Sporting WCA

Wildcats Take Season Sweep of Marquette

For the Westminster Varsity Hockey team, the saying “new year, new team” may contain some truth. Following up a less than impressive 1-2-2 stretch in late December, the Cats were in need of  a win. They got what they asked for on New Year’s Day, beating the Marquette Mustangs 5-2.

From the first drop of the puck, the Cats took it right to the Mustangs. This culminated in a first shift goal from sophomore Levi wright. Sporting a brand new helmet style, Wright  powered past the Marquette defense and rifled home to give the Cats an immediate one goal advantage. Following the goal, the Wildcats enjoyed an almost period-wide string of possession. The defense was sharp, passes were crisp, and the team ended the first period on a relatively high note.

For the first part of the second period, the Cats were still in control. Senior Gannon Mcward stripped a Mustang defenseman of the puck at the 12:01 mark of the period, and calmly finished on a breakaway to double the lead. Less than 5 minutes later, freshman Jack Canfield gave Westminster a demanding 3-0 lead.

After going up 3-0, the “new year, new team” mantra was almost dashed. An apparent lack of effort followed Canfield’s goal, and the Cats were hemmed deep in their own zone. This resulted in a Mustang goal at the 1:47 mark of the second. Marquette almost made it 3-2 late in the period, but strong goaltending from senior Scott Caldwell denied their efforts and allowed the Cats a counterattacking chance. Junior Connor Dolan made an inch-perfect pass to senior Willie Canfield, who made a quick move around the opposing goaltender to make it 4-1 with under a minute to play in the period.

The Wildcats more or less shut the Mustangs down in the 3rd. The defense picked up their intensity and reduced Marquette’s attacking threat. The Mustangs did end up scoring halfway through the period, but it was too little, too late. An empty net goal from Jack Canfield late in the game sealed a 5-2 Wildcat victory.