Hawks get their revenge
By John Dinner
On Wednesday night the Mustang men's hockey team travelled to Wilfred Laurier to face the eager Golden Hawks, who were looking to extract revenge after last week's 5-2 loss to the 'Stangs.
Having faced the same team exactly one week ago, Western knew what to expect from the Laurier attack. However, the Mustangs weren't able to mount a consistent attack, resulting in a 3-2 loss.
The start of the game dictated the flow, as Laurier got out of the blocks quickly, scoring early in the first period.
"The guys are pretty disappointed right now. They really wanted to overtake Laurier in the standings," said Mustang assistant coach Clarke Singer. "We didn't start very well but after the first 10 minutes, I thought we skated with them. The difference was that they were able to capitalize on their opportunities."
Western evened things on a goal by centre Damon Hardy and took the lead when centre Kevin Hare scored his third of the season. This lead would be short-lived, as Laurier got one back minutes later.
Just as the game appeared to be heading to overtime, the Hawks took possession of the puck through the neutral zone. With 43 seconds left in the game, Laurier iced it with a blast off the stick of Jeff Haydar from the top of the circle, which beat rookie goaltender Denver England on the stick side.
"I think maybe we had a little more ammunition coming into this game," said Laurier head coach Tony Martindale. "The way we played last week [at Western] disappointed us because we knew we could play better and we wanted to prove that tonight."
The victory moves the Golden Hawk's record to 5-1-3, giving them a three-point cushion over both Windsor and Western for the top spot in the Far West division.
"These divisional games are so important, especially with this year's playoff format," Martindale said. "We face each other five times a season and it's like playoff games in the middle of the season."
The playoff format Martindale was referring to is the new rule for divisional playoffs, where first place gets home ice advantage for all playoff games inside the division. This makes the last three games Western has left before the Christmas break that much more important.
Despite giving up a goal in the game's last minute, one bright spot for the Mustangs was the play of England. He has filled in admirably for the injured CJ Denomme and kept the 'Stangs within striking distance of first this season.
"Everyone seems to have a lot more confidence in me and that has allowed us to play better," England said. "But for us to win, everyone has to show up every night. We can't take any nights off."
The Mustangs take on another Far West rival tonight when the Waterloo Warriors travel to Thompson Arena. Game time is 7:30 p.m..