Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


SPORTS

Western sentenced to second in Kingston - Semi-final success, Western sends York packing

A bittersweet finale - UQTR crowned OUA champs

Western sentenced to second in Kingston - Semi-final success, Western sends York packing

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

In sport, it's important to never look past the business at hand.

With that in mind, the Western men's hockey team headed to Kingston for the Ontario University Athletics Championships, hoping to bring home the Queen's Cup and earn a berth at the national championships.

But before any potential cup hoisting would take place, the Mustangs had the challenge of facing a feisty team from York University Saturday. The scenario was simple – win and they would earn a spot at nationals and likely set up a rematch with the University of Quebec at Trois Riviéres in the OUA final on Sunday, lose and they would earn themselves a quick return trip back to London.

The purple and white came through with flying colours to beat the Yeomen 7-3 in a game that had more tense moments than the score might indicate. Western head coach Clarke Singer, said Western had to be mindful of minimizing their mistakes if they were going to succeed against the Yeomen.

"One of the things we concentrated on is we didn't want to turn the puck over to them. We play a pretty high risk game and so do they, so we wanted to make sure we did a good job of getting the puck in deep and make them come the whole length of the ice to score."

The Western attack was led by a pair of Jeffs. Forward Jeff Martin sniped twice for the Mustangs, while winger Jeff Attard earned the hat trick. Attard said his goal-scoring exploits were a little unexpected considering the state of his health.

"Actually, I wasn't feeling that well, but we just played simple hockey, dumping the puck in, cycling and banging some bodies and I was able to find the net tonight," he said.

York head coach Graham Wise, said Western's ability to get the lead on the Yeomen was a big factor in determining the outcome of the game.

"I thought we battled hard," he said. "I think once they got up 4-2, we had to press and start pinching our defense because we needed goals. With as potent [an offence] as Western [has], they'll jump on loose pucks and that's exactly what they did; they got more scoring opportunities. We were trying to create them but unfortunately, it didn't come our way."

With a berth at the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union secured, the potential to look past the OUA final materialized. Singer said that was definitely not the case for the Mustangs and stated exactly why the Queen's Cup game was so vital.


Brianna Mersey/Gazette


"I think it's very important for three reasons. One is obviously to win the championship, Western has won it one time in how many years – Two? It's for seedings at nationals, if we win that game we are probably seeded second heading into the nationals with the top seed in our pool. The other thing to look at is, you want to go into nationals on a high. That's something we didn't do last year and we want to do this year," Singer said.

Attard also made it clear that the nationals were not first and foremost on the minds of the Mustangs heading into Sunday's game – redemption was.

"We're not even looking at the [CIAUs] right now, we're happy that we're there again, but we've been waiting all year to play UQTR. We felt we didn't play our best game last year," he said.


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