Volume 96, Issue 62
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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Boyce shuts down Windsor
Talbot caps off five point weekend

By Benjamin Mills
Gazette Staff

Allen Chen/Gazette
HERE I GO AGAIN, ON MY OWN. A Mustangs forward goes down the only road he's ever known and over the blue line untouched.
Sweet 16.

That's how old you have to be get your driver's license in Ontario, the drinking age in Great Britain, the average age of R. Kelly's girlfriends and it just happens to be the number of consecutive regular season games won by the Western Mustangs men's hockey team.

The Mustangs opened a big, fat can of whooped topping when they creamed the University of Windsor Lancers 4-0 on Friday in London and they followed that up with a 5-2 shellacking on Saturday in Windsor.

"They were a good team that tested us at times," said Western head coach Clarke Singer. "They played a system that forced us to adjust our breakout, so we made the appropriate adjustments, and found ways to score."

As soon as the puck dropped on Friday, the game had almost all the makings of a National Hockey League contest; mind-boggling saves from both Western goaltender Mike Boyce and Windsor's Kevin Rivest – whose diving save in the third period would have surely made TSN's Honour Roll – tape-to-tape passing, nifty stickhandling and even some of the rough stuff.

Would the loud mouth's that talk smack about Canadian university sports please shut up now.

Windsor head coach Dr. Vern Stenlund (his doctorate is in psychology and education) was in remarkably high spirits after the game, considering his team had just lost by a handsome margin. Nevertheless, he provided some insight into his temperament and his team's performance.

"We're a team in transition, but we're not here to make it easy and give up points, so we didn't let Western push us around," Stenlund said. "We had two and a half good periods of solid hockey, but in the end, they showed us why they're the defending National Champions."

Second-year centre Joe Talbot tallied two of the Mustangs' goals, one in which he corralled the puck over the blue line, danced past the Windsor defenders and beat Rivest seven-ways-from-Sunday (whatever that means).

"[Windsor] played a high-energy game and, to be honest, reminded me of us," said Talbot. "We were tied going into the third and had to make adjustments, but good teams find ways to win, and that's what we did."

A much more formidable task is on hand for the Mustangs – getting prepared for their two-game set this coming weekend against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

The Wolves are ranked fifth in Canada and beat Western twice this season – sort of. Western travelled to Thunder Bay for their first two games of the season and dropped both of them to Lakehead, but due to the fact that the Thunderwolves used an ineligible player, they were forced to forfeit those wins to the Mustangs. The rivalry between Western and Lakehead was sparked during last year's OUA playoffs, when Lakehead pushed the eventual National Champions to a third and deciding game in their best of three series.

If that's not enough incentive to come to Thompson Arena on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., then perhaps coach Singer can convince you: "These two games against Lakehead could be the best games played at Thompson [Arena] in the past 10 years."

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