WESTERN AND UQTR OFF TO NATIONALS; SET TO MEET IN QUEEN'S CUP

The sixth-ranked Western Mustangs and No. 7 UQTR Patriotes each won their respective third and deciding game Sunday, earning a spot in the one-game Queen's Cup championship Saturday, March 19 in London. The two teams met in 2002 for the OUA men's hockey title as UQTR took the title, 5-4. Both teams receive a berth to the CIS championship, held in Alberta in two weeks.

WESTERN KNOCKS OFF LAKEHEAD IN GAME THREE
First-year forward Sal Peralta scored 1:11 into overtime off a perfect pass from fifth-year defenceman Kelly Paddon to give the Western Mustangs a 5-4 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves in game three of their best-of-three OUA West men's hockey championship series.

The win not only gives the Mustangs the right to host the Queen's Cup (OUA Championship) against the UQTR Patriotes Saturday, March 19, but earns the team an automatic berth in the CIS national championship at the University of Alberta the following week.

Second-year forward Mike Rice potted two goals in the first three minutes of action to set the tone early for Western.

Jason Lange and Murray Magill answered back for Lakehead in the second period but first-year forward Kyle Piwowarczyk scored with 26 seconds left to restore the Western lead to 3-2.

Fourth-year forward Ryan Hare scored 29 seconds into the third to give the Mustangs a two-goal cushion, however Joel Scherban netted two goals for the Thunderwolves in the period to force the overtime.

Fourth-year netminder Mike D'Alessandro recorded the win for Western making 47 saves while Chris Whitley picked up the loss allowing five goals on 36 shots.

The Queen's Cup, a one-game OUA championship, is set for Saturday at Thompson Arena. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Tickets are now available.

(Source: Jeff Renaud, Western Sports Information)

UQTR TOPS MCGILL 4-1 TO WIN OUA EAST FINAL
Montreal (OUA) - Pierre Morvan`s goal with 15:05 to play in regulation time was the difference as the Universite du Quebec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes eliminated the McGill Redmen 4-1 in the third and deciding game of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Final in front of a record setting crowd of 1,544 fans at the McConnell Arena in Montreal.

The Redmen drew first blood 3:54 into the opening period as they caught the Patriotes on a bad line change. Mathieu Leclerc carried the puck into the right wing corner before rifling a pass to Mark DeBusschere behind the goal. DeBusschere powered the puck out and attempted to stuff the disk under UQTR netminder Dany Dallaire who made the initial save but gave up a short rebound that was burried by Eric L`Italien.

The Patriotes tied the game at 14:10, as Mathieu Thibodeau was sprung on a breakaway when the Redmen turned the puckover at the UQTR blueline.
Thibodeau skated past a McGill defender on the left side, cutting into the top of the face-off circle before drilling a low snap shot past the outstretched leg of Poitras.

The game remained tied until the 4:55 mark of the third period when Pierre Morvan deflected a point shot from Samuel Gibbons past Poitras for his sixth of the playoffs to give UQTR the lead for good.

Daniel Jacob had the best chance to tie the game for McGill with 6-minutes remaining in the third as he came flying in off left side and let a rocket go that was earmarked for the top-shelp, but Dallaire deflected the puck out of play with a sensational save. It was one of 17 shots that McGill sent towards Dallaire in the final stanza.

McGill pulled Poitras with 1:02 left, but were unable to manage a shot on goal. The Patriotes locked up a berth in the Queen`s Cup final with a pair of empty net goals in the final 16-seconds of the game.

Up next for UQTR is a date with the Western Mustangs in the 2005 Queen`s Cup championship game next Saturday night in London. The Mustangs outlasted the Lakehead Thunderwolves, eliminated the Wolves with a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3 of the Western Final on Sunday night. Game time is 8:00 pm and will be broadcast live on Rogers Television across Ontario.
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