It was only a matter of time until the floodgates opened for the Mustangs’ offence and they opened in a big way. Last Saturday night at Thompson Arena, the Mustangs men’s hockey team defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 9-3.
“We kept pushing the whole game,” Clarke Singer, Mustangs head coach, said. “We’ve played good parts of previous games, but we haven’t played back-to-back 60 minute games and we did a good job of playing right through to the buzzer.”
The Mustangs never looked back after taking advantage of two quick goals by forwards Chris Corbeil and Zack Harnden that were 31 seconds apart in the first six minutes.
“It’s key to get off to that strong start. We had one last night [in Waterloo], but let up a bit,” Julian Cimadamore, Mustangs forward, said. “We kept the pedal to the metal this game and didn’t let them back at all.”
Laurier didn’t help their cause by getting into early penalty trouble. After taking four straight penalties in the first period, the Hawks weren’t able to keep pace with Western.
“The penalties killed us,” Graeme Swan, Golden Hawks’ assistant coach, said. “We generated a little bit off the forecheck and cycled the puck alright, but we were shorthanded the [majority] of the game and you can’t do that against a skilled team like Western.”
Western continued their dominant play in the second period with forward Tyler Peters scoring two goals in the first ten minutes, his second straight game with two goals.
Laurier got on the board with a goal by forward Thomas Middup. However, Western answered back less than 20 second later with a shot from the point by Matt Paltridge, which led to Laurier’s starting goalie Ryan Daniels being chased from the net.
Singer was happy with his team’s effort and the improved defensive play.
“We’ve been giving up far too many scoring chances and not getting or earning enough chances and we did a better job of stopping chances,” Singer said.
The third period saw two goals by Laurier, but Western responded with goals from Steve Reese, Harnden and Cimadamore.
Western got contributions from more than half their lineup with four players having multiple point games and 13 getting on the scoresheet.
“Everyone had a strong game. We had guys from every line scoring, our defence was great and [goalie Josh] Unice was solid,” Keaton Turkiewicz, Mustangs forward, said.
The game was one of Western’s best this season with strong play at both ends of the ice.
“We hadn’t been playing full 60 minute games, but tonight from start to finish it was a really strong game,” Cimadamore said.
Ultimately, Singer believes this past weekend is something the Mustangs can build off of moving forward.
“I think we’ve been playing okay up until now, but this weekend was definitely our best so far this year,” Singer said.
Western had a constant barrage of shots against Laurier finishing with 51 compared to Laurier’s meagre 24.
“Western’s skilled, but they also outworked us tonight,” Swan said. “It’s an eye-opener for our guys that that’s the level you have to play at every night against the top teams in the [Canadian Interuniversity Sport] like Western.”
The Mustangs go back on the road next weekend before playing University of Ontario Institute of Technology on November 25 at Thompson Arena.