Volume 93, Issue 52
Wednesday, December 1, 1999
Lancers skewered by Mustangs
By Wes Brown
The Western men's hockey team continued their romp over the weekend, beating the Windsor Lancers both at home and on the road.
Friday night the Mustangs were at home against Windsor crushing them 7-1 in the competition. Looking for redemption two days later, Windsor played a great game, but were still unable to beat the number one nationally ranked Mustangs. The game ended with a final score of 5-3.
Western co-captain and forward Damon Hardy said Friday's game was one of the team's most explosive to date, as the Mustangs pelted the Windsor goalie with 51 shots over the course of three periods.
"We got off to a good start in the first and that carried on throughout the game. We were relentless," Hardy said. "When you put as many shots at [Windsor's goalie] as we did, we knew we were going to produce some goals out of it."
Co-captain and forward Jeff Petrie said not only did the offence produce, but the Mustangs' defensive core held Windsor to only 15 shots. "Everybody did their jobs hitting the body. I think a lot of things just clicked really well for us that night."
Windsor head coach Mike Rice said although his team played poorly, he felt they got the short end of the stick on some calls the referees were making. "Western is really effective at grabbing and clutching. If they are allowed to do it, it's a good game plan. That night they were," he said.
Rice added Western is a very disciplined team which doesn't have many weaknesses. "They have a game plan and they stick to it. They're not ranked number one in the country by mistake."
Before the puck dropped on Sunday, Hardy said he knew it would be a different game. "Windsor has a much smaller rink so the game was an even bigger battle and a lot more physical," he said.
Sunday's game saw Western put on another big shooting display tallying up 55 shots on goal to Windsor's improved 32. Hardy said they knew this game would be won along the boards and in the corners.
"The game was not as conducive to our regular playing style, which uses speed and finesse. But having said that, it was good to see the team testing themselves and really mucking it out," he said.
Petrie said Windsor is always a tough team to play on their own rink and added it didn't help when three minutes into the game Western had already taken four penalties. He said coming back after being down 3-1 made the game a pretty positive win.
"Damon and I and some of the coaches were talking on the bus after the game, how it was the first time we had beaten them at home in two or three years," Petrie said.
The game was also tough because head coach Clarke Singer was away with family priorities. However, Petrie said the assistant coaches did a great job considering they were thrown into the head role without any notice.
Rice said the two goal margin was not indicative of how the game finished up, as Western scored an empty net goal in the dying seconds of the third period.
"The game was a lot closer. Western wasn't allowed to pick or clutch as much as they were in the first game," Rice said about Sunday's improvements. "They were also giving the puck up more so than they did on Friday, thanks to our forecheck. The forecheck is one of our best assets."
Windsor took some foolish penalties in the third period and as a result, the Mustangs were allowed to get back into the game, Rice added. "Western got three power play goals. They are very strong on the power play and that was the decider," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999