Volume 94, Issue 52

Thursday, November 30, 2000


Running for your life - Tips on how not to hit the wall

Mustangs try to spike McMaster - Volleyball men prepare for battle tonight

Two upcoming games you can't miss

Sports Briefs

Two upcoming games you can't miss

By John Dinner
Sports Columnist

Winning 10 straight games at any level is tough. Winning 10 straight games in Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union hockey is even tougher. But that is exactly what makes the Mustang men's hockey team all the more special.

After last year's somewhat disappointing showing in the National Championships (two overtime losses to be eliminated), this year's team is playing with a chip on their shoulders and a feeling of something to prove.

But sitting at 10-0-0 can be dangerous. It's something like having a three goal lead – if you relax, it's gone. Relaxing however, is the one thing that shouldn't be a problem for these guys. With two games left before a prolonged break for Christmas, the Mustangs are looking to extend their streak to 12 at the halfway point of the season. With 12 games in the new year, finishing at 12-0-0 goes that much farther to ensuring a playoff berth.

Despite having had their way for much of the season, these last two games are poised to be the toughest and most entertaining games of the season. Tonight, division rival Laurier Golden Hawks come to town, followed by another division rival, the Windsor Lancers on Saturday afternoon.

Not only would wins in these games provide for some momentum heading into the break, but it would be a huge psychological victory should the Mustangs continue to dominate.

Last Saturday night against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, the Mustangs played their toughest, most physical battle of the year. It was a game that should go a long way in helping the team prepare for what they will be facing the rest of the season.

In every single upcoming game, they will be the favourite and every single game their opponents are going to bring their very best, so they can be the team that beat Western. A win by any team over Western right now would be a huge confidence boost, so Western should expect more games like the one they had at Varsity Arena.

The one intangible factor that the Mustangs have on their side, is that they get to finish the first half of the season at home, in the friendly confines of Thompson Arena. But to truly have home ice advantage, fans need to show up and get loud and crazy.

Last Saturday night at Varsity Arena, about 2,000 fans showed up and did a real favour for their home team. Chants of "Go Blues Go" rang throughout the old barn, giving much needed energy to a tired team that had played the night before. Now had those fans not been there the Blues may have played as well as they did that night, but the fans definitely added to the atmosphere and the intensity.

This is something that never happens at Thompson Arena and that's unfortunate. We truly have one of the top CIAU hockey teams in the country, and therefore, one of the best teams on the planet. If you're not coming out to these games, you really are missing out on a part of your university experience.

Thompson Arena has a capacity of 5,000 and I don't think I've ever seen more than 1,500 fans in attendance for a game. It's a complete and total shame because the more fans that show up, the more fun it is. Less fans, less fun.

So show up starting tonight against Laurier and then follow that up with attending the Saturday afternoon game versus Windsor.

I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

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