Saturday, March 26, 2011

Game 4 UWO vs Calgary

Mustangs eliminate Dinos, prepare for UNB

Christopher Cameron

After the Calgary Dinos final seconds loss against UNB in the first day of the University Cup, they were eliminated on day two by the Western Ontario Mustangs.

In their first game of this year’s tournament, the Mustangs showed they were the real deal as they dropped the Dinos 3-2.

The Mustangs kicked things off early with a goal 1:30 into the game by Kevin Baker.
“We just wanted to get as many pucks to the net as possible and on that one I think maybe he thought I was going to pass, so I kind of pulled him off the post and it just happened to go in,” said Baker about his goal.

After a heartbreaking late goal against them last night, Western coach Clarke Singer said scoring early for his team was huge tonight against Calgary.

“Very important to get a start like that,” he said. “The starts are something we talk about almost every night. It’s been something we’ve done a great job of this year. I think we have a number of first year guys out there and to get an early goal like that out there really helped everybody’s confidence. Great shot by Kevin obviously.”

Calgary head coach Mark Howell spoke to how difficult it is getting down early.

“It’s hard getting down early for sure. Give Western credit. I think they were ready to go right from the drop of the puck,” he said. “We weren’t quite at the same level. We got down 1-0 and I don’t think we responded as well as we needed to.”

Western continued to carry momentum through the first period, even though they found themselves shorthanded. Their penalty kill was great allowing only two shots, one on each of Calgary’s power-plays.

Early in the second period the Mustangs continued to get themselves into penalty trouble as Kyle Lamb was called for checking from behind. Allowing no shots on Calgary’s powerplay, the Mustangs found the net just after the penalty expired as Josh McQuade beat Butler to give his team a 2-0 lead.

Not to be outdone Calgary game right back as Brock Nixon had the puck centred perfectly to him, setting up a top-corner goal past Anthony Grieco to get his team back to within one.

Both teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the second as Calgary’s chances of continuing in the University Cup continued to grow slimmer.

The third period was another defensive showing, although Calgary majorly outplayed Western. Outshooting the Mustangs 11-4 in the third was good for their team, but Julian Cimadamo took off on a breakaway as the puck got away from the Dinos, putting it past Butler’s glove to give Western another two goal lead.

Singer spoke to Cimadamo’s play after coming back from an injury to play in the University Cup.

“He’s been out for a month (lower-body injury) and to come back and go right into the fire so to speak and to be playing a whole bunch and be playing an important role is great,” said Singer. “He started off a little tentative as most people do coming back from an injury like that, but he got better and better as the game went on and obviously to get the game-winner is fabulous.”

Calgary was not done yet as Western had a mass confusion in their crease, with the puck squirting out to Teegan Moore perfectly, who put it over a down and out Grieco.

That was as close as the Dinos would get as Western held on for the victory.

Howell says that considering the progress his club has made in recent years there are some positives to take from this tournament.

“We look at where the program has come in the past two years and I think everyone is proud of that,” he said. “Maybe in a week or two we’ll reflect on that and look at it, but today it’s an awful feeling knowing your season is done. At least if you won today, you know you give yourself a chance tomorrow, and knowing we didn’t provide ourselves that opportunity that leaves an empty feeling.

Western’s next game will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night as they take on the hometown UNB Varsity Reds.

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