Mustangs clinch division
By Ian Denomme
FASHION DONNYBROOK. Western’s Jamie Chamberlain engages
in some old time hockey with a Gryphon at the end of the second
period of Thursday’s game.
Another season of the Western Mustangs’ men’s hockey
dominance over the Ontario University Athletics Far West division
is almost over.
With a pair of wins on the weekend, combined with a loss by Lakehead
University, the Mustangs clinched first place in the division for
the fifth straight year.
Western went into play this weekend leading Lakehead by one point
with three games each remaining. Lakehead’s unsuccessful
weekend trip to southern Ontario gave the Mustangs the division
title. Lakehead beat Brock University on Friday, tied them on Saturday
and went on to lose to Laurier University on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Western was showcasing their potent offense, which
has made them the team to beat in Ontario. Their balance and depth
was proven with a 12-2 win over Guelph on Thursday at Thompson
Ten different players scored for the Mustangs, including two from
Chris Rowan and Steve Benedetti. Benedetti was playing in just
his 13th game of the season. “It’s nice to get a chance
[to play],” he said. “I just try to make a good effort
and get ready for the playoffs.”
Western looked ready for the playoffs as they started the game
swarming the Guelph net and opened scoring just 1:21 into the first
period on Benedetti’s first. Jeff Martin and Ryan Held added
goals before the end of the period.
The Mustangs’ special teams went to work in the second period.
Mike Stathopoulos and Shawn Thompson each scored power play goals
in the opening two minutes of the second period. After the teams
traded goals, Tom Brown scored another power play goal to make
Even being shorthanded couldn’t slow down the Mustangs attack
as Ryan Hare scored a shorthanded goal, followed by Benedetti’s
second of the game. In the third period, Rowan scored a pair of
goals and Justin Davis added his 13th of the season. Western outshot
“[Western] are a very highly skilled team, and if you don’t
play 100 per cent every shift — that’s what happens,” said
Guelph head coach Jeff Reid after the embarrassing loss.
“We got going early,” said Western head coach Clarke
Singer. “We had a good start and played well. We played a
full 60 minutes and got them down and made it tough to get back.”
FARMER’S AREN’T SO GOOD AT HOCKEY. Mustangs’ defenseman
Shawn Thompson charges towards the net in Western’s
12-2 victory over Guelph on Thursday night.
The game turned into a hostile affair in the second period. A
number of small scraps broke out as Guelph tried to coax the Mustangs
into dropping the gloves.
“I think Guelph realizes there is no tomorrow and they were
taking their frustration out on us,” Singer said about what
lead to the roughness.
“I think there is some bad blood,” Reid said. “We’ve
played them six times this year going back to the preseason and
there is just some familiarity.”
Fighting in the OUA results in an automatic suspension, which
forced Western to control themselves and not drop the gloves.
On Saturday, Western defeated Laurier 4-3 in overtime. Jamie Chamberlain
scored the overtime winning goal in the last minute.
Western has one game remaining this Friday in Windsor against
the last place Lancers. They will then get a bye through the first
round of the playoffs and wait for the winner of the Lakehead/Waterloo