Volume 94, Issue 73
Thursday, February 1, 2001
Western hits the road
I LOVE YOU MAN! The men's hockey team will try to squeeze out a win when they travel to Ryerson tonight.
By Ryan Dixon
A big part of any success in life is creativity and coaching hockey is no exception.
For proof, just ask Brock head coach Murray Nystrom about how to stop a hockey team like this year's Mustangs. "I looked into lowering the game temperature to make the ice more slushy to try and slow them down," Nystrom joked.
One thing is for sure, the heat will be on the Mustangs when they travel to Brock Friday night. Western head coach Clarke Singer, said the Badgers are peaking.
"They play very physical, they've been probably the best team in the league since the Christmas break and they've won four in a row coming in to this game. I think they will try to jump on us early knowing that we'll be coming off a road game the night before, they will be trying to get the puck behind our defence and really put the pressure on," he said.
Aside from trying to make the mercury rise, Nystrom said his club will keep it simple. "They're [Western], a team that can have an off night and still win and that is the sign of a real good team. We will just be looking to play our best game and hopefully that's enough."
Before Western deals with Brock, they must first contend with a struggling team from Ryerson in Toronto on Thursday. Singer said his team will not be taking the Rams lightly.
"One thing about them is they like to play physical, toss the puck around and they know their little arena well. They're used to it and they can get some bounces. The bottom line is it's not going to be easy, they're going to come out with a lot of fight and spirit and we've got to match that," Singer said.
Ryerson bench boss, Ed Kirsten, said it will be back to basics for his extremely banged-up club. "We have to play a simple game, not try to do too much and take advantage of our opportunities."
The Mustangs got back on the winning track last Saturday with a win against Guelph after dropping their first two games of the season. Singer identified what he thought contributed to those losses.
"I think there was a lot of frustration in our last two games, a lot of guys gripping the stick tighter and that is something we didn't have to deal with in the first half, we never really faced any adversity," he said.
The conditions for the Mustangs became more so in their win against Guelph when team captain Jeff Petrie went down for three weeks with an injured hand. He joins Rob Frost on the injured list robbing Western of two of their top centres.
Singer said it will be up to everyone in purple to pick up the slack. "We've stressed all year that we need depth, we have four lines that we expect to score on every night so it's not really up to one person to pick it up."
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