November 11, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 40  

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Ya win some, ya lose some

By Brandon Hicks
Gazette Writer

Matt Prince/Gazette
FAST 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 Brock.

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 standings.

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.




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