February 10, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 72  

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Mustangs hang on

By Ian Denomme
Gazette Staff

Aaron Lynett /Gazette
MOUNTED BY A LION. Mustang Justin Davis eludes the Sigfried and Royish move of a frisky York skater.

Tim Zafiris has a knack for scoring big goals.

Of his six goals this year, three of them are of the game winning variety. He added to that stat on Friday night by scoring a late third period power play goal during the Mustang hockey men’s 4-3 victory over York University.

The goal was even more significant since Western went into the third period with a 3-1 lead, but saw it evaporate within a five minute span.

Western lost to York on Nov. 6, making the win a little special.

“It’s nice to beat them, but no more important,” Zafiris said. “We’ve got five games remaining and we want to win them all and get first place.”

Western took the lead five minutes into the first period on a goal by right wing forward Jamie Chamberlain. Lion’s centre Shane Nash replied midway through the first to tie the game.

The Mustangs appeared to take control of the game in the second period after Ryan Hare scored just over a minute into the period, then Chamberlain added his second of the game, and 12th of the season, to put Western up by two at the break.

Aaron Lynett /Gazette
THE GORDIE HOWE SPECIAL. Steve Chabbert makes Gordie Howe proud with a stiff elbow to the face of Ryan Held.

York came out of the period flying, swarming the Western goal for the first minute before Jason Pinizzotto made it 3-2. Less than five minutes later, Nash scored his second of the game to tie it and silence the crowd of over 1,000 at Thompson Arena.

The game stayed tied until the 15-minute mark when Western went on the power play. Zafiris picked up a bad clearing attempt at the hash marks and fired it over the right shoulder of York goaltender Derek Dolson to give Western the lead and the win.

The fourth year forward also played hero back on Nov. 1, when he scored with one second remaining to give Western a victory over division rival Lakehead University.

The game was significant for both Western and York. Western is in a tight battle with Lakehead in the Ontario University Athletics Far West division, while York was tied with Brock University for first place in the Mid West.

York head coach Graham Wise was disappointed, but gave full credit to Western.

“We’re always disappointed with a loss,” Wise said. “Western is a helluva team and that late penalty killed us. I would hope in a game like this that the teams would decide the game.”

“We love playing York, we have a good rivalry,” said Western head coach Clarke Singer. “It was a big game and we have four more big games. We played well five-on-five and just had a couple of breakdowns that York capitalized on.”

On Saturday, Western had another tough game against Brock in a crucial division battle, which would affect both teams.

“They’re a good team,” Zafiris said. “We know they won’t give up until the final buzzer. We have to bring the intensity and not let up.”

“Every game is huge now,” Wise said about the battle for top spot in the Mid West division. “Brock has the same opponents as us this weekend — now we just hope Western beats them.”

Western did York a favour on Saturday while York did little to help their own cause. Western defeated the Badgers 5-3, while York lost to Waterloo.

Mike Stathopoulos, Mike Rice, Jeff Martin and Justin Davis scored while Chamberlain added an empty net goal for Western in their victory.

With their two wins on the weekend, Western remained in first place with three games remaining.



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