Mustangs edge out Brock

Weisshaar scores twice in team's third win of the season

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western women's hockey

Justin Wu

TIED UP LIKE MARSELLUS WALLACE IN ZED'S BASEMENT. The women's hockey team rode strong goaltending to a 2-1 win versus the Brock Badgers this past weekend at Thompson Arena. Luckily, no one brought out the Gimp.

The women’s hockey team took on the Brock Badgers Saturday afternoon at Thompson Arena and earned its third win of the season with a 2-1 victory.

Western jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Kailey Hooker fed a pass over to Sara Lynch, who was positioned on the half wall. Lynch threaded a pass over to Whitney Weisshaar in front who tipped in the first goal of the game.

The power-play goal gave the ’Stangs momentum as they outplayed Brock for the majority of the first period.

Brock rebounded with a strong second period and it seemed inevitable the team would draw even. Fortunately for the Mustangs, goaltender Jessica Ulrich was up to the task, making several key saves.

Ulrich turned away 33 of 34 shots and was pivotal in holding the Badgers’ powerplay scoreless " they went 0/8 with the man advantage.

Western head coach Paul Cook recognized his goaltender’s fine play.

“We gave up far too many turnovers in the second period, which led to scoring chances, but [Ulrich] made some big saves at key times,” he said. “I felt we panicked a bit in our own zone, but she was calm and cool and kept us in the game.”

Both teams came out flying in a penalty-dominated third period. Western looked to seal the win when Weisshaar walked out in front and buried her second goal of the game with only 5:17 left to play.

The second Mustangs goal proved to be essential as Brock answered right back 10 seconds later, making the score 2-1.

Western almost regained its two-goal advantage with 2:53 remaining in the third when blueliner Leigh Trimm-Combes blasted a shot from the point and was robbed by the glove of Badger goaltender Beth Clause.

Without the stellar play of Clause, the Badgers would have endured a worse fate.

Brock head coach Todd Erskine understands his team needs to perform better for his goaltender, although he thinks the team is heading in the right direction.

“It’s tough; we played better in front of [Clause] tonight and even blocked a number of shots, which kept the number of scoring chances down,” he said. “I do feel bad for her at times though because the stats won’t show it, but she is one of the top five goalies in [Ontario University Athletics] right now.”

Western held on to the 2-1 lead and with the win improved to 3-2-3 on the season. The win was crucial for Western as it faced the first place Guelph Gryphons on Sunday.

Cook realized the parity within the league is strong and that every point counts moving forward.

“I told our team before the game that this is a four point weekend,” he said. “You can only get two points at a time but it doesn’t matter who you are playing. You have to bring your best effort every night.”

The key to the game was Western’s ability to shutdown the Brock powerplay.

Lynch explained Western’s strong penalty kill.

“We play an aggressive box and that doesn’t give the opposition a chance to setup well,” she said. “Our team is making it difficult for opposing forwards and that’s why our penalty kill has been so effective.”

Cook reiterated Lynch’s point by explaining special teams have been a major point of emphasis for the girls lately.

“We worked on penalty killing in our own zone this week and other than a few instances, I thought the special teams units were pretty effective,” he said.

“I would like to see our powerplay convert more, but we are doing a good job controlling the puck and getting shots on goal.”

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