LONDON, Ont. (from Western Mustangs) — An overtime goal from Josh Timpano handed the Western Mustangs their first loss of 2018 and snapped the team’s seven-game winning streak, as the Brock Badgers defeated Western 3-2 Saturday night at Thompson Arena.
“It’s all right. Fifteen points in the last eight games, it’s all right,” said Mustangs assistant coach Patrick Ouellet on the mood in the dressing room following Western’s first loss since December. “You never want to lose obviously, but you know it’s coming at some point. We only played 20 minutes tonight I thought, but the third period was by far our best period. The first 40 was really sluggish and wasn’t good. But, when you go on a winning streak like that it’s bound to happen, and it happened tonight.”
With the overtime loss, Western moves to 12-9-3 on the year and are in sixth in the OUA West standings. Brock improved their record to 12-8-5, and are currently tied for fourth in the West with the Laurier Golden Hawks.
“With the standings as tight as they are, we’ll take whatever points we can get,” said Western forward Trevor Warnaar. “I know we made some mistakes and we didn’t have the best start I didn’t think, but we showed we’re still a good team and we’re going to compete every shift. I know we finished strong, we had a good third [period], and collecting points is big in the standings right now and we’re just going to keep going.”
Timpano’s goal came at 3:21 of the extra period and served as the veteran forward’s fourth goal of the season and second in as many games. Brandon O’Quinn and Cosimo Fontana provided the other two goals for the Badgers, while Clint Windsor made 33 saves in the win.
Zach Core and Spenser Cobbold supplied the offence for Western, registering their second and seventh goals of the year, respectively. Luke Peressini suffered his first loss of the 2017-18 campaign in the Mustangs net, making 22 stops on Saturday night
Brock opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the game, as the puck slipped out from behind the goal line and in front of the Mustangs net where O’Quinn tapped it in to give the Badgers an early lead.
Despite the early advantage for the Badgers, it would be a back and forth affair for the remainder of the period, with each team sending eight shots towards the opposing netminder. The Mustangs pressed late in the frame thanks to consecutive power-play opportunities but were unable to break the deadlock, sending the game into the first intermission with Brock leading 1-0.
Western responded midway through the second period, as Core picked up the puck and skated into the zone before firing a shot from near the top of the faceoff circle to even things up at 1-1.
That lead wouldn’t last long, as some nice tic-tac-toe passing from the Badgers deep in the Mustangs zone finished with Fontana going high on the glove side to regain the lead for Brock a little less than five minutes later.
Just as the first period opened with a quick goal, so too did the third, with the Mustangs tying the game at 2:45 of the frame. Cobbold picked up a rebound in front of the Badgers net, moved across the crease and sent it past a sprawling Windsor to make it a 2-2 game.
Cobbold’s goal would prove to be the final one of regulation and set the stage for an overtime finish. The Badgers clinched the win at 3:21 of the extra period as Timpano converted a pair of nice passes from Skylar Pacheco and Ayden MacDonald to send the visiting team away with a 3-2 victory. The Mustangs are back in action next week with a busy schedule that sees the team play three games in four days.
“Big week next week, we know we’ve got three games in four nights, so a lot of rest – not much hard intensity at practice,” said Ouellet. “It’ll be a lot of flow drills and making sure we’re sharp on special teams.”
“It’s going to be a busy week, it’s going to be a tough week, guys are going to be doing whatever they can to prepare. It’s huge, we’re going to be playing teams that we’re jockeying for spots, it’s a busy week coming up, and we’re just going to keep pushing,” said Warnaar on the team’s approach for the coming week.
First up are the Waterloo Warriors on Wednesday in a matchup that was originally scheduled for Jan. 12 but postponed due to inclement weather. Game time is set for 7 pm EST.