Volume 94, Issue 79

Tuesday, February 13, 2001


SPORTS

Mustang defence holds strong

Seniors fight 'till bitter end

Fairweather leads in winning weekend

Slice and dice would spice the ice
NHL needs reconstruction

Sports Briefs

Fairweather leads in winning weekend

By John Dinner
Gazette Staff

Nothing like a physical, home-and-home battle with a bitter rival to get the playoff juices going.

With only three games left in the regular season, the Mustang men's hockey team geared up for the playoffs, taking on the Windsor Lancers Friday night at Thompson Arena, followed by a Sunday afternoon tilt in Windsor. The Mustangs were able to win both encounters, 5-3 and 7-4 respectively.

In both contests, the Mustangs had to battle back from being down, showing lots of character and grit. Friday night, after establishing a two-goal lead on goals by Shaun Fairweather and Jeff Attard, Western allowed Windsor back into the game, eventually falling behind 3-2 with just under 10 minutes to play. The Mustangs then re-focused, scoring three unanswered goals by Jeff Hare, Chris George, with Fairweather adding his second of the night into an empty net.

"This was a good game for us," said injured Mustang captain, Jeff Petrie, referring to Friday night's game. "It was a playoff-type game, as they are battling for a playoff spot. We had to play a full 60 minutes of intense hockey."

Lancer coach Mike Rice said he was satisfied with his team's effort, but felt they had let one slip away Friday night. "The effort was there, we just didn't seem to get the bounces," Rice said. "We missed the net nine times in the first, and you can't let those opportunities go against a team of Western's calibre."

Friday's physical and chippy affair carried over to Sunday's game. With emotions running high, the Mustang's took the first eight penalties of the game and fell behind 4-1 half way through the second period. Three of those Lancer goals came with the man advantage.

But the Mustangs shifted into high gear, scoring six straight goals, seriously hurting Windsor's chances at a playoff spot. Scoring for Western were Kevin Hare, Fairweather, Justin Davis, Tim Zafiris, Ryan McKie, Jeff Martin, and Jeff Attard.

Leading the Mustang attack this weekend was forward Fairweather, who recorded four points Friday night, and another two on Sunday afternoon.

"I'm feeling really good physically," said Fairweather, who leads the Mustangs with 19 goals, and 41 points overall. "My legs are strong and my hands are feeling good. I don't usually feel this good until later in the year, but at about the quarter point of the season I just started feeling it."

These sentiments were echoed by Petrie, out since injuring his knee against Guelph two weekends ago. "He's just playing unbelievable. He always had the speed and the talent, it's just now he's playing awesome," Petrie said. "It's going to be great for our team's success. It goes to show how talented and deep this group of guys really is."

With the two wins, the Mustangs improve to 21-2 and secure a pass through the entire first round. They do however still have a chance to affect the playoff picture as they take on Laurier on Saturday in Waterloo.

With the Lancers trailing Laurier by two points and with one game left each, anything can still happen. "We're two points out, so we are going to need some help," Rice said. "If we make the playoffs, anything can happen and I think we can do some damage."


To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 2000