Volume 91, Issue 52

Friday, November 28, 1997

location, location


Hall is golden against Hawks

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
IF I WORK ON MY FORM, MAYBE I CAN JOIN THE FIGURE SKATING TEAM. Mustang defenceman Matt Munro's ability to be fleet on his skates has helped Western to cut down on its goals against.

By John DinnerGazette Staff

The Western Mustang hockey team saw incredible effort from back-up netminder Mike Hall Wednesday night in the team's 3-2 overtime victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks at Thompson Arena.

With starting goalie CJ Denomme out with a knee injury, Hall was called upon to back-stop Western to a 3-2 overtime victory – extending the team's win streak to three. Hall brilliantly stopped 19 of 21 Laurier shots – sparking the applause of his off-ice co-stopper Denomme.

"Mike stepped in and made the big saves when we needed them. He's a great goalie and he hasn't had a bad game in two years," Denomme said. "People forget how young he is. He just turned 19 and I have nothing but kudos for him."

Coach Barry Martinelli was also extremely pleased with the second-year goalie's performance.

"We have a lot of confidence in Mike. Every game he has played for us over the last two years have been good," Martinelli said. "He doesn't panic and he really keeps his cool."

When asked about his play, the modest Hall was quick to point to his teammates as the reason for the victory.

"The defence played really well tonight," he said. "They cleared the puck and the forwards from out front [of the net] which allowed me to make the saves."

The Mustangs fell behind early in the second period, as Laurier scored their first goal with no time left on the clock in the first period and scored again five minutes into the second – forcing Western to show character to fight back from a two-goal deficit.

With Hall holding Western in the game, the Mustangs mounted a comeback that began with a power play goal from sophomore winger Matt Gray with three minutes to go in the second followed by Ben Alviano's equalizer due to some great fore-checking, five minutes into the third. In overtime, Shaun Fairweather wasted only 26 seconds of the extra period before potting the winner.

What began as a lacklustre game for the Mustang squad, quickly materialized into a solid victory over a West division rival, giving the team a 7-4 record with only one game left before the break. The win perches Western in second place behind undefeated Windsor.

Veteran winger Todd Bradley, who played with a broken hand he suffered in Saturday's win over Ryerson and Rob Schweyer, who returned from a shoulder injury, made gutsy contributions to the win as well.

The Mustangs will play their last game of the first half in Waterloo tonight at 7:30 p.m..

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997