Hockey team fights back
By John Dinner
The season got off to a rocky start last week for Western's men's hockey team, as they opened up on the road against perennial powers, the Guelph Gryphons.
The Gryphons, a team the Mustangs had beaten in pre-season action, came to the rink bent on not allowing Western to win in front of their own fans on opening night.
"We took advantage of our fast start," said Guelph coach Marlin Muyleart, as his team opened up a 3-0 lead six minutes into the game, including a goal in the first minute of play. "It was the difference in the game. Western had to continually fight back."
Western did fight back, showing resiliency which epitomized the team from last year, as they fought back to tie it 3-3 in the second period.
"You have to give them a lot of credit," Muyleart said. "But after they tied it up and we scored right after, I think we took the momentum back for the rest of the game."
The goal while effectively broke the backs of the Mustangs came 19 seconds after Western had fought back to tie it at three. "They had a real good jump. They were all over us in the first period," said Western coach Barry Martinelli.
The eventual 6-4 loss to the Gryphons was difficult, but if anything, it prepared them for Saturday when they took on the Toronto Varsity Blues.
The Mustangs came out with a chip on their shoulder and Toronto got blasted by the frustrated squad, being completely dominated as Western opened up an 8-0 lead half way through the game.
"In order to win we have to receive maximum effort from the maximum amount of people," Martinelli said. "And there wasn't a man that had a bad game, they all really picked it up."
The 8-1 final was not indicative of Toronto's weaknesses as they beat Far West favourite Windsor in their opener, as much as it was the 'Stangs who were out to prove something.
"We didn't take them for granted and really forechecked them to death," Martinelli said. "We took advantage of their play in their own end and that resulted in some goals for us."
Without having a true no. 1 line this year, the Mustangs will be relying on a total team effort, something they got on Saturday.
Western will continue the season with their home opener this Friday against Queen's.