Women top Brock at home

Western enjoys a winning weekend

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Women's hockey

Jon Purdy

REASON TO CELEBRATE. Western topped Guelph on Saturday and Brock on Sunday to improve to 6-9-1-1 on the season. The win gives the Mustangs hope for a postseason birth.

Afer shutting out the Guelph Gryphons Saturday, Western’s women’s hockey team (6-9-1-1) froze the Brock Badgers (6-7-3-1) in a crucial victory Sunday afternoon at Thompson Arena. The women in purple skated hard for three periods to capture a 3-1 win.

Nearing the end of the regular season and just three points out of a playoff spot, Western brought its “A” game.

With tremendous hustle and unyielding puck possession, the starting line went to work quickly. Forward Bianca Emanuele tallied the first goal just 1:08 into the first period.

“We wanted to make sure that we were getting to the net,” said Mustangs head coach Paul Cook. “We did that early on and we created some good opportunities for ourselves.”

Riding a 1-0 lead through most of the first, the Mustangs dominated Brock’s end with a forceful offence while maintaining solid defence.

“Our penalty killing was awesome,” Emanuele said. “We had so many penalties [against us]...but we worked hard and just never gave up.”

The Badgers got possession just long enough to tie the game with 3:51 left in the first period.

A proficient power play complemented Western’s gritty penalty killing. With a Badger in the box, forward Lindsay Doxtator fired a slapper from just inside the blueline to bump the Mustangs ahead with 9:04 left in the second period.

“[Western] did a good job at containing us,” said Brock head coach Todd Erskine. “They outworked us in a lot of areas and that was the difference.”

The Mustangs kept dancing around the Badgers at both ends of the ice. After intricate power-play passing, Kristen Whitney tapped in a deflected puck to widen Western’s lead.

The Mustangs stymied the Badgers in the third to clinch the 3-1 win.

“We knew they were going to be working hard today,” Erskine said. “We didn’t really get any chances to mount any type of attack.”

Sunday’s game capped an important weekend for the Mustangs’ Ontario University Athletics playoff push.

“The girls have really stepped up this week with back-to-back games [Saturday] and [Sunday],” Cook said. “They’ve really made the commitment to dedication and hard work. We had a good turnaround this weekend.”

The ’Stangs, now one point out of a playoff position, have seven regular season games remaining and some tough opponents ahead.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time right now,” Cook said. “Every game for us is a big one. It’s as simple as that.”

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