Ya win some, ya lose some
By Brandon Hicks
AS A SPEEDING TORTOISE... ER, HARE. Mustangs’ centre
Ryan Hare does his best imitation of Wayne Gretzky behind
the net last Friday night. The Mustangs triumphed 5-3 over
Wins are not coming easy for the Western men's hockey team. The
Mustangs battled back from a two goal deficit against the Brock
Badgers in Friday night's game at Thompson Arena and managed to
eke out a 5-3 victory.
The win was crucial for the 'tangs after they suffered a disappointing
loss to the York Yeoman the previous night. As it stands, Western
could not have afforded another loss so early in the season, as
they are in a pitched battle with Lakehead atop the Far East Division
After the first period it looked like Western had the game in the
bag. The Mustangs flew out of the gate, owning the ice and using
their speed to their full advantage. If not for some great saves
by Brock goalie Jeremy Day, the game would have been well out of
reach for the Badgers.
Day's play seemed to give the Badgers a spark and they came out
flying in the second period, catching Western off guard. Making
matters worse, Steve Pederson scored for the Badgers a minute into
the frame. The Badgers' hard work paid off as they scored again
late in the second period, making the score 2-0 and ensuring a dogfight
the rest of the way.
"I was happy with the way the team regrouped after the second
period," said Mustang head coach Clarke Singer after the game.
"We had a good first period, but we didn't seem to have the
jump we normally do -maybe because we had a game [Thursday night].
But we rolled four lines and that helped." The deciding goal
came halfway through the third period, when Mustangs captain Justin
Davis tipped a point shot by Mike Sellan through Day's legs. Needless
to say, the Mustangs breathed a collective sigh of relief when their
captain came through for them.
"That was the first good forecheck we had all night and I
was just trying to get my stick on [the puck]," Davis remarked
about his game-winning goal.
Although the Badgers suffered their first loss of the season, head
coach Murray Nystrom was pleased with the team's effort. "Our
guys were doing the things that players don't like doing, such as
blocking shots and taking hits," Nystrom said. "I think
it's a testament to the kind of players we have on this team."
Western's special teams also showed signs of improvement, with Mike
Stathopoulos scoring a power play goal and Jamie Chamberlain netting
a short-handed marker. Jeff Martin and Mike Rice rounded out the
scoring for the Mustangs.
Although happy with the win, Davis said there was a definite need
for improvement: "We're a better team than this. We can't just
let teams back into the game after we get up on them. We have to
bury them when we get the chance." Davis added the team needs
to return to old form. "We're former [Canadian Interuniversity
Sport] champions. Back then we had that arrogance, that belief that
we could win every game we played. We need to get that back."
Mustang goalie Mike Boyce was solid in net, improving his record
to 2-0-0 on the season, as Western's record improve to 4-2-0.