Volume 94, Issue 67

Tuesday, January 23, 2001


SPORTS

Waterloo wins OT thriller to snap the streak

Laurier clips Mustangs

Mustang men take it to the hoop

Lady-ballers slaughter Thunderwolves 93 - 44

Waterloo wins OT thriller to snap the streak

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

The Mustang hockey men found out the hard way that all good things do indeed come to an end.

Their remarkable 16 game winning streak came to a screeching halt at the hands of the Waterloo Warriors. The tenacious Warriors needed overtime to pull off the 6-5 upset that almost never was.

The Mustangs battled back from a two goal third period deficit to tie the game with 31 seconds to play, when winger Shaun Fairweather nearly blew the roof off Thompson Arena with a breakaway goal. It seemed like the streak would survive, but it was just Waterloo's night.

"Don't ask how it feels," said Waterloo head coach, Dave Cressman, whose ear-to-ear grin left little doubt about his feelings on the matter.

"We had a plan coming in. Western is a very skilled, offensive club. We knew [Waterloo goaltender] Jake [McCracken] would stand tall. It would have been very tough to give this win away [after leading late]. It will be unbelievable emotionally for us. I don't think we could have bought the value of these two points with all the money in the world," Cressman said.

Western bench boss, Clarke Singer, said it came as no surprise to the Mustangs that Waterloo came up with such a gritty effort. "Waterloo played to their strengths. They have a solid defence and a very good goaltender, they are a good hockey team and we have a lot of respect for them."

Despite the loss, Singer said the team could take some positives away from the game. Western did display much determination to fight back and square the game. Being down two goals in the third period is unfamiliar territory for this team.

"This is a situation we've never been in," Singer said. "As a group we showed lots of character to come back like we did."

Singer did not lose sight of the fact that the game was one that easily could have gone the Mustangs' way. "It's certainly not like they took it to us all game, we had our chances to win."

Fairweather had two goals after switching from centre to the wing for just the second game. He said he thought the Mustangs' effort was not a consistent one. "I would say we played two pretty slack periods in the first and second before coming on strong in the third."

The game featured some controversial officiating, including a momentum swinging call that put Western two men down, when they held a 2-1 advantage in the second period. Waterloo capitalized and Western never led again.

Singer refused to place any responsibility for the outcome of the game on the referee. "I don't think officiating ever decides a game, players do."

Of course nobody ever likes to lose, but Cressman said that perhaps the Mustangs would not take this defeat too hard.

"I think if you ask Clarke, he would tell you he'd rather have this loss, deal with it and get it out of the way," he said.

Singer said there would be no sense of a pressure release because the team did not allow the streak to affect their play. "It never really became a distraction because we didn't allow it to."

Western will try to start a new winning streak when they host York University this Friday at 7:35 p.m..


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

Copyright The Gazette 2000