Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


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

A bittersweet finale - UQTR crowned OUA champs

A bittersweet finale - UQTR crowned OUA champs

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

With the sorry state of the Montreal Canadiens these days, the Ontario Athletics Union hockey final featuring the University of Trois-Riviéres at Quebec and the Western Mustangs just might be the best French/English hockey rivalry going.

After losing to the UQTR in the OUA final last year, the Mustangs were primed for a rematch at this year's tournament.

The Mustangs got their wish, unfortunately for Western, the rematch result was the same as last year – a one goal victory for the UQTR Patriotes, as the Mustangs were edged 4-3.

UQTR pounced on Western early, jumping out to a two goal lead before the game was five minutes old. But Western battled back to tie the game in the second period, only to see the Patriotes notch two more goals in the third. Western player Jeff Martin found the net with just over a minute left in the game, but it was too little too late.

Even though Western will still advance to the national championships in two weeks, head coach Clarke Singer said this was a game they wanted badly.

"The Queen's Cup was very important, it was one of the goals we set for ourselves in September. It's very disappointing, especially with how we played," he said.

"I said to the guys after, I wouldn't trade this game for any other game. I think we could play this game all over again and we'd win. It's just kind of luck of the draw. They've got Alexandre Tremblay, if he gets a chance he puts it in, he's the MVP of the league and that's why," Singer said.

Indeed Tremblay was a thorn in the Mustangs' side, as he sniped two goals in on Western goalie Jarrett Rose.

The other major pain for the Mustangs was UQTR goalie Luc Belanger, who according to Patriotes head coach Jacques Laporte, gets better with age.

"He's been to four championships and he gets better every year," Laporte said.

The quick UQTR lead was a tough blow for Western to take, but Singer said it didn't set the team back too far. "I thought we bounced back pretty well, I thought we did a good job of creating a forecheck, getting some shots. I think our guys did a great job," he said.

"We played six good periods of hockey this weekend and I wouldn't trade one of them. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve, and I thought we deserved better tonight," Singer explained.

Another tough hurdle for the Mustangs to clear was the loss of defenceman Ryan McKie, who was booted in the first period for checking from behind.

Singer said it was big loss, but the remaining five defenceman stepped up their play in McKie's absence.

Western captain Jeff Petrie said even though the result was the same this year, he felt the Mustangs put forth a better effort.

"I think we definitely played better this year. We had a bit of let down at the beginning of the game, I think from some nerves," he said.

"They got a lucky bounce or two in the third, but we're proud of our effort, we're proud of the way we played. Five on five I think we're a better team. We won't dwell on this too long."

Singer also said while this loss will sting for a while, the Mustangs are still focused on the big prize.

"We'll be disappointed with this for a few days, then we'll have to get back at it and start preparation because now we're going for a bigger trophy," he said. "We've got two games to play in the national final and we'll see what we can bring."

Stay tuned for national university hockey in two weeks.

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