Volume 91, Issue 59

Wednesday, January 14, 1998



Hockey team weathers storm

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
DRINK D'ANGELO APPLE JUICE. Second-year Mustang left winger Ryan Treacy scored the game-winning goal versus Queen's on Sunday. Western won 4-1.

By James Pugsley

Gazette Staff

It is reasonable to think the Western hockey team would be used to ice by now. But when the 7-4-1 Mustangs travelled to Kingston last Friday to play Queen's and Royal Military College, they arrived in a city of darkness caused by the biggest ice storm in years – which, as a result, led that night's game to be put on... you guessed it... ice.

There seemed to be little more at stake for the Mustangs than a couple of added victories to their decent record, but as soon as the team bus pulled into town, the road trip got off to an electrifying start.

"We drove over a couple of hydro wires on the way to the rink," Western head coach Barry Martinelli said. "At one point we heard something hit the top of the bus and it was a wire – but everybody knew they weren't live."

Whether it was live wires, or something else, the Mustang offence was electrified and despite a schedule change, handily defeated the Golden Gaels 4-1 on Sunday afternoon – only 10 hours after slaughtering RMC 10-1.

Martinelli was mildly shocked at the results of the weekend since he felt Saturday's game, which didn't finish until 2:30 a.m., left his team a little fatigued.

"Having played so late the night before, our decision-making and execution skills weren't as good as they could have been."

Western goalie C.J. Denomme, who shined in the win over Queen's, couldn't ignore the wire incident, which, along with the sight of tree branches piercing car windows, made the trip into Kingston somewhat eery. "It really put things in perspective," he said. "The place was in a state of emergency and there we were, going to play a hockey game."

Denomme carried the Mustangs into the third period on Sunday with the score tied at 1-1, which finally allowed forwards Ryan Treacy and Matt Munro to break Western away for the eventual 4-1 win.

"It was just a matter of weathering the storm," Denomme said, not about the actual weather, but about stopping 39 shots. He also had plenty of praise for his offence. "It was good we didn't leave all of our goals in the first game. This weekend was a real confidence booster," he said, adding the Mustangs, now 5-0-1 in their past six games, are beginning to snowball.

Rookie Shaun Fairweather, who scored twice against RMC and added one more against Queen's, said the team felt a little tired from the weekend's ice capades, but the storm had little impact on the games. He admitted, however, that the team felt the full impact of mother nature's fury upon returning to the hotel on Saturday to discover the storm had knocked out the cable television services.

Western's next game is at Thompson Arena tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. against York.

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

Copyright © The Gazette 1998