Lucky Lancers land a split
By Joe Ruscica
GO GREASED LIGHTNING! Mustang co-captain Brian Grieve streaks down the ice during Western's 6-4 win at home on Thursday. Windsor won the rematch 7-4 on Saturday.
The Western Mustang hockey team started the new year in the same fashion it finished the old barely above .500.
In a home-and-home series against the Windsor Lancers, Western took the first game convincingly, but fell short two nights later by virtue of its own mistakes. The 7-6 Mustangs were in high hopes of sweeping the series which would have culminated in a good chance to compete with Waterloo (10-2) for the top spot in the OUAA West division. However, the two games typified the Mustangs' mediocre and inconsistent season.
Thursday at Thompson Arena, the Mustangs entered the new year on a high note, beating the Lancers 6-4. "Everyone played well," Mustang co-captain Mike Shewan said. "The work ethic as a whole was great."
Despite the Mustangs performance, highlighted by a staggering 11 of 18 players getting one point or more, head coach Barry Martinelli saw the game in a different perspective.
"[The game] was very much like the start of the season where things were not quite right. It was sloppy," he said. Martinelli, however, was not quick to deem the game a failure. "We're in better shape now two points ahead of Windsor and it was nice to see us score six goals."
Windsor coach Rick Cranker was disappointed with the loss and felt his team would have to increase its intensity to be successful against Western. "In such a key game we should have been better prepared," he said. "Both teams play the same style and whomever gets the last goal is going to win."
On Saturday however, the Lancers returned the favour, crushing Western 7-4. Many excuses could have been made for Western's loss: Mustang goalie C.J. Denomme had never played at Windsor before; the long bus ride to Windsor in the worst snowfall of the year; or even the size of the Windsor rink, which is smaller than Western's. According to Denomme however, the game was decided by Western's multiple mistakes and foolish penalties.
"We didn't show up and nothing seemed to work out," the 22-year-old London native said. "It was the first game that no one played well. We gave up a lot of chances and they capitalized."
Western visits a struggling Brock team Friday, hoping to build on a barely above-.500 record. Saturday, the Mustangs host the Mid West division cellar dweller Ryerson Rams at 7:30 p.m.