The Mustangs claim revenge

Men’s hockey comes up short during Western’s Homecoming game

Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison makes a save on Western right winger Salvatore Peralta Saturday night in London.
Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison makes a save on Western right winger Salvatore Peralta Saturday night in London.
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Despite dropping the season opener 2-0 to the Western Mustangs and tallying his fourth loss of the year, men’s hockey coach Brett Gibson isn’t worried.

“To be honest, we played a great game,” he said. “We outchanced them and outplayed them; we just didn’t outscore them.”

The Mustangs dominated early play, preventing the Gaels from recording a single shot in the first six minutes of action while firing seven shots at Queen’s goaltender Brady Morrison. Gibson said Morrison turned in a tremendous performance and prevented the Gaels from falling too far behind.

“He made 30 great saves, especially in the first period,” Gibson said. “I thought he really kept us in it.”

Western continued the volley of shots in the second period, outshooting Queen’s 10-5 in the frame, but they couldn’t crack the goose egg on the scoreboard until Geoff Killing beat Morrison from close range early in the third period. Aaron Snow added an insurance goal on the rebound, and the Mustangs hung on for the win, despite some late pressure from the Gaels.

The Mustangs outshot Queen’s 34 to 20, but Gibson said his team had plenty of offensive chances they just couldn’t convert.

“We hit two crossbars and one post,” he said. “We just couldn’t buy one.” Gibson said he was pleased with what he saw from the team, though.

“Goals will come. I’m more worried about the effort,” he said. “The effort was there.”

Gibson said he’s looking for more offensive production from some of his top forwards, particularly captain Jon Lawrance.

“Jon Lawrance is the ultimate leader,” he said. “I need him to step up and score goals. ... He does all the little things well, but at the end of the day, I need him to be on the scoresheet.”

The Gaels are being hit by injuries already, as rookie Matt Hill broke his ankle in a collision during the Western game and will be out at least six to eight weeks. Gibson said Hill is an important loss.

“By losing him, we lose a big piece, that’s for sure,” he said.

He expects other players to fill the gap, though.

“It’s giving someone else an opportunity to step up and contribute,” he said.

The Gaels host the York Lions Oct. 10 and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks Oct. 11.

Gibson said it’s important for the team to come out with a solid performance at home, since the Memorial Centre has become their official home ice.

“We’re not the travelling road show any more,” he said. “We need to get the identity that we’re a tough team to play against.”

Gibson said it’s crucial for the Gaels to take full points those games.

“We need to win both games, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “We’re not taking moral victories any more.”

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