Volume 92, Issue 85

Wednesday, March 10, 1999


Championships have silver lining

CFL eyes set on pair of Mustangs

Post-Jordan era under way for NBA

Indoor hockey team snowballed

Madness makes promises tough to keep

The Road to the Final Four

Indoor hockey team snowballed

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

Winter is the cruelest season. For the women's indoor hockey team,old man winter was down right nasty.

A major snowstorm on Saturday prevented the team from attending the Ontario University Athletics championship tournament – in turn forcing the team to forfeit two games and squashing any hope the Mustangs had of winning a medal in the OUA finals which were held over the past weekend in Toronto.

Going into the finals with a 2-6-2 record and provincially ranked fourth overall, Western had a strong chance of coming out of the weekend with a medal. But the team's final undoing would not be found through hockey sticks and goals, but through high velocity winds and the unyielding snowfall which blanketed London on Saturday.

As the tournament continued in Toronto, the Mustangs were left stranded in London, their final fate to be decided by the judges at the tournament.

"We informed the people at the tournament of our situation and they were unable to come up with a new schedule to accommodate us – while at the same time remaining fair to the other teams," said Western head coach Gavin Francis.

On Sunday, when the weather cleared and the Mustangs finally made it to Toronto any chance of having a strong showing had vanished. All that was left for Western was to play for the sixth spot against Queen's. The emotional frustration of Saturday quickly surfaced as the demoralized and disappointed Mustangs fell easily to Queen's 4-0 to finish in seventh place.

Team captain Karen Murtaugh was extremely disappointed with the situation and said the winter storm effectively wiped out everything the team had worked for all season long.

"Saturday was a nightmare. We had a lot on our minds. On Sunday we couldn't focus but we showed a lot of heart by just showing up and playing," Murtaugh said.

Western has filed a formal protest with the OUA over the judges' reluctance to reschedule the games Western was slotted to play. But despite the protest and the weather, indoor hockey convenor Sharon Creelman from Waterloo stood by the decision the judges made.

"The common sense of the other coaches to come on the Friday night foreseeing the bad weather on Saturday meant that the judges could show no sympathy for Western's situation," Creelman said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999