October 29 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 33  

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Women's hockey team comes up Blue

By Katrina Wright
Gazette Writer

In a disappointing battle of sticks, the Western women's hockey team caught the first Toronto epidemic since SARS.

Western was outplayed both offensively and defensively by last year's league champions, the Toronto Varsity Blues, who sailed to a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs on Saturday night.

The Blues got right down to business with Toronto's assistant captain Safiya Muharuma scoring early in the first period on a power play goal. Muharuma's excitement was short-lived though, as she took a two minute slashing penalty late in the first period that gave Mustang Jillian Cochrane the opportunity to put a rebound past Toronto goalie Lisa Robertson.

The scoring really picked up in the second and third periods -for the Varsity Blues at least. Torontonian Amy Caldwell scored quickly on a feed from assistant captain Jill Savin and defenseman Kim Devereaux.

Elise Acheson later showed off her skating skills as she waltzed by four Western players to put the puck by Mustang goalie Sarah Pickard for Toronto's second power play goal of the night. Robertson picked up the assist on the Acheson goal.
Toronto head coach Karen Hughes later named Acheson the game's MVP.

"It's hard to name an MVP because hockey is a team sport, but [Acheson] did some good things out there tonight," Hughes said.

Western closed the second period scoring with a nice clean goal by Amanda Somerville.

With the score at 3-2, the Mustangs started the third period energized, but their mood was immediately dampened by an early Toronto goal by Blues captain Bree Kruklis.

Pickard picked up the pace for the third period, making some amazing saves, including one on a breakaway by Toronto's Justine Todd. Toronto scored in the closing minute of the game, ending the game with a 5-2 edge.

After the game, Mustang player Natascha Wesch was still in awe of Toronto's superb performance. "[Toronto's] a very good hockey team -they were awesome last year and they still are this year."

Western head coach Paul Cook's main expectation for the game was not for the Mustangs to demolish the Blues, but for his team to "Play our game." He viewed the match between Toronto as a "midterm assessment, just like the kind many of the players are going through for school right now."

Cook hoped the results of the game would indicate his team's strengths and weaknesses. While he expected his players to play their best, Cook was not happy with the gap in the final score. "I don't like losing," he stated. "I wanted the score to be closer."




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