November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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Refs play key role in loss

By Amanda Robinson
Gazette Writer

Matt Prince/Gazette
“GAME’S OVER THIS WAY, REF!” Two members of Western’s women’s hockey team skate away from the referee. The Mustangs lost to Waterloo 1-0 in overtime after taking a controversial penalty.

An unnecessary penalty handed to Lindsey Desjardins in overtime on Saturday cost the Mustangs' women's hockey team the game, as they lost a tight game 1-0 to the Waterloo Warriors at Thompson Arena.

Desjardins was called for roughing and was sent to serve two minutes in the penalty box. The costly penalty proved to be the deciding factor in the game as the Mustangs were down to four players in sudden death.

Within a few moments the Warriors capitalized on the shorthanded Mustang team as Warriors forward Kelly Costa scored off a rebound, giving Waterloo their first win of the season.

Even though the Mustangs could not improve their lackadaisical play, the poor refereeing had a significant influence on the game's outcome. There were many times the referee did not blow his whistle, even as players were being struck in the face and shoved into the boards.

The referee's poor attitude made Waterloo coach Bill Antler erupt in anger. He feared for his players' safety and felt if the game continued to be called in this manner, one of his players could be seriously injured.

Unfortunately, Desjardins received an unfavourable call and thus handed the Warriors an opportunity to turn the game in their favour.

"Lindsey's a great player -I feel bad for her," Antler said. "Despite the questionable calls on both teams, the penalty called [against Desjardins] was a deciding factor in both games," Antler added. "We still deserved to win since we were strong all the way from our end, to the neutral zone and to offense." Western coach Paul Cook had a different point of view about the key penalty. "[It was a] bad penalty and a lack of discipline. We can't afford to be short-handed at such an inopportune time." Aside from controversial calls, the Mustangs did not play up to their potential. Western's passing was off and their shots numbered too few. The Warriors' strong defensive line held the Mustangs to a meagre 14 shots by preventing rebound opportunities.

"We need to create more offense. We've spent a lot of time in practice on our defense," said a disappointed Cook.

"We played great defense tonight. We held them to one goal, but at the same time, we need to generate more offense," Cook added.

While Cook pointed to areas the Mustangs need to work on, Antler was able to cite many positives in the game. "Our work ethic was exceptional and the speed of our forwards were able to trap the Western defense. A team effort is always the key." Not all of the Mustangs had a disappointing performance. Mustang goalie Sarah Pickard held the Warriors scoreless for the entire regulation time and did her part in forcing overtime. Unfortunately, Pickard finally succumbed to the swarming offense of the Warriors before Desjardins was released from the penalty box.

"[Sarah] played an exceptional game," Cook said. Antler concurred: "I think she should be recognized for the way she played; she had a great game," he said. Clearly, Pickard's skill kept the Mustangs from suffering a greater margin of defeat to the Warriors.

A disappointed Cook summed up the game. "Last weekend we played really well, but we just couldn't get started [today]. We were constantly in an uphill battle. We're a really effective team when all the pieces are working together. The puck just didn't bounce our way."




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