Western faces Laurier
Mustangs one shot short of target
Rugby Stangs march on to finals
Hockey boys dazzle
Hockey boys dazzle
By Ryan Dixon
Gas prices may be astronomical these days, but that has not stopped the Western hockey team from fueling their offence with premium.
The Mustangs blasted Brock 7-3 on Friday and then went on to rack up an 8-1 victory against an overmatched Ryerson Rams team Saturday night.
Western head coach, Clarke Singer, said the team had a goal in mind when Ryerson came to town. Despite winning the first three games of the season, the Mustangs had not started well in any of their matches.
"The first three games, we have come out slow and that's something we wanted to work on tonight. We did a good job by jumping out to a two-goal lead after the first period," Singer said.
Leading the offensive charge for Western was captain Jeff Petrie. The centreman had a four-point night, including a pair of goals. One of his goals came while the Mustangs were down two men to the Rams. Petrie attributed his personal success to luck more than anything. He said he was more encouraged by the way the team's offence has been firing.
"We are starting to come together as a team and the guys are getting used to each other. I think we're starting to play our system well," he said.
In any lop-sided victory there is of course a team on the short end of the stick. Ryerson's assistant coach, Jim Peffers, said he saw what he expected to see from the Mustangs.
"Western is very deep and I think after a while they started to wear us down. At that point we started making mental errors," he said.
Often in blow-out games, frustration can become a factor. The play got very chippy throughout most of the third period. Petrie said he understood why things were a little on the rough side, but said he was just happy nothing serious occurred.
"I've been on the other end of an 8-1 loss many times so I know what it's like. I'm just glad neither side team had any players suspended," he said.
With the Mustangs visibly in control both on the ice and on the scoreboard for the majority of the game, it would have been easy for the team to lose sight of many of the little things they try to execute each game.
In games where players are racking up the points and going for hat tricks, there can be a tendency to try and spring a long pass to a teammate, rather than make the most reliable play. Singer said this was an issue the Mustangs have addressed. While he said his boys may have had some breakdowns, overall they stuck to the game plan.
"For seven or eight minutes in the second period we were coasting a bit, not competing for the puck. On the whole I thought we did a good job of staying focused and playing 60 solid minutes," Singer said.
The Mustangs will have to make sure they stay on track if they want to be successful this week. They host division rivals Laurier on Thursday before traveling to Waterloo for another divisional tilt Friday night.