Volume 91, Issue 77

Tuesday, February 17, 1998

sugar daddy


Slipping into last week of season

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
WHAT DO YOU MEAN NICHOLAS CAGE GOT THE PART? Jeff Petrie [12] tried out for the movie Face-Off on Saturday, but unfortunately ended up with neither the starting role nor the victory against the Badgers 3-1.

By John Dinner

Gazette Staff

Just when it looked like the Western men's hockey team was ready to roll into the playoffs, the team has collected only one victory in their past six games and has fallen into third spot in the Far West division.

On Saturday night, the Brock Badgers skated into town and left with a 3-1 victory, giving Western their third loss in four games. Unable to recover for Sunday night, they faced the Ryerson Rams, who needed the victory just to stay alive in the playoffs and despite an improved style of play, the 'Stangs were unable to get more than one point from the 5-5 tie.

The game on Saturday night was filled with costly giveaways. After a goal by Ryan Treacy tied the game at one, a giveaway behind the Western net cost the team the equalizer just over 30 seconds later. In the third, the Mustangs once again shot themselves in the foot as they were unable to clear the puck out of the defensive zone and Brock's Mark Walker put home his second goal of the game, effectively putting the game out of reach.

"It's real frustrating," Western goaltender C.J. Denomme said. "I don't particularly like losing to teams of that calibre."

Unfortunately for Denomme, it didn't get any better against Ryerson. Boasting a pitiful 3-16-3 record coming into Sunday night's game, Ryerson was in a must-win situation. With a much better offensive output than in the previous four outings, the 'Stangs were able to open a two-goal lead twice but could not hang on.

Scoring early for the Mustangs was Jeff Mancini along with Matt Gray in the first period, while Damon Hardy opened a two-goal lead on the power play, five minutes into the second period. Penalties then took a hold of the game and Ryerson capitalized, scoring two straight goals to end the period.

In the third, Western came out firing, scoring two goals 30 seconds apart – both from Ben Alviano, who is just returning from injury. However, once again it was sloppy play and a turnover that led to two straight goals by Ryerson to send the game into a scoreless overtime.

"Defensively we made some poor decisions and that cost us," said Western coach Barry Martinelli. "We played better offensively [on Sunday], but we've got to be better come playoffs."

While Martinelli was disappointed with his team's performance, Ryerson head coach Louie Carnevale was extremely pleased with how his team dealt with the Mustang attack.

"I was really happy with the way my guys responded tonight," he said. "Despite our short bench our guys played their hearts out."

Tomorrow Western will take on Laurier at 7:30 p.m. at Thompson Arena as they try to chase second spot in their last home game of the season.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998