October 29 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 33  

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Mustangs trounce Windsor in home opener
Rice makes early waves with four goals

By Ian Denomme
Gazette Staff

Matt Prince/Gazette
HEY, YOU BROKE MY GLASSES! A melee on the boards during the men’s hockey game snares the referee (who happens to know our Managing Editor, Jordan Bell). The Mustangs triumphed over the Windsor Lancers 9-4.

The Western Mustangs men's hockey team scored early and often in their home opener against Windsor on Saturday night at Thompson Arena.

Their relentless offensive attack led them to a 9-4 victory over the Lancers and improved their record to 2-0.

Mike Rice opened the scoring for Western just 21 seconds into the game and Jamie Chamberlain quickly added another 19 seconds later. With two goals on two shots 40 seconds into the game, the Mustangs never looked back.

Western took a 3-1 lead into the second period after a short-handed goal by Windsor and a power play goal by rookie Mike Stathopoulos in the last minute of play.

Windsor head coach Vern Stenlund attributed his teams slow start to their inexperience.

"This was the first game for 11 rookies on our team," Stenlund said. "In the first game you're a little over stimulated and you squeeze the stick too hard. It takes time for guys to settle down." Stathopoulos added another in the first minute of the second period and Brad Yeo scored less than a minute later. The goals kept coming for the Mustangs: Chris Haskett made a beautiful move on the defender to set up Chris Rowan and give Western a 6-1 lead.

Another rookie, Rice, added his second and third goals 20 seconds apart to give the Mustangs a comfortable 8-1 lead heading into the final period.

"The first 40 minutes we executed really well," said Western head coach Clarke Singer. "We went hard at them and pressured their [defense]. We started well from the first shift." Western again came out of the gates quickly as Rice added his fourth goal of the night 40 seconds into the third period. Following that goal, Western got into penalty trouble as Chris Eade was given a five minute major for tripping.

Windsor scored three goals on five minute power plays, two of which were on two-man advantages. Despite the late burst from the Lancers, the outcome was never in doubt as Western went on to the easy victory.

"In the third period we got into penalty trouble and let down a bit. But overall we did what we wanted," Singer said.

Despite the penalty trouble and power play goals, Singer said he wasn't concerned about the teams discipline.

"We've always working on our penalty killing and we need to tighten it up for Lakehead. But the penalties we took were not undisciplined -they were just a result of working hard," Singer said.

Although they lost, Stenlund saw some positives for his young, immature team.

"We got into deep trouble early, but unlike other teams we didn't fold the tent," Stenlund said. "We fought back. It was a good game to get experience, Western has a tremendous program and has a veteran team." The offensive onslaught gave many Western players a chance to get on the score sheet. Twelve different players had a point for the Mustangs and they out-shot Windsor 40-17. Rice also had an assist to go along with his four goals, Justin Davis had five assists and Stathopoulos had two goals and two assists.

Having the two rookies -Rice and Stathopoulos- contribute so early will be a huge benefit for the Mustangs who lost some key offensive players.

"We don't expect them to have five point games all the time," Singer said. "But we do expect their line to be good." The Mustangs host the Lakehead Thunderwolves, their bitter arch-rival on Fri., Oct. 31 and Sat., Nov. 1 at Thompson Arena. The games can be heard live on CHRW 94.9 FM.




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