The Varsity Blues men’s hockey team gathered their thoughts after a couple of tough road losses, eager to win in front of the home crowd for the first time in 2016, on Friday night against the Windsor Lancers. In a tight battle, the Blues got the best of the Lancers, winning 6-5 thanks to Dean Klomp’s game-winning shootout goal.
The Blues now improve to 7-11-2, moving their way into a tie for seventh place, while the talented Lancers squad drops to 10-7-3, ranking them third in the OUA West division.
Thanks to third-year goalie Andrew Hunt and his 44 saves, the Blues were able to come out on top. Hunt stopped the puck 37 times in regulation and an additional seven times during overtime.
Fourth-year veterans Dylan Heide and Cristian Finch led the scoring charge with a combined eight points. Heide scored a power-play goal nearly seven minutes in, evening things up at one apiece. Finch had four assists, proving that his offensive line was no match for Windsor defenders.
The Blues had a dominant second period, scoring three goals. Midway through the third period, the Blues were up 5-3, but fell back and allowed Windsor’s Kyle Hope’s even strength goal and Julian Luciani’s shorthanded marker, tying the game and making it head into overtime.
Toronto took advantage of the Lancers’ undisciplined play, a recurring theme for the Lancers this season. Windsor sits second in the OUA in total penalty minutes (414). Even though Windsor was ranked fifth on the penalty kill (85.3) before coming to Toronto, the Blues scored four goals on the man advantage.
Fourth-year forward Patrick Marsh was relied upon heavily to create an offensive spark. Marsh didn’t disappoint, scoring a goal and tallying an assist. Marsh leads the team in goals with 10, which is top 20 in the OUA.
The future of the Blues program, Matt Campagna and Max Lindsay have been receiving plenty of ice time. Their growth and development are necessary if the team wants to be a championship contender over the next four years. Campagna and Lindsay had a great offensive night; Lindsay scored a goal in the second period, and Campagna had an assist.
Kenny Bradford is Windsor’s big shut down defender—he was the 2014/15 OUA defenceman of the year and was first-team all-star. Bradford’s two assists helped his team push the game into overtime, but he and the rest of the team couldn’t handle the Blues’ scoring prowess.
After the weekend doubleheader in which the Blues also played the Brock Badgers on Saturday night, winning 4-1, they will head back on the road to face the Western Mustangs this Thursday in London before coming back home to Varsity Arena to play the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday.