Gryphon Hockey Can't Stop Soaring Hawks in 5-2 Defeat

Monday, November 27, 2006

Written by Stephen Sweet

The Gryphons men’s hockey team were defeated by the Laurier Golden Hawks on Thursday night after a three goal third period for the ‘Hawks. Guelph played a pretty solid game for the most part, but they could not recover after Jeff Borrows’ first of two goals in the game.

The game began with plenty of action at both ends of the ice, as the Gryphons, in their snazzy black uniforms, tried to hold their own against a team tied for the league lead in points. They nearly struck first too but both Darryl Munch and Jordan Grant were stopped in succession by Laurier goaltender Aaron Forer. Despite that scoring opportunity, along with a two-man advantage a few minutes later, it was Laurier that got on the board first. A pair of converging Gryphons who were both going to the puck missed Grant’s offensive zone pass, it instead slid onto the stick of Nick Vergeer. Vergeer, known for his superb stickhandling, brought the puck from end to end on a 2-on-1 before slipping a pass across to Chris Di Ubaldo, who blasted home the one-timer. That goal gave the Golden Hawks a 1-0 lead headed into the first intermission.

The Hawks carried that momentum into the second period, and it wasn’t long before they added to their lead. Jeff Borrows sent big winger Mark Voakes down the right-hand side with a partial break, and just inside the face-off circle Voakes snapped a mid-level shot to the blocker side of Andrew Arklie. Arklie seemed to be caught slightly off-guard by the shot and wasn’t able to react in time, although he had have he still might not have stood much of a chance. The puck rang off of the post and in, and Laurier doubled their lead.

Now being down two goals, the Gryphons tried to press the Laurier defense, but they weren’t budging, and while the Gryphons were getting shots on goal, most were from the perimeter and didn’t create too many quality chances. The Gryphons needed a slick, speedy skater to slip through the Laurier defense, and they found it, in the form of Thomas Laplante. Laplante sprung free thanks to a tape-to-tape pass through traffic by Marshall Blue, and even though he was hooked down to the ice, he fired the puck through the wickets of goalkeeper Forer.

With the score now 2-1, Laurier looked to regain the two-goal lead, and took advantage of a bad Guelph line change to send in Jeff Borrows alone on Arklie. The Gryphon goaltender stayed with Borrows step by step, and got his pad on the puck, keeping it out. The Gryphons recovered from that brief scare to create more scoring opportunities, and they were once again successful. As Laurier tried to clear their own zone, Michael Heck blocked the outgoing pass, corralled the puck, and passed it over to Chris Baker, who wired a high blocker-side shot past a partially-screened Forer. Just like that, the game was tied, and remained tied at two going into the intermission.

Unfortunately, the Gryphons could not hold on to that tie score for long. Early in the third period, Borrows made a couple of good offensive zone moves to get a clear shot on goal, and he did not miss. The high wrister gave the Golden Hawks a 3-2 lead. After the goal, the Gryphons played an offensive style, with Laplante, Baker and Blue all getting good chances but all were turned away by Forer. David Volpe set up Grant in front of the net during a scramble, and Grant shot it into the net, but unfortunately the net had already come off of its moorings, and thus it was ruled no goal.

When it finally seemed like the Gryphons were making a good run at tying the game, they started to lose track of some of their defensive zone coverage, and it came back to cost them. Arklie made a save on Voakes, but the rebound went to Nathan Peacock, who deftly pulled the puck away from both Arklie and defenseman Greg MacArthur. After getting them to lean towards him, Peacock passed the puck across the crease to a wide-open Jeff Borrows, who knocked home his second of the game. The Gryphons were unable to recover, and including a late goal by Matt Maccarone, the Gryphons lost, 5-2.

The Stars:

Third star – Guelph’s Thomas Laplante, 1 goal – Laplante was the one who scored an excellent goal from his knees to bring the team back to life. He played a strong offensive game the whole way through, and although not being the strongest player, kept his defensive responsibilities as well.

Second star – Laurier’s Mark Voakes, 1 goal, 1 assist – Voakes was a tough customer all night long, and made his presence known. His goal in the second period gave Laurier their first two-goal lead, and his scoring opportunity in the third game them their second two-goal lead.

First star – Laurier’s Jeff Borrows, 2 goals, 1 assist – Borrows played a sensational game from start to finish, and he proved to be too much for the Gryphons to contain. He had a few really good scoring chances in the first two periods, and finally got through in the third, scoring the game winner on a hard wrist shot and scoring the insurance marker on a set up. A solid game throughout for the rookie, and one he’ll remember too, since those were his first two goals in his CIS career. A game to remember for Borrows, but one to move on from for the Gryphons, who look to bounce back at home next Thursday night.

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