Western Extends Win Streak to Five On Seniors Night
The Western Mustangs women’s hockey honoured their graduating players on Friday night at Thompson Arena- the final home game of the regular season for the purple and white. Whilst it was senior’s night at Thompson Arena, it was a rookie goalie who stood tall for the Mustangs. First year keeper Carmen Lasis made 33 saves, including two in a row in the shootout to preserve her shutout and get the win for the Mustangs. The shutout marks Lasis’s fourth shutout of the season and second in a row, as she previously blanked the York Lions one week prior. All of Lasis’s shutouts have come in 2018, which is a good omen for the Mustangs heading into the post-season.
The game featured strong goaltending on both ends, as York’s Lauren Dubie was also perfect through 60 minutes and five minutes of overtime, stopping all 25 Mustang shots. Fifth year forward Megan Taylor- one of the six players honoured on the evening- scored the eventual game winner in the shootout. Third year forward, April Clark, leading the Mustangs in points, lead the team once again as she scored the first goal of the shootout to start things off the for the Mustangs.
The game was an anomaly for the Mustangs in the sense that the team averages 34 shots per game, meaning that Kelly Paton’s squad is usually outshooting its opposition. That was not to be the case on this night; however as Western only had 25 shots to York’s 25. That being said, the majority of the Lions shots did not challenge Lasis in net. York did have a few offensive spurts, most of the chances coming from third year forward Erin Locke, who despite being held pointless, was a threat all evening long and at times was doing things for the Lions on her own. Locke and her fellow top line winger, Chelsea Tucker, were clearly the two best players on the ice for either team. However, it was Western’s superstar, April Clark, who was able to get it done in the shootout to give the Mustangs the two points, and with just one game left to play, it appears as though Western will finish in second in the OUA playoffs, guaranteeing home ice advantage until a potential meeting with top seeded Queens Golden Gaels in the OUA championship.
Speaking of Locke, despite playing for York and growing up in Toronto, Erin Locke’s family legacy rings deep in Western Mustangs territory, as her father, Marius Locke was a former cornerback and interception specialist for the Mustangs who lead the team to two Vanier Cups in the mid 1980s, before going on to become an associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Physical Education at University of Toronto. Additionally, Erin Locke’s older brother, Eric is a former draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres. Suffice to say, athletic prowess runs deep in the family.
On this night, Locke’s obvious speed and skill were not enough to get it done as the loss in regulation meant the York Lions were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Both teams finish off their regular season on tonight as Western faces another desperate team in Waterloo on the road, the Mustangs have a 9-2 record in away games this season. The Waterloo Warriors currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the OUA but are just a single point up on ninth place Laurentian Voyageurs, who have a game in hand. The Mustangs will look to extend their win streak to six games as they prepare for playoffs after February reading week, then eventually the USports National Championship in Mid-March at Thompson Arena.