January 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 56  

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Men’s hockey team starts new year with win

By Ian Denomme
Gazette Staff

Meaghan Hart/Gazette
JOHN WOO’S NOT IN THE HOUSE, BUT THERE’S STILL A FACE-OFF. Sometimes, when you’re still recovering from a hangover, a John Woo reference is the best you can do for a caption. Oh, and the picture is from Friday night’s men’s hockey match-up that pitted Waterloo against the Mustangs.

After a busy holiday break, the Western Mustangs’ men’s hockey team started off the second half of their season with another victory.

The Mustangs defeated the Waterloo Warriors 5-1 at Thompson Arena on Friday night. It was the first of three consecutive meetings with the Warriors.

Despite playing five games over the break, fatigue did not seem to be a factor in the first period as the Mustangs spent almost all of it in the offensive zone.

Western fired 20 shots on goal in the first period, but capitalized on just one of them as Chris Rowan scored his seventh of the season on an unassisted goal.

The second period saw much of the same as the Mustangs continued to control the play. Jeff Martin increased the lead midway through the second with his 16th goal of the season. Despite the two-goal lead through two periods, the story of the game was the play of Waterloo goaltender Scott Gouthro.

Western had fired 32 shots at Gouthro after two periods but Gouthro consistently turned them away to keep his team within striking distance. His strong play paid off early in the third.

Two minutes into the third period Matthew Iannetta got Waterloo on the board and back into the game with a shot from the top of the circle that beat Western goalie Mike D’Alessandro.

However, the Warriors were not able to maintain the momentum for very long. Four minutes after Waterloo’s goal, Tim Zafiris restored Western’s two-goal lead.

Chris Berti made it 4-1 with a goal at the 9:53 mark of the third and Ryan Hare put the final nail in the coffin with under three minutes to go to make the final 5-1.

Waterloo head coach Karl Taylor felt the game came down to Western’s ability to capitalize.
“[Western] played better in the first two periods, but they were able to take advantage of their opportunities in the third. We weren’t able to buckle down and eventually they wore us down.”
Western head coach Clarke Singer agreed.

“We kept working hard and we had more luck in the third. We had lots of shots in the first, but in the third we buried them.”

Singer also thought Waterloo’s goal early in the third was the turning point of the game.

“When they scored to make it 2-1, it really kick-started us. We knew that we had to get the next one.”
The latter part of the third period saw the game turn chippy. With the two teams playing two more consecutive games, there is the possibility of the bad blood carrying over, although both coaches said that was unlikely to happen.

“That’s one of the negatives of playing three games in a row,” Singer said. “There’s the possibility of that happening. But we have to make sure that discipline is a trademark of our team in the second half.”

Taylor agreed the rough play would not carry over to the next two games.

Over the break, the Mustangs played three exhibition games, resulting in a loss to the Western Michigan Broncos and two losses to the No. 1 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Despite the losses, Singer felt they were good learning experiences.

“As coaches and players we learned where we need to be in the end. We had three good games. And it was good to get back on the skates — usually you don’t get quality games over the break.”

The Mustangs are at home to the Warriors again on Friday at Thompson Arena. The game could be a historic one for the Mustangs: Justin Davis needs only three points to surpass Mike Tomlak and become Western’s all-time leading scorer.



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