Volume 92, Issue 27
Thursday, October 22, 1998
mark's going to jail
A very interesting wild west
LOOKING TO SCORE IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES. Damon Hardy (14) and the rest of the Mustangs will have to pick up the offence to be the best in the Far West.
By John Dinner
The road to the championships is going to be a bumpy one for the Mustang hockey team as they take on the teams of the "401 division." The division will try to regain their reputation as the toughest one in Ontario University Athletics.
The Laurier Golden Hawks, last year's laughing stock of the division, have greatly improved this year with some key additions. Improving their team on both offence and defence with players mostly from the Ontario Hockey League, as well as the addition of first-year coach Tony Martindale, new energy and life should surface to the program. According to Guelph head coach Martin Muylaert, "Laurier has drastically improved and have a real good young team. They should surprise a lot of teams this year."
Western head coach Barry Martinelli said he believes the Golden Hawks to be the most improved team in the division and maybe even in Ontario.
"Windsor is going to be strong and are probably favoured to win the division as they only lost three players from last year," Martinelli predicted. The Windsor Lancers, perennial contenders in the West division, will once again be at the top of the standings throughout the year, having only a few minor adjustments from last year's championship squad.
The Waterloo Warriors, who squeaked by the Mustangs in last year's divisional semi-finals, will put their playoff hopes on the shoulders of goaltender Joe Harris. Waterloo will be hard pressed to repeat their second place performance, but could surprise somebody should they advance to the playoffs.
"We haven't made the kind of improvements that the rest of the division has and we're going to rely heavily on Harris and the special teams," said Waterloo head coach Dave Cressman.
"With four excellent goaltenders in this division scoring is going to be at a premium and Western and Windsor seem to have all the tools necessary to be contenders on the national level," Cressman continued.
Muylaert believes that the Far West division will challenge the Far East for the toughest division in the league. "Windsor is always tough, Laurier has really improved and Western looks like they are ready to make a serious run at the championship. Waterloo, however, seems to have really slipped and that will get some wins for the others in the division."
Divisional action will get under way when the Mustangs host the Lancers Nov. 6.
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