Learning curve for hockey Badgers
Defenceman Dexter Weber (15) and goaltender Logan Thompson will be two key members of the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team this season. Photo courtesy BROCK UNIVERSITY.
The Brock men’s hockey team is off to a 2-0 start, but head coach Marty Williamson is far from satisfied.
“It’s still a big work in progress. I don’t think we’re real happy with our game right now,” Williamson said.
The Badgers kicked off the U SPORTS regular season with a 5-3 win over York and a 3-2 triumph over Laurier.
“We were very fortunate in Laurier to get the result we got,” Williamson continued. “We didn’t deserve to win the game, but we found a way to pull it out. That’s a credit to them. They never quit, but we’re not playing the kind of hockey that we want to play.”
The Badgers are coming off a successful season where they posted a 14-9-5 record and upset Guelph, York and Laurier in the playoffs. They reached the U SPORTS National Championships in Fredericton, N.B., but were knocked out in the first round.
Brock lost a good portion of their lineup to graduation, including forward Josh Timpano and star goaltender Clint Windsor.
With so much turnover, Williamson is aware he must be patient.
“When you throw 14 new guys in the lineup, you expect some issues,” he said. “We don’t have everyone on the same page right now. In my head, I kind of thought five exhibition games and five regular season games and then there should be no more excuses. They should have a full understanding of how we have to play.”
This year’s recruitment class consists of a strong group of forwards, led by centre Tyler Rollo of the London Knights, along with defenceman Connor Walters of Welland, who won an Ontario Hockey League championship with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
In net, the Badgers added Logan Thompson, who played three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and received an invite to the Washington Capitals camp over the summer.
Williamson feels there is a feeling-out process going on both in the room and on the bench.
“I don’t know these players. It was same feeling I had to learn about those guys (last year),” he said. “Last year’s team felt more comfortable because they all knew each other. Our group, they don’t even know each other, plus the feeling-out process with me.”
Williamson feels his club is built from the net out.
“We’re slightly faster, but similar to last year. It’s not a natural, high-scoring team,” he said. “We’re going to have to work hard. I think we’re going to be a team that’s very difficult to play against. We play strong defence and we have great goaltending, no matter who we put in there.
“We believe we should be in games. Now, how do we win these games? It is hard. There are no easy nights.”
The Badgers visit Guelph Wednesday and then host RMC Friday and Queen’s Saturday.
“We have a stretch of seven games that are extremely difficult,” he said. “It’s going to be very interesting to find out how we come out of these seven games. Is our learning curve going to be very quick or is it going to take a little more time?”
Brock’s roster consists of forwards Rollo, Ryan Burton, Matthew Campese, Frank Pucci, Ethan Price, Jared Marino (Niagara Falls), Adam Berg, Kosta Likourezos, Brayden Stortz (Welland), Adam Lloyd, Cosimo Fontana, Brandon O’Quinn, captain Brody Silk, Nate Looysen, Ayden MacDonald, Connor Brown and Justin Brack.
The defence is made up of Walters, Tyler MacArthur, Jake Ringuette, Dallas Rossiter, Skylar Pacheco, Dexter Webe, Jeff Corbett and Ethan Spaxman.
Thompson, Alex Brooks-Potts and Mario Cavailaire are the netminders.
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