Volume 95, Issue 53

Wednesday, December 5, 2001
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First-half Mustang impressions

Brock badgered by Mustang attack

Raptors' record not up to par

Sports Briefs

Brock badgered by Mustang attack

Western remains perfect with a 5-1 win

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

The Western Mustangs men's hockey team have 12 reasons to smile as they head into the holidays.

The Mustangs are a perfect 12-0 on the season after beating Brock 5-1 Friday night in St. Catharines. Once again, Western stormed out of the blocks, jumping out to a 4-0 first period lead before the Badgers came out of hibernation.

Western head coach Clarke Singer said getting off to a solid start was a priority for his troops. "We had a great start. Brock played the night before, so we wanted to be strong coming out of the gates," Singer said.

The coach said the strong starts have been a recent trend he hopes continue.

"The first six games of the season, we weren't so quick at the start of games. The last six, we've really tried to focus on strong starts because we're a pressure team in all facets of the game and the guys have responded very well," he said.

This victory, according to Singer, was a complete team effort.

"I think our offense played well, our defense played well and our special teams were strong with a couple key penalty kills. I think most importantly we had a good work ethic. We knew Brock had a hardworking team and we wanted to match that for 60 minutes and I think we did," he said.

Brock bench boss Murray Nystrom said depth and opportunistic scorers were keys to Western's win.

"The depth of Western benefits them a great deal. We have some top end talent but [Western's depth] shows when we put out our third or fourth line and they've got a line out there that's basically a first line," he said.

"They did a great job of taking advantage of their opportunities. We blew some coverage down low and they buried it," Nystrom added.

Nystrom said he was proud of the effort put forth by his club. "They didn't fold the tent [after getting down] and played hard for the rest of the game," he said.

Western captain Ryan McKie said while the Mustangs did finish their first period chances, they could have had more. "I think we put a few [chances] in, but we missed a few too," he said. "We got the bounces in the first period, but after that it wasn't really going our way."

With conclusion of the first-half of the season, Western now looks ahead to the new year with the resolution to keep up their torrid pace.

"There are really two distinct halves in [Canadian Interuniversity Sport] winter sports," Singer said. "Teams will be gunning for us, we'll be a star on a lot of calendars and things will get a lot closer and tighter heading into the playoffs – as it should be."

Claire Chapple/Gazette
"SERIOUSLY MAN, TURN AROUND. YOU'RE ABOUT TO GET IN RIGHT IN THE..." Western didn't turn their back on Brock for a second, jumping out to a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-1 win.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001