Brock, Nipissing looking to make noise at U SPORTS Championships in PEI

Ottawa, ON – In just a few short hours the puck will drop at MacLauchlan Arena at UPEI and the 2022 U SPORTS WHKY Championship will get underway. Before that, lets breakdown the two teams representing the OUA.

Brock Badgers 

Badgers Athletics

The Brock Badgers, the team that most could probably say they didn’t expect to be here, but one that could easily make some noise this weekend. The Badgers came into PEI on the ultimate high after their 2-1 win over Nipissing in the McCaw Cup gave Brock their first title in program history. Set to face off against the Canada West Finalist Saskatchewan Huskies, it doesn’t look like the magic for the Brock Badgers will run out just yet. 

How did they get here?

The Badgers finished third in the OUA West with a 5-5-2-4 record. Offensively they were led by Cassidy Maplethorpe, who finished tied for second in the OUA, scoring 16 points. In the playoffs, the Badgers saw goaltender Tiffany Hsu step up, allowing just two goals in three games as the Badgers got past the defensively strong Gryphons, the upstart Western Mustangs and finally, the Nipissing Lakers to claim the 2022 McCaw Cup.

What to watch for

The most significant things to watch in Brock’s matchup vs Saskatchewan are the performances of Cassidy Maplethorpe and Tiffany Hsu. The third-year Maplethorpe led the Badgers with five points in three playoff games after leading them in points in the regular season and will be the key offensive weapon for the Badgers. Even more important, though, is the play of Hsu. The Huskies’ offence fell silent against UBC in the Canada West Final, getting shut out in back-to-back games. If Hsu remains on her game and shutdowns the offensive weapons of Saskatchewan, then the clock might just not hit midnight quite yet on the Badgers’ magical season.

Nipissing Lakers 

Brian Doherty/Lakers Athletics

The Nipissing Lakers have to be heading into PEI, thinking they could have had more. The Lakers took down the defending McCaw Cup champion Varsity Blues 3-2 in a cage-match semifinal at Varsity Arena and went to North Bay hosting the McCaw Cup for the first time. They fell to the Brock Badgers and now have to be heading into PEI looking for revenge. Facing off against the 2022 Canada West Champion UBC Thunderbirds, though, the Lakers will be in for a tough road to the top at Nationals. 

How did they get here?

The Lakers finished the 2021-2022 season second in the OUA East with an 8-4-2-0 record. Offensively they were paced by Mallory Dominico and Brianna Gaffney, who finished 1st and 2nd in scoring in the OUA. The Lakers faced off against the Ryerson Rams in the east semifinal in the playoffs, but Brianna Gaffney picked up a hattrick in a 3-1 win and sent Nipissing through to their battle with U of T before they ultimately fell to Brock.

What to watch for

In the UBC Thunderbirds, the Lakers face a team that is coming off a championship and a goaltender who is riding an absolute heater. Elise Hudgens allowed just two goals in four games and shut the Huskies out in back to back to give UBC the win and herself a .970 save percentage. If Dominico and Gaffney can’t find a way to solve Hudgens, the Lakers could once again see themselves heading home empty-handed. 

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