Volume 95, Issue 92

Wednesday, March 27, 2002
 
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SPORTS

The Mustangs' run to the University Cup final

It's "Good-en"... it's all "Good-en!"

The Mustangs' run to the University Cup final

By Benjamin Mills
Gazette Staff


Western hockey players are – no doubt – still basking in the glory of their triple over-time victory in the University Cup final last Sunday afternoon – and evening.

Of course, if you only know about the Mustangs' win in the final game, you're missing out on two-thirds of the championship tournament. Here's how the weekend took form from the first face-off.


Game #1 Guelph vs. Western

The University of Guelph Gryphons were the Mustangs' first opponent and although they put up a good fight, their defeat was basically a foregone conclusion.

The final score of the game was 5-2 in favor of the Mustangs. Guelph made a valiant effort to stop the Mustang machine, but in the end, the high-powered Western offense was simply too much for the Gryphons, as Western won 5-2.

To their credit, Guelph is a hard working team that never folds, even when the chips are stacked against them. Gryphons head coach Jeff Reid noted that his players leave their blood, sweat and tears on the ice every game. "That was our trademark all year long," he said.


Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO LAY ANYTHING MORE THAN YOUR EYES ON THIS PUCK? Western forward Matt Dzieduszycki temps a Gryphon defenceman during the Mustang's 5-2 first-round victory over Guelph.



Game# 2 Alberta vs. Western

With a relatively easy victory under their belts, the Mustangs' next opponent was the number one ranked team in the tournament – those University of Alberta 'smarter-than-the-average' Golden Bears.

This was a rematch from last year's tournament when the Mustangs upset the favoured Golden Bears, knocking them out of the tournament and preventing them from defending their national title.

Who says sequels never live up to the original?

This game was won because of one reason and one reason only – the phenomenal play of Western goalie Mike D'Alessandro. The Bears beat Western in nearly every statistical category with the exception of the final score – which was 4-1 in Western's favour.

"It's frustrating," said Alberta forward Mike McGhan. "Sometimes you come up against a wall and that's what happened to us [against Western]."


Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
I DON'T MIND YOUR STICK IN MY NECK, BUT WATCH YOUR F*#@ING KNEE! Western centre Jeff Hare gets up close and personal with an Alberta player during the Mustang's 4-1 semi-final victory against the tournament's #1 seed.

McGhan and the rest of the Golden Bears organization showed nothing but class after their heart-breaking loss to Western. McGhan was particularly emotional, as the loss marked the end of his university hockey career.

That emotion didn't clout McGhan's judgement when it came to assessing Western's effort.

"Good hockey teams find a way to win, and that's what [Western] did," he said.

Next year the potential for a 'Mustangs/Bears III' could be just as exciting as the previous two meetings between the two teams.



Game# 3 UQTR vs. Western

The stage was now set for a Queen's Cup final. Western was to face the very team that upset them on home ice back on Mar. 10 – the Université du Québec à Trois-Riviéres Patriotes.

Western head coach Clarke Singer said before the game the Mustangs were not out for any personal revenge against the Patriotes, but you have to think it was somewhere in the back of their minds.

Just like the game against Alberta, the sequel lived up to and went beyond expectations – 43 minutes and 17 seconds beyond to be exact. The triple over-time win for Western was the longest game in the University Cup's 39-year history.


Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
IF ONLY IT COUNTED WHEN YOU SCORED MEN AS WELL AS PUCKS. Western goalie Mike D'Alessandro stopped almost everything that came his way last weekend, with the exception of UQTR forward Jean-Phillippe Pare. Defenceman Kelly Paddon helped to keep Pare and his teammates in check during the Mustang's 4-3 victory.



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

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