Controversial goal nets 'Stangs a playoff spot

Martin's controversial goal nets 'Stangs a playoff spot with four games left in regular season. Keyvan Hunt turns away 26 shots, Baker chips in with two assists in strong effort

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A linesman intervenes between two players

Shaun Ding

HE SAID I WAS DUMB AND COULDN’T READ GOOD ... WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO? A linesman steps in to make sure cooler heads prevail during a tussle in the Mustangs game against Windsor on Saturday night.

In a game with playoff implications, a controversial goal determined the outcome of a 3-2 Mustangs win over the Windsor Lancers this past Saturday. Emotions boiled over into the hallway as Windsor coaches and the officiating crew traded verbal barbs over Western’s winning goal.

“It’s emotional; every play matters. The playoff race is so close. Lose a close game, win a close game, it’s really critical,” Western head coach Clarke Singer said. “We’ve won a lot of close games lately, so we’re planning to keep doing what we’re doing.”

The scoring started quickly when Windsor’s Brett Vandehogen banged in a two-on-one rebound less than three minutes into the first period.

Western responded with a goal as right-winger Joseph McCann took a shot and created pressure on Windsor goaltender Jim Watt while Mustangs left-winger Jeff Martens tapped in the rebound.

Windsor closed out the scoring in the first, capitalizing on a Mustang turnover, making the score 2-1 by the end of the first period.

Western controlled the entire second period, dominating with 26 shots and holding Windsor to six. Watt showed he was playoff ready as he held his own in net, shutting the door on numerous Mustang scoring chances.

“I didn’t think we put a lot of pressure on him in the first period and Watt is one of the best goalies in the league so we wanted to get more traffic in front of him,” Singer said. “He always makes the first save so we needed to get some rebound opportunities.”

Down by one after a scoreless second period, Mustangs left-winger Aaron Snow took advantage of a power play opportunity and scored from the side of the net to tie the game less than three minutes into the third frame.

The teams traded chances the rest of the period before Western right-winger Luc Martin scored the questionable, game-winning goal with 3:44 left in the period. Center Kevin Baker fired a shot, which was deflected off Martin after he had been dragged down by a Lancer defender while skating hard to the net.

“Windsor likes to try to set up traps on defence, so as a team we have to adjust by trying some longer stretch passes to break those traps. It’s something we’ll have to do again next time we play Windsor,” Martin said.

Singer also identified the reliability of Western goaltender Keyvan Hunt as a factor in his team’s win.

“Keyvan had a fabulous game, he made a lot of big saves for us in the third,” he said.

While the Lancers didn’t agree with the final Western goal, Windsor assistant coach Cory McAiney addressed what his team needs to do to be successful next time they play the Mustangs.

“We’re not going to change too much,” he said. “Every game we’ve played with Western this year has been close right to the end. They’re a great team, and they have four deep lines, so it’ll take a full 60 minute effort to beat these guys.”

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