Volume 93, Issue 76
Tuesday, February 15, 2000
Eliminating the competition.
©Gazette file photo
By Wes Brown
The playoff picture is getting a little clearer for Western's hockey team, as the Ontario University Athletics championships are right around the corner.
After a come-from-behind 7-7 tie by Wilfrid Laurier University Thursday night, the men continued their post-season preparation on Friday against a desperate Waterloo Warriors squad, who were fighting for a playoff spot. The Mustangs rose to the occasion and beat the Warriors 4-1.
Western head coach Clarke Singer said Friday's game started slowly, but still had its offensive moments. "[Centre] Rob Frost had two goals and was player of the game in our eyes. Their whole line played great the whole game and made the difference."
Singer said the first half of the game was pretty wide open and Western went up 3-0. However, late in the third period, with about four minutes to go, the Waterloo power play was finally able to outsmart goalie C.J. Denomme. "C.J. played a pretty solid game. The whole team wanted to come back strong after Laurier came back and tied us 7-7 in Thursday's game."
Denomme talked about the high scoring Laurier game and said second-string goalie Denver England didn't have his worst game, but definitely received bad breaks overall. "All I can say is that it was one of those games. I'm glad we're getting them out of our system now and not in the playoffs."
Denomme was back between the pipes Friday and said his team finally started to bury some of their chances in the offensive zone. "We've run into a trend of some pretty hot goaltending of late. But Friday, the guys scored some beautiful goals," he said. "As for me, I seem to be getting more confident and better, the more games I play."
Waterloo head coach Dave Cressman thought his guys played well, but not well enough. "We were missing our captain which unfortunately put us a little short on [defence]. Give a good club like Western chances to score and they're going to put it in the net," he said. "On the other side of the ice, we just couldn't put it by Denomme."
Since the playoffs are now out of their reach, Cressman said Waterloo's season is effectively over and the motivating factor behind the remaining games would be pride. "We are actively recruiting, we don't have a lot of offensive players. However, the academic standards are pretty [high] here and it makes it tough to get the guys we want," he said.
As for the fast approaching post-season, Singer said his team was going to let Laurier and the University of Windsor fight it out for the right to play Western. He added both teams have similar characteristics and are hard workers.
The Laurier/Western rematch takes place at Thompson Arena tomorrow night at 7:35 p.m..
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