Volume 94, Issue 86
Tuesday, March 6, 2001
Western whips Waterloo to end series
Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
USING BOTH LEGS IS OVERRATED. Western downed Waterloo with a 5-2 win over the Warriors to advance to the Ontario Unviersity Athletics final in Kingston this weekend.
By John Dinner
With their eyes firmly on the prize, the Mustang men's hockey team rolled over the Waterloo Warriors Friday night, advancing to the Ontario championships.
Playing in the Ontario University Athletics Far West final, Western defeated Waterloo 5-2 at the frigid Columbia Ice Field in Waterloo, taking the best of three series 2-0.
The sweep not only means a trip to the Queen's Cup, but a couple of much deserved days off to rest and recuperate as they continue in their quest for national supremacy and a Canadian championship.
"The sweep was important to us because it gives us some time off," said Mustang Chris George, who scored two goals and played one of the best games ever in his Western career. "But it was also big for us to let them know that nothing is going to be easy against us because we still may face them in the [Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union Championships]."
Also scoring for the Mustangs were Justin Davis, Shaun Fairweather, and Rob Frost, but it was the play of the line of George, Jeff Attard and Jeff Hare that garnered most of the post game attention.
"[Chris] was the player of the game for us definitely. I think it was his best game in a Mustang uniform," said Western head coach, Clarke Singer. "It goes to show what kind of team we can be when all our players play at the top of their games."
With incredible depth, the Mustangs have shown that they have three lines that could be the number one line on most teams, and four lines that can be rolled over with no hiccups in momentum. This union of offence with a solid defence core plus the goaltending of Jarrett Rose, has led the Mustangs to their greatest success so far this season.
"It was a really good game for me, but it was important for us as a line to develop some momentum," George said. "We've got a couple more weeks before our ultimate goal, so it's good that we're coming together now. We can't take anything for granted at this point in the season."
Western used every weapon in its arsenal to apply heavy pressure on Waterloo, outshooting the Warriors by a wide margin for the second straight game. Had it not been the stellar play of Warrior netminder Jake McCraken both games in this series would have been blowouts.
As for Waterloo, their season is not completely finished because they still have a chance to play in the national championships as the host team. Laurier, Waterloo and Guelph, who were ousted by York in the OUA East final, will have a round robin tournament to determine who gets to be the host team. The championships will be held at Guelph and Waterloo.
"Getting swept was sort of a double-edged sword for us. You never want to lose, but we know we have some more time to prepare for the mini-tournament because we feel it is something we can win," said Warrior assistant coach and team manager Ron Ober.
"We knew heading into our series with Western that we were going to be in tough. They are a great team with tremendous depth on forward and six solid defencemen."
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