LAURIER ATHLETICS SPORTS INFORMATION
For the first time in over a decade, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s hockey program has cracked the U SPORTS national rankings as they find themselves ranked seventh in the country in this week’s Top 10.
Laurier, who was last ranked in the Top 10 back on January 19, 2010, coincidentally also seventh at the time, have earned the ranking after an impressive run of play since November 23. Over that stretch, the team has posted a 9-2-1 record, which has included four victories over nationally-ranked opposition, including Windsor (Nov. 29), Ryerson (Jan. 11 and 30) and Toronto (Jan 25).
Prior to their game on November 23 against Lakehead, when the current run of success began, the purple and gold found themselves ranked last in the 10-team OUA West division. Since that point, the Hawks have managed to climb all the way to sixth in the division and clinched a playoff berth thanks to their 3-2 overtime win over the Rams last Thursday.
Laurier’s run has been powered by veteran forwards Anthony Conti of North Vancouver, B.C., and Danny Hanlon of Waterloo, Ont., who both have 14 points over the last 12 games, as well as third-year defenceman Kyle Jenkins of Brampton, Ont., who has 12 points during the stretch.
Entering the final week of the season, Laurier find themselves just three points back of fourth-place Windsor and have the chance to earn home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Hawks will need to beat Western and York on the road this week and have the Lancers fall to No. 6 Ryerson and No. 5 Toronto on home ice if they are to climb all the way to fourth. If they accomplish this, it will be a remarkable feat considering the Hawks trailed Windsor by 15 points in the West division standings before the current run of success began.
The Hawks kick off their final week of the regular season in London on Friday, February 7 at 7 p.m. against the Mustangs before playing their final game before the playoffs in Toronto against the York Lions on Saturday, February 8 at 7:15 p.m.
Both games can be seen live on OUA.tv.