The Mustangs are looking to start a new win streak after defeating the Waterloo Warriors 2–1 on Wednesday night.
Despite the Warriors being in last place in the West Division, it was a very tight game; Waterloo was close to tying it in the third period, with just seconds remaining. But the Mustangs didn't bend, and since the winter break, the team has won eight of nine games, falling to Brock in overtime on Jan. 27.
Western’s Mitchell Fitzmorris opened the game’s scoring eight minutes into the first period with a shot on net that was mishandled by the Waterloo net-minder.
“I think the goalie kind of misread it. It hit off of his stick and went up and in,” said Fitzmorris of the goal.
The Mustangs struck again halfway through the second period. Rob Polesello made a play along the boards, creating an opportunity for Cordell James to score, extending the lead to 2–0.
Waterloo made a push in the third and Markson Bechtold scored early in the period, making it 2–1.
With 21 seconds left in the game, Western’s Spencer Cobbold was called for hooking, giving Waterloo a chance to tie the game on their third power play of the period. With heavy traffic in front of the net, Waterloo nearly scored in the ensuing feud. But the 21-second power play proved to be not enough and the game ended with a score of 2–1.
Waterloo, who has the most penalty minutes in Ontario University Athletics — dwarfing Western, who has the lowest, by 304 minutes — brought with them a more aggressive game. But the Mustangs responded. Late in the first, Chris Corbeil sent Waterloo's Cam Nicoll to the dressing room with a big hit. It was a clean hit with no penalty on the play, although the Waterloo bench had other ideas.
Despite playing an aggressive game, Western struggled on the power play, failing to capitalize on all five of their opportunities with the extra man.
“The first couple of power plays, we didn’t generate much. But the last two were really good; we just didn’t score,” said Mustangs assistant coach, Patrick Ouellet.
Oullet added that he was impressed his team's puck movement, which created a lot of opportunities. They just weren’t going in.
Mustangs netminder Luke Peressini, who made 33 saves on the night, was a crucial part of the win.
“You can see his experience and his level of play just brings the whole team up to the next level,” said Ouellet of Peressini's play.
The Mustangs have two more games this week. They will travel to Waterloo on Thursday to play the Laurier Golden Hawks and will host Lakehead University on Saturday.