After a close game, the Western women’s hockey team lost 2-1 in overtime against the Brock Badgers this past Sunday afternoon. Although they salvaged a point in the loss, the team is now on a three-game losing streak and are tied for seventh in the standings of the Ontario University Athletics conference. A loss may be detrimental to the Mustangs' campaign this season in what is a tightly-contested league.
“Every single team is so close in the standings," said Badgers head coach Margot Page. “You have to come ready to play every game.”
The Mustangs started off strong, holding the Badgers to only three shots in the first frame. Evra Levesque put the Mustangs up 1-0 midway through the period, going bar-down for her first of the season. After the first, the Mustangs seemed to take their foot off the gas and let the Badgers storm back in. Brock scored their first of the game late in the third, and despite a late offensive push by the Mustangs, the game went to overtime where the Badgers scored 37 seconds in.
“First period especially, we moved the puck well, but second period we had a bit of a gap,” said Mustangs head coach Kelly Paton in a post-game interview. “Consistency is key across the board, all positions, all players, and overall team play.”
The Mustangs are now 3-1-5-1 on the season, and their losing streak puts them at a far cry from how they were doing this time last year. With a new coach in charge, and with a relatively young team, there’s bound to be some growing pains early in the season.
“It’s still a work in progress but we’re confident that the systems we have in place will lead us to success," said Paton.
The Mustangs have a lot of talent, but haven't hit their stride yet. With so many of their leaders from the last few years gone and two coaching changes in as many years, the Mustangs have to adjust to their new leaders. Players will have to step up if the team wants to have the same amount of success that they’ve become accustomed to.
“We still think that the potential of the group is a lot higher than what we're seeing,” said Paton. “We need to keep working hard in practice and finish the last few regular season games of the first half strong.”
The team will have to work towards having a stronger second half of the season if they hope to make yet another appearance in the OUA and U Sports finals.