Volume 93, Issue 94

Tuesday, March 28, 2000


Overtime unkind to Western's hockey team

A tough start at CIAU finals

East battles West in finals

Mustangs honoured as all-stars

Overtime unkind to Western's hockey team

©Chad Thompson/Gazette

By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

SASKATOON (SK) – It was do or die for Western's hockey team on Friday night, but even this cliché could not describe the urgency of their game against the University of Saskatchewan.

In their second game of the round robin Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union's University Cup tournament, Western faced the host team in a nailbiter that maintained so much intensity, it spilled over into overtime.

After their first round loss to the University of New Brunswick, which also went into overtime, the Mustangs stepped onto the ice ready to fight. Unfortunately, the strong goaltending of C.J. Denomme wasn't enough to hold off the Huskies and the Mustangs lost another tough one, 3-2.

Western opened the scoring halfway through the first period, as forward Jeff Petrie walked across the blue line and let a shot go which found its home at the back of the Huskies' net.

However, Saskatchewan came out hitting in the second period and tied up the game with a goal by captain Shannon Briske. Western forward Chris George put his team back in the driver's seat as his power play goal put them ahead 2-1. But the Huskies answered back once again on a power play of their own and knotted the score at two with a goal by forward Jason Issel.

Regulation time didn't prove to be long enough for the two teams as they headed to overtime. They fought back and forth and with only two ticks left in the first overtime period, Huskies' forward Trevor Ethier bulged the twine behind Denomme to give the host team the win.

After the game, Saskatchewan's head coach Dave Adolph had nothing but praise for his opponents. "I would like to congratulate and extend my handshake to [Western head coach] Clarke Singer – his team played an outstanding game," he said. "In the last three minutes of overtime, we couldn't stop Petrie's line. Hats off to Western."

Saskatchewan's player of the game, Issel, also praised Western for their level of competition. "They came out and battled us for 60 plus minutes," he said, adding Ethier's winning shot was no fluke. "Ethier has come through in the clutch all season. He waited for the goalie to go down and put it top shelf."

Singer said his Mustangs knew they were in for a challenge walking into the national tournament. "It was everything we expected and more. They are an outstanding team."

Singer added the key moment of the game was when the Huskies killed a five minute penalty. "They did an outstanding job penalty killing. I wish we could have had a couple more opportunities [on the power play]."

Singer said he learned a lot about his squad's character despite the loss. "I learned about the heart of the 27 guys in this locker room and I could not be prouder of them."

Denomme added the loss was gut-wrenching. "I've played a lot of hockey, on a lot of teams – but those guys in the locker room are like brothers to me. I told them that after the game," Denomme said.

"I can guarantee that this is not the last time you will see Western in the finals in the next few years."

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