Brock men's hockey drops playoff opener in Guelph 3-2
GUELPH, Ont. - The Brock Badgers men's hockey team (13-9-6 OUA West) dropped the first game of their OUA West Quarterfinal 3-2 to the Guelph Gryphons Thursday night from the Gryphon Centre. The Badgers found themselves down three goals after the first period and their efforts to come back fell just short.
The home team opened the scoring 4:31 into the game when Thomas Kiriakou cut out from the corner and slid the puck past Badger goalie Kurt Jory (Brandon, Man.) with Zach Lillie picking up the assist.
Guelph's Kris Belan extended the lead at the 18:08 mark from Justin Gvora and Edward Gale. Twenty two seconds later Lillie made it 3-0 for Guelph when his shot squeezed past Jory. Gale and Kiriakou added assists on the play.
Despite the lacklustre first period, the Badgers didn't quit in the second. Midway through the frame the Badgers killed off back-to-back penalties and found their jump offensively.
It wasn't until the 18:35 mark of the second that the Badgers netted their first goal. On the powerplay, Kevin Christmas (Hamilton, Ont.) slid the puck along the blue line to Isaac Smeltzer (Estevan, Sask). Smeltzer fired a shot and Jordan Gignac (Hamilton, Ont.) tipped it past Guelph goalie Andrew Loverock.
The Badgers fought hard and dictated the play through the remainder of the period but weren't able to score the equalizer, with both Jory and Loverock making key saves down the stretch to preserve the 3-2 final.
In all, Jory made 27 saves despite suffering the loss while Loverock made 16 stops to pick up the win.
The series resumes Friday night from the Seymour-Hannah Centre in St. Catharines. Face-off for game two between the Badgers and Gryphons is 7:15 p.m.