Mustangs lay the boom on lowly Ridgebacks

Top line shines again with 12 points in 7-2 blowout victory

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western men's hockey taking a shot on UOIT goal

Jonas Hrebeniuk

MORE SLAPPERS THAN A GOLDENEYE MULTIPLAYER GAME. The Mustangs men's hockey team left the UOIT Ridgebacks under a pile of snow and a barrage of pucks this past weekend, prevailing 7-2 at Thompson Arena.

Celebrations were in order on Thursday night at Thompson Arena after Western’s men’s hockey team earned its fifth consecutive win with a 7-2 victory over the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks.

Winger Kevin Richardson was raring to go, scoring less than three minutes into the game, assisted by linemates Ryan Hare and Sal Peralta.

Five minutes later, UOIT forward Nathan Spaling capitalized on a Western penalty to even the score at one.

“I think one of the things we’ve talked about is getting real good starts to the game,” Western head coach Clarke Singer said. “We have a tendency the odd time to not get a great start and this was an example of us not getting it.”

“We always struggle a bit in the first. We’re a good second and third period team. But it’s a good time to play well to come back,” winger Kyle Lamb said.

Sure enough, once the second period hit, the Mustangs’ top line set the ice on fire. Hare put his team back on track, scoring a goal a minute into the period assisted by Richardson and Peralta.

“I just try to make sure everyone’s ready for the game, make sure everyone’s out there [ready] to go,” Hare said. “You can’t take any nights off in this league.”

Rejuvenated by the team’s lead, Peralta scored another goal with the support of Richardson and Hare. The trio registered a whopping 12 points in Thursday’s game alone.

Still early in the second frame, a Western power play created the opportunity for winger Jeff Martens to pot a goal, bringing the score to 4-1.

At 8:11 in the second, Lamb sent the puck flying into the net once again, putting the Mustangs four goals ahead of the visiting Ridgebacks.

As a rookie, Lamb is proving to be a useful asset to the squad.

“They were looking for a goal scorer, so they brought me in to score goals. I’m working on that,” Lamb said.

UOIT forward Shane Nolan managed to put one more past Western goaltender Kevyn Hunt to make the score 5-2.

“I thought they played a little harder in the first and I think we wore them down a little bit the last couple of periods,” Singer said. “We have a lot of balance in our goaltending, defence and forwards.”

The Ridgebacks tried to hold on during the third period, but Lamb added insult to injury with another marker to make the score 6-2.

A serious knee injury to Western’s Sean Courtney late in the third period resulted in the centre being carried off the ice, earning Ridgebacks forward T.J. Legge five minutes in the penalty box for tripping.

Not to be deterred by a hurt teammate, Peralta scored another goal for Western, allowing the game to end on a positive note.

The team is now ranked seventh in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport standings, but these athletes cannot rest on their laurels.

“On any given night, anybody can beat anybody in our league. It’s not like [the NHL],” Singer said.

“There’s a lot of big hockey teams and you have to play well every night. I think for a lot of sports teams, consistency is difficult to achieve, so we have to try and remain consistent throughout the year and keep working hard.”

“The West division is packed with good teams. It’s going to be a tough battle,” Hare added.

“We’ve got to really focus on not taking any nights off and getting as many points as we can with every game. Every game this season we’re getting better. We have three more games until Christmas and we need to win each one.”

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