Watching the Brock Badgers pound home four first period goals didn’t do much for Joel Scherban’s disposition Saturday night.
Blaming his veterans for not making crucial plays and waving at pucks they should have cleared from their zone, the Lakehead Thunderwolves coach was not a happy camper following the 7-4 loss in front of a crowd of 2,442 at Fort William Gardens.
Scherban, who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, happy or otherwise, said if things don’t change in a hurry, it’s going to be an awfully ugly start to the season when OUA play gets under way next weekend in Guelph.
“Plain a simple, the first period tonight was extremely disappointing and embarrassing,” he said. “There’s no way our team should put in a performance like that. I thought we came out and played the first few minutes very well. We were all over them and had some good scoring chances.
“But the mistakes we’re making are mental mistakes and they’re being made by veterans. Our guys need to do some soul searching. We start the regular season in less than a week now and I think our performance is unacceptable.”
Freshman Johnson Andrews was the hero for the Badgers, collecting a hat trick by the 16:17 mark of the second when he jumped on a juicy rebound given up by LU goalie Jeff Bosch, getting his second start of the season.
It’s those type of plays Scherban wants to see disappear, and fast.
He’s trying to see the positive in the defeat.
“Sometimes a loss like that and some of the performances we’ve had so far this season is a good thing. It’s a wake-up call to our guys and we just talked about it. Nothing’s going to come easy. The OUA West is too strong right now. There are seven teams capable of winning our division and if you don’t play your best on a night, you’re not going to win.”
Andrews, who never scored more than seven goals in any one campaign in five seasons with the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs, was pleased with his performance.
“That was my first hat trick in the OUA. It’s my first year here and it’s a pretty exciting environment to play in and definitely nice to put a couple goals in the back of the net,” the Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. native said.
“It’s definitely nice to get a win up here. It’s such a hostile environment crowd-wise. They’re definitely on you.”
Give the Wolves credit for trying to pull their way back into this one – though take away a few points for losing their cool on a couple of occasions, Thomas Frazee and Mike Quesnele quickly coming to mind.
With little to lose and trailing 4-0, Mike Hammond began the comeback 11 minutes into the second. But after Cody Blois stopped Thomas Frazee on a shorthanded break, Andrews restored the four-goal advantage. Hammond responded in the final minute of the period, blasting a rebound of a Matt Caria shot to make it 5-2.
But after Ryan Magill tucked home a low shot to pull LU within a pair, Jordan Gignac’s shot from the top of the circle beat a clear path to the twine and Brock led 6-3. Lakehead’s Mike McDonald, on the power play, and Brock’s Dan Tinel traded goals to finish up the scoring, in a game that saw both sides fire 28 shots at their opponent.
“It was definitely a different type of game from last night,” Brock coach and Thunder Bay native Murray Nystrom said. “Last night was so fast and furious and today just kind was a slower game, slower pace, slower everything I thought.
“But from a results standpoint, we’re obviously happy. We always stress coming here and having a good first 10 minutes is key. We were fortunate that we were able to capitalize early and kind of ride that a little bit.”
Scoring: 1. Brock, Stajan (K. Geldart, Schram) 10:50. 2. Brock, Andrews (McNeill) 12:07. 3. Brock, Abercrombie (Boudreau, Jones) 12:25. 4. Andrews (Radjanovic, Jones) 17:52 pp. Penalties: Kerr BRO (hooking) 2:21, Dickson BRO (slashing), Frazee LAK (cross checking, roughing after whistle) 4:14, Schram BRO (interference) 6:39, Quesnele LAK (tripping) 16:08,
Scoring: 5. Lakehead, Hammond (Fillman) 10:56. 6. Brock, Andrews (Radjanovic, LaPlante) 16:17 pp. 7. Lakehead, Hammond (Caria, Judson) 19:45. Penalties: LaPlante BRO (hooking) 6:13, Doczy BO (slashing) 8:36, Dubchak LAK, A. Geldart BRO (roughing) 12:27, Wilkins LAK (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), Jones BRO (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct) 13:36. Quesnele LAK (elbowing) 13:10. Quesnele LAK (unsportsmanlike, misconduct) 15:25, Schram BRO (unsportsmanlike conduct) 20:00.
Scoring: 8. Lakehad, Magill (Delory, Malouin) 4:31. 9. Brock, Gignac (unassisted) 8:12. 10. Lakehead, McDonald (Sergerie, Wilkins) 11:25 pp. 11. Brock, Tanel (unassisted) 18:06 en. Penalties: Frazee LAK (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct), Bonawitz BRO (unsportsmanlike conduct) 5:49, Tanel BRO (roughing) 9:42, A. Geldart BRO (elbowing) 11:25, Dooley BRO, McDonald LAK (roughing) 20:00.
GAME DATA – SOG – Brock 16-7-5-28, Lakehead 7-15-6-28; Power plays (goals-chances) – Brock (2-6), Lakehead (1-6); Goaltenders – Brock: Cody Blois, Lakehead: Jeff Bosch; A: 2,442.
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