The Brock Badgers opened their 2012 season with an 11-8 victory over their Western Conference rival Guelph Gryphons. The Badgers over came some adversity as the Gryphs had a convincing 7-2 lead at the end of the first half.
Brock Coach Justin Kennedy expected that Guelph would come out to a hot start after opening their season with a win over University of Toronto. However, being down 5 goals going into the second to the 1-0 Gryphons was a little more than what he imagined.
â€œWe scrambled a bit on the D end and our offensive players were holding the sticks a bit too tightâ€ said Kennedy.
Senior Jordan Weedmark agreed with his coach and thought the first game jitters caused the slow start for BU. â€œWhen playing in games like that, guys are going to be gripping their sticks a little tighter than usualâ€ said Weedmark. â€œThe emotion level going into that game can cause guys to make mental errors early on.â€
Coach Kennedy and his coaching staff had to rally the troops at half time and make some adjustments that lead to a comeback. â€œWe had to switch our defensive formation in order to accommodate for some of our new Middie Dâ€ said Kennedy.
â€œWe also adjusted our first Middie line, which gave Junior Mark Vradenburg the opportunity to show his ability, which he took full advantage of.â€ Sophomore Vradenburg added three assists in the Brock Badgers home opener.
Besides the coaching changes, the Badgers got the first game jitters out of their system and were able to stay calm despite the early score.
â€œThe bench stayed even keel and that helped us keep our composure throughout the second halfâ€ said Weedmark.
BU buried eight goals in the second half of the game, including three from the Ottawa Area native Weedmark.
Coach Kennedy noted that it was not only Vradenburg and Weedmark who played a vital role in the comeback.
â€œWe had several players stand out for usâ€ said Kennedy. â€œD-man Steve Priolo had an amazing performance on the back endâ€ said Kennedy. Priolo was not only dominate in his own end as he netted the contests first goal.â€¨Kennedy also acknowledged junior LSM Bryan Campbell for stepping up in the second half to help lift Brock past Guelph for the win.
Last but defiantly not least, Kennedy recognized senior goaltender Ian Duffy for having an outstanding performance between the pipes. â€œDuffy made numerous huge saves and quarterbacked our D like a true leader.â€
Duffyâ€™s breakout performance was not only recognized by the coaching staff but also his fellow Badgers.
â€œDuffyâ€™s performance yesterday was the best its ever beenâ€ said Weedmark. â€œNot only did he make great saves all game, he also did a great job transitioning the ball up the field creating fast breaks for our offense.â€
After Tuesday nightâ€™s practice Coach Kennedy and his coaching staff named seniors Ian Duffy, Jordan Weedmark, Dustin Dunn and Roscoe Smith as captains for the 2012 season.â€¨
Ian Duffy is ready to accept his role as team captain and recognizes the responsibilities of being a team leader. “Being named captain of a program with the tradition that we have is a huge honour and a role that I’m going to take very seriouslyâ€ said the Ajax, Ontario native. â€œA lot of great players have had this role previously so I have big shoes to fill but I’m excited for the opportunity. It’s a big responsibility an I just hope I can show some of the younger guys on the team the ropes a little bit.â€
The Badgers get back to action this Saturday at home against the 0-2 University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Although the Varsity Blues are 0-2, they have improved since last season and have proven they can be competitive in CUFLA.
â€œWe will spend a significant amount of time on the field and in the class room this week to prepare for our weekendâ€ said Coach Kennedy. â€œU of T have shown to not give up and can put the ball in the net when needed. Their Goalie is good, so we will talk about taking advantage of every shot we take through the week.â€
BU also has a exhibition game against McGill Sunday afternoon in St.Catharines. Although it is a exhibition game, Coach Kennedy and the Badgers plan to take this game seriously. â€œWe usually meet McGill in the Semis or Finals, so there is going to be a lot of pride on the line.â€