Treacy notches hat trick
By John Dinner
WATERLOO Unbeaten in nine and winners of five straight games, the Western men's hockey team keeps on rolling over the weaker teams in the OUA, but now face much stiffer competition in the run to the playoffs.
As the Mustangs rolled to their fifth straight victory in a 5-3 win over Laurier, it was Ryan Treacy, a second-year winger from Markham, who took it into his own hands to ensure victory.
Playing what injured rear guard Joe Birch called "his best game of the season," Treacy notched a hat trick, an assist and was clearly Western's most inspired player on the ice. On a line with Jeff Mancini and Damon Hardy, the three were able to account for all five of Western's goals. Hardy also notched two and grabbed two assists, while Mancini had two helpers.
Golden Hawks coach Wayne Gowing knew prior to the game he would have to stop Western's best line.
"We figured Mancini's line to be the top line on the team," he said. "But they used excellent team speed and fore checking and just broke us down."
With injuries and some players not making the trip, Treacy was inserted into the first line in place of Rob Schweyer and preformed magnificently, getting two goals and an assist in the first period.
"They caught us standing around and took advantage of it," Gowing said. "And they got some real timely goaltending from (Mike) Hall."
Treacy was extremely pleased with his play. "I just wanted to come out and contribute," he said. "I had a lot of confidence in training camp and early on, but I fell into a real bad slump. I'm just happy to be able to put some numbers up for the team."
Treacy felt it was important not only for him but for the coaching staff, to prove he can play and contribute on a regular basis.
"Playing with Mancini and Hardy really helped," he said. "They are great players, all I had to do was go to the net and they were able to find me."
Dominating both ends of the rink, it was however, not all champagne and strawberries for the squad because for the second game in a row they let their opponent back into the game in the third period, despite holding a four-goal lead.
"We got lazy in our own end and it cost us two quick goals," Mustang coach Barry Martinelli said. "But I was pleased with the way we were able to regain composure and close out the game."
Having disposed of five straight teams, Western is now poised to take on the better teams in the OUA as they face Waterloo, Guelph, Toronto and Windsor twice in the next five games. To make the difficult task a little easier, Western plays four straight at home, beginning with Waterloo tonight at 7:30 p.m..