos scored 19 points and Tatti netted 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Jenneke Pilling added eight points and six rebounds. Morris contributed six points, three steals and four rebounds.
The men’s team was led by second-year forward Godsman Kwakwah, who poured in 26 points and added five boards.
Brock built a 33-22 lead at halftime and Toronto wouldn’t make a push until the third quarter.
Senior guard Tyler Brown led all players with 13 assists and also chipped in with 11 points.
“It was good to have energy and to feed off the crowd,” head coach Willy Manigat said. “This is a special event for our guys, but more importantly for a guy like TB (Tyler Brown) to win his first one and for me to be a part of it is pretty special. This is a step in the right direction.”
The Badgers have been hosting Paint the Meridian Red games since 2015, but had yet to win one prior to Saturday night.
Fourth-year forward Daniel Cayer secured a game-high 14 rebounds and notched 12 points and third-year guard Daniel Caldwell, who caught the eye of coach Manigat, scored a career-high 18 points off the bench.
“I think guys finally stopped putting so much pressure on themselves,” Manigat said. “We saw something from Caldwell tonight that we haven’t seen from him before in a game. I think he understands that playing freely is working for him. Some other people might be surprised by his performance tonight, but I’m not. It’s exactly what I expected for him.”
The Badgers also dropped a 79-77 decision to the York Lions at the Tait McKenzie Centre on Jan. 8.
Kwakwah hit a three-point jump shot to bring Brock within a point with two seconds remaining, however DeAndrae Pierre made a free throw to seal the deal for the Lions.
Brown scored 24 points, collected 11 defensive rebounds and dished out six assists. Kwakwah finished with a career-high 21 points and nine boards. Daniel Cayer netted 10 points and Kyle Cooper scored nine.
Up next, the men’s team (6-6) and women’s team (10-2) host the Western Mustangs at the Bob Davis Gymnasium on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Adam Berg scored a goal and added an assist as the men’s hockey team doubled the Western Mustangs 4-2 in London Jan. 11.
Goaltender Mario Culina made 26 saves for his second consecutive win while Frankie Pucci, Skylar Pacheco and Ryan Burton each scored a goal.
Defencemen Jordan Sambrook and Connor Walters each finished with two assists.
The Badgers also topped the Guelph Gryphons 4-3 at Seymour-Hannah Arena on Jan. 9 as rookie forward Christian Girhiny scored the game-winning goal in overtime.
“It started with a full D-zone breakout and we just had good movement and possession,” Girhiny said. “Dexter Weber did a good job of keeping the puck around the net and Frankie Pucci was coming off from a change and when he got that puck he had his head up. I was lucky no one was watching me when it went in.
“It was a very good game for us and I’m happy we got the two points.”
It was the Badgers’ first win of 2020, which also snapped a three-game losing skid.
“We were a little stronger defensively and found a way to score tonight,” head coach Marty Williamson said. “Christian has a wonderful feel for the game. His eyes are always looking to make plays and his hockey IQ is real good.”
Connor Brown, Ayden MacDonald and Brayden Stortz each added goals for Brock. Goaltender Mario Culina made 42 saves to earn his first win in between the pipes as a Badger.
The Badgers are home to Guelph Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
Mishayla Christensen scored a unique game-winning goal and the women’s hockey team clipped the Laurier Golden Hawks 3-1 at Waterloo Jan. 11.
Midway through the third period, defenceman Paige Cohoon banked the puck into Laurier’s zone to spring Christensen for a breakaway.
“I just stepped onto the ice and was back checking when Paige Cohoon intercepted a pass from Laurier’s D,” Christensen said. “I saw an opening and told Paige to chip it up to me. I was on a breakaway and had the time and space to do the same move as Annie Berg as it worked earlier in the game.”
Christensen drove to the net and the puck flew up in the air.
“The goalie made the save, but I saw the puck go flying high into the air, and the goalie had no idea where it went,” said Christensen. “I turned back around and saw the puck fall right into the net. I couldn’t believe it actually went in.”
Christensen also added a first assist on Mikayla Flanagan’s power-play marker later in the third. Avery Vickers also picked up an assist.
Berg scored the game’s first goal at 14:31 of the first period. Hunter Accursi recorded an assist.
Goaltender Jensen Murphy made 29 saves in between the pipes.
Up next, the Badgers (8-7-0-0) travel to Toronto to play the Ryerson Rams on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7:14 p.m.
The men’s volleyball team landed a 6-foot-4 setter who has a deadly spin serve.
Nolan Shapcott of Orangeville committed to the Badgers just before the holiday break and is looking forward to studying kinesiology.
“Brock has a very reputable kinesiology program and I like the small campus and the intimate community feel,” Shapcott said. “I also really like the chemistry on the men’s volleyball team as they are more of a family than just teammates.”
Head coach Matt Ragogna said there’s a part of Shapcott’s game which will translate easily to university volleyball.
“Nolan is a versatile player who has an extremely calm demeanour when he competes,” Ragogna said. “He communicates well with his attackers and runs a smooth, tactical offence, which is critical at the next level.”
Additionally, Shapcott is an exceptional student and teammate on and off the court, added Ragogna.
“That’s something we look for in our culture and push to take our team to the next level for years to come,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with him choosing to be a Badger for the future ahead.”
Shapcott served as the captain of his high school team at Westside Secondary School where he led them to four district championships, two Central Western Ontario Secondary School titles and an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations bronze medal.
In the summer, he also competes for Team Ontario in beach volleyball.
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