Hockey defeats Wilfrid Laurier in exhibition game

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons hockey team defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 3-1 Sunday afternoon, the first of two exhibition matchups to start the season for the Falcons.

“The effort was good,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “We want to make sure that’s a foundation of every team, and I think the 2017-18 team is still trying to figure out what it’s going to be. We want to make sure that we’re going to work, and we did that.”

The game started out well for the Falcons as sophomore forward Casey Linkenheld put the team on the board first at the 14:20 mark of the first period. The Falcons then followed it up with another goal near the midway point of the second period as senior forward Mitch McLain capitalized on a power play chance to put the team up 2-0. While Wilfrid Laurier scored a goal of their own later in the second, that was all the offense they would get, as McLain scored again on a late empty net tally to make it a 3-1 victory.

“I thought we competed real hard,” Bergeron said. “We’ll go back and watch the tape and see if we finished checks the way we wanted to finish, if we were as competitive as we thought we were. There were some stick battles at the beginning of the second period and some battles overall at the beginning of the second that I think they pushed harder than we did. With a 1-0 lead in our own rink, I thought through the first TV timeout seven minutes into the second, I thought we had been outcompeted. Other than that stretch, I don’t remember a stretch where we weren’t physically really competitive.”

The team also used two different goaltenders in the game, as sophomore Ryan Bednard started and played the first half of the game before giving way to freshman Eric Dop for the remainder of the game, as a way to give both goaltenders an opportunity to play in the exhibition season.

“I’d like to have a one-one situation (at goaltender),” Bergeron said. “For right now, that’s what it seems like we have.”

The team was also able to get more experience for freshmen and other younger players, which the team feels will be helpful in determining the appearance of the rest of the team moving forward.

“I think having young people on the power play is something you’re going to see,” Bergeron said. “I thought, all in all, we did okay. I thought we created some opportunities, I thought we hunted down pucks for second and third opportunities, and not just one and dones for the most part.”

The team will next play Friday night at home against the U.S. National Development Team.