Slow start leads to third loss of season

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western women's hockey

Western women’s hockey forward Sara Lynch summed up her squad’s recent game versus the Toronto Varsity Blues well.

“We played a great game, the only problem was that we forgot to show up for the first minute, and it really cost us.”

Western came out of the gate flat and paid for it immensely. The Mustangs trailed 2-0 before they even knew what hit them and ended up losing 3-1.

After the initial onslaught, the ’Stangs cut down on their turnovers and did a great job getting pucks in behind the Blues’ defence.

Western head coach Paul Cook was impressed with his team’s ability to rebound from a dreadful start.

“The girls could have given up and shut it down for the rest of the game but they battled back and I am proud of them.”

Although the team trailed 2-0 after the first period, the shots were dead even. Had it not been for the stellar play of Toronto goaltender Stephanie Lockert, the scoreboard may have told a different story.

Toronto head coach Karen Hughes acknowledged her goaltender’s strong play.

“I felt that Western really pressured us and that their puck possession caused numerous problems for us. It’s a luxury to have a goalie like [Lockert] because even when you have defensive breakdowns, she is there to bail you out.”

The Mustangs took a page out of Toronto’s playbook by coming out flying to start the second period, creating an abundance of scoring chances.

Western forward Amy Groen came within inches of scoring on a delayed penalty. Western continued to fire shot after shot, but could not capitalize on any of its chances.

“All we needed was one bounce. Had any of those chances gone our way I know our team would have responded well and tied the game,” Cook said.

Even though Western controlled the play for the majority of the period, Toronto pushed its lead to 3-0 with only 3:49 remaining in the second period.

Western was determined to duplicate its effort in the third period as the squad continued to generate scoring chances.

Western defenceman Veronica Johnston finally broke the shutout, firing a shot over Lockert’s blocker side. The team continued to fight to the bitter end, although its efforts came up short.

With the loss, Western falls to 4-4-3 on the season. Toronto currently has only one regulation loss on the season, and if the ’Stangs can mimic their performance from Saturday, these two teams will be meeting up again in the near future.

“If we can take what we learned from the game today and carry it over to our upcoming games, we are going to be a difficult team to play,” Cook said.

The Mustangs hope to rebound from the loss when they take on the Guelph Gryphons next Saturday.

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