by Ankur Kumar
The Lance – Sports Intern
The highly anticipated Windsor Lancer men’s hockey season has started as well as anyone could have expected, with a home win over the Guelph Gryphons.
While the Lancers had to fight back twice to even things up, they eventually found a way to get the upper hand and maintain the 4-2 advantage over the Gryphons at the South Windsor Arena Oct. 1.
The success could not be solely attributed to just one particular player or one specified unit on the team – It was a blend of veteran collegiate presence with newfound freshmen energy which combined for the winning outcome.
“Dylan Denomme had a big goal for us. He looked really good,” said head coach Kevin Hamelin, who is in his seventh consecutive season as bench boss of the Lancers.
“Sebastien Beauregard didn’t get any points for his efforts but he played a very defensive role for us,” said Hamelin. “Back on the blue line, Matt Fuller looked stronger as the game went on. He struggled in the first period, but it was his first game.”
Hamelin said as freshmen in the OUA, it might take a few games to gel with the rest of the experienced Lancers squad. Nonetheless, he said he has a reliable group to mentor the young team.
Besides the offensive thrill offered by this year’s roster, the back end has never looked better.
“Parker [Van Buskirk] is one of the best goaltenders in the CIS,” said Hamelin. “It’s pretty tough to recruit a goalie when you have him. He’s a workhorse for us. “
There were many new faces to the Lancers offense and defense, but the goaltending tandem of Van Buskirk, Matt Murphy, and Taylor Speed remained the same. With Van Buskirk leading the trio, the Lancers are poised once again to flaunt the hottest numbers in the crease.
It was not long ago the Gryphons and Lancers encountered each other. Although it was the Gryphons who triumphed in the Steel Blade Classic, the Lancers knew they were in for a high-octane group to start the season compared to the team they battled in exhibition.
“Both teams were very different,” said assistant captain Matt Beaudoin, who returns for his third season with the Lancers. “You can’t put too much stock in exhibition… But that’s over now and we have to be ready to go every game.”
The Lancers will travel to Waterloo to take on the Warriors Oct. 10, before battling the Gryphons in Guelph the following night.