|Volume 92, Issue 58
Tuesday, January 12, 1999
Laurier, Windsor spank Mustangs
By Anthony Thomas
The Western men's hockey team returned to action this weekend after the holiday break and experienced an unfortunate return. They were defeated by the Laurier Golden Hawks 6-2 on Friday and lost 5-2 to the Windsor Lancers on Sunday.
Laurier coach Tony Martindale was happy to get an important win on the road. "We didn't start well in the first period but we somehow turned the tables on them for the second and third. Last time we came here they physically dominated us so we wanted to be aggressive."
Western tried to put forth a stronger effort in Windsor on Sunday and they did, but unfortunately lost a game which could have gone either way.
Western captain Jeff Petrie was disappointed with both losses but felt the team had a stronger performance on Sunday. "We came out flat against Laurier. Obviously we're not happy with either game. You're never happy when you lose but we played a little better [Sunday] and we saw some improvement."
A bright spot for the Mustangs on the weekend was the play of rookie defenceman Steve Manley who recorded a goal and an assist against Laurier and another goal against the Lancers on Saturday.
The Windsor crowd was large and loud as the Lancers sliced through the Mustangs. "I think against Western, people come out because they know it's a big rivalry and they are the closest team to us," said Lancer head coach Rick Cranker. "We play them most often and playing at home is always a big advantage in this league."
Mustang head coach Barry Martinelli did not believe the fans played a factor but said the rivalry between the two teams resulted in tough, penalty-filled games.
"The penalties are from intensity and teams wanting to win badly. It's always a physical, tough game because both teams want to win," Cranker said. "Western/Windsor has always been a bit of a dogfight. It could have gone either way [Sunday]."
Petrie did not use penalties as an excuse and attributed the tough play to the rivalry between the teams. "You can't control the refereeing. You just have to play through it. Neither team likes each other at all," Petrie said. "It's always an adventure when you go to Windsor."
"[The Far West division] is as tight as it's ever been and this was a big game because we were one point behind Western. Every game within your division is going to be key," Cranker said.
Martinelli agreed with Cranker's assessment of the importance of the game. "Winning first place in this division probably means you are going to the nationals."
The Western loss moves Windsor into first place in the Far West division, one point ahead of Western. The Mustangs will look to get back into the win column on Friday when they face Brock at Thompson Arena.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999