Volume 95, Issue 54

Tuesday, January 9, 2002
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Mustangs come close in Classic

Western still perfect
Hockey team pastes Waterloo

Express route to victory
Mustangs naughty, not nice to foes

Holiday rundown

Western still perfect
Hockey team pastes Waterloo

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

Lennie Kwan/Gazette
THEY MAY BE SMART, BUT THEIR HOCKEY SKILLS ARE SEVERELY LACKING. Mustang centre Matt Dzieduszycki takes a break to enjoy the view of hockey supremacy against Waterloo.
The formula for the Western Mustangs men's hockey team seems simple. If you give them a pre-season or exhibition game, they show their human side. If you give them a regular season game, when the points matter, they become the well-oiled Mustang machine.

After two exhibition losses on the East Coast, Western ran their regular season record to a perfect 14-0 with two thumpings of Waterloo. The Mustangs walked over the Warriors 6-1 on Friday night at Thompson Arena and gave them another sound drubbing to the tune of 5-1 in the return match in Waterloo on Saturday.

Darren Mortier notched the hat trick in spurring on his mates to a big win Friday, while Joe Talbot stepped up with a pair of markers on Saturday.

Western head coach Clarke Singer said he was happy with the way his team performed, but by no means did he rule out the possibility of improvement.

"I thought we played both games very well against Waterloo, but we didn't play a full 60 minutes in either game. I thought we had strong first periods and third periods, but we didn't play hard the entire game against Waterloo, who played very well against us," Singer said.

Putting in a consistent effort from the first drop of the puck through to the last whistle is also something on the mind of Western forward Rob Frost.

"I think our biggest problem is staying strong mentally for 60 minutes," he said.

Singer said a good New Year's resolution for his troops would be to get back to the basic notion that there are three periods in a hockey game.

"I think in the second half we need to focus on being more consistent. We need to play well for a full three periods, rather than just one or two," he said.

The redeeming factor for the Mustangs is their habit of coming out extremely strong at the outset of games. On both occasions against the Warriors, Western jumped out to three goal leads.

"We take pride in coming out hard and getting out to a great start," Frost said.

Waterloo bench boss Dave Cressman said the greatest disparity between his club and the Mustangs comes in the tremendous depth Western enjoys.

"Without putting ourselves down, it became very apparent they're a much more skilled team. They have great depth in the [defence] and they have four lines with depth at all positions," Cressman said.

The regular season wins against Waterloo came on the heels of two losses over the Christmas break. The Mustangs headed east and dropped games to Dalhousie and St. Mary's University.

Frost said it was important for Western to revert back to their winning ways immediately. "After the two losses over the break, we wanted to get back to what we were doing before, which was get a quick start and play solid," he said.

Western hosts Windsor at Thompson Arena on Friday night with the puck drop set for 7:30p.m..

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Copyright The Gazette 2001