Women's hockey team looks
to 2004 for fresh start
By Aron Yeomanson
SHOOTS, SHE SCORES. The Mustangs’ women’s hockey
team lost to Guelph 5-0 on Sunday, marking the end of play
for 2003. The women’s season picks up again after the
The mid-season holiday break couldn't come too soon for the Western
Mustangs women's hockey team as they were shut out for the second
time in as many games by the visiting Guelph Gryphons on Sunday.
The 5-0 loss seemed to underline all the problem areas in which
the team has struggled over the first half of this season. At 5:48
Beth MacDonald opened the scoring for the Gryphons when she netted
a power play goal from in tight on Mustangs goaltender Sarah Pickard.
Katie Ennis added to Guelph's totals with 10 seconds left in the
first period when she capitalized on a failed Western clearing attempt.
The second period was uneventful as neither team managed to bulge
Trailing by two goals after 40 minutes, the Mustangs were a little
comfortable with the knowledge that they had not been badly outplayed
up to that point. Throughout the game, there were times when Western
managed to outwork the Gryphons and get the cycle going in deep.
However, they failed on almost every occasion to turn their hard
work into scoring chances.
"Western's work ethic is definitely there," said Guelph
head coach Chuck Wight. "They had us back on our heels several
times, but we managed to weather the storm with some strong defensive
play." Western head coach Paul Cook made a goaltending change
to start the third period, perhaps in an attempt to spark his squad.
This strategy proved to be ineffective when Carrie Tokarczyk scored
for the Gryphons on the power play at 3:47 of the final frame. Two
more goals from Ennis would round out the scoring as she notched
the hat trick and Guelph cruised to a 5-0 shutout victory.
"For the second game in a row we didn't have the total team
effort that we would like to have," said a noticeably frustrated
Cook following the loss. "We're not the most talented team
and for us to be successful we need to have every single player
playing at 100 per cent or we end up with a result like we got today."
Averaging only one goal per game on the season, scoring has been
a problem for Western. This has been painstakingly clear lately,
as the Mustangs have been outscored by a margin of 18-1 in their
last three contests and have not recorded a win in over a month.
"We're not getting to the net in game situations," Cook
said. "If you look at where goals are scored in this league,
it't for the most part from the crease area in front of the net.
We have to start looking at multiple ways that we can generate more
offense. One goal [per game] is not going to get the job done."
Western's offensive troubles have been complicated by problems in
their own end of the rink; they have surrendered an average of six
goals per game in their last three outings.
"We seem to have a tough time playing down low in front of
our net," Cook said. "We need to adjust and defend better
against that type of play in the crease area." The next time
the women take to the ice for a league game it will be a new year
and nearly three months since their last victory. This lengthy break
will give the players and coaching staff plenty of time to analyze
their first nine games of the season and hopefully translate into
an improved Mustang team come January.
"We're going to look and find the areas that we need to be
better as a team," Cook said. "We've had some really good
moments against some pretty good teams, but we've struggled with