Ice wars heat up in division rivalry
By John Dinner
Another weekend split has kept the men's hockey team playing .500 hockey at 3-3, but still in the thick of the Far West division.
On Friday night at Thompson Arena, the Mustangs skated onto the ice with chips on their shoulders and dismantled the highly regarded Lancer attack.
Opening up the scoring, 51 seconds into the game, on a goal by left-winger Damon Hardy, the Western attack just kept picking up steam from there, eventually rolling to a 7-1 victory.
Despite the blowout win, there was no way Western was going to take the Lancers for granted heading into their rink on Sunday.
"We know that they're going to come right back at us [Sunday]," said assistant coach Mark Cernjul after Friday's game. "[The coaching staff] have to make the point that Windsor is not an easy place to win in."
"We were embarrassed, but not because of the score but because of the way we lost it," said Windsor head coach Rick Cranker, referring to Western's four-goal third period. "After the game I didn't have to say anything. We've got a veteran team and they knew what they had to do come Sunday."
The tight-checking physical affair, typical of a second game of a home and home series, was dominated by Windsor in the first period of the game, opening up a 2-0 lead before the Mustangs were able to muster any sort of attack.
"I was pleased with our territorial advantage throughout the game," Cranker said. "We got out to a real good start, something we knew we had to do, but with Western's fire power we knew the game was far from over."
The game was much more intense than Friday's game, with 12 power-plays in the first two periods (five for Western, seven for Windsor).
"When you play in Windsor you know it's going to be a tough game," Hardy said. "It's a real small rink so you're fighting in the trenches the whole time."
Western was able to capitalize on one first period power-play with a goal from Jeff Petrie, closing the gap to one. The 'Stangs did come out in the second with more fire but a disallowed goal effectively extinguished any spirit they had left, as Windsor went on to score another goal, making it a 3-1 final.
"I thought they out-worked us and were a lot hungrier," said Mustang head coach Barry Martinelli. "We couldn't get the puck in deep to consistently forecheck them. In a small barn you've got to get in their faces, something we didn't do."
The Mustangs are hoping to string together a couple of wins as both they and Windsor play division rivals Laurier and Waterloo in their next four games. Western hosts Laurier tomorrow night at Thompson Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m..