Though the last three games were much closer than the first three, the Yukon Mustangs were largely in control of things over the weekend in Whitehorse.
The Yukon rep hockey club went undefeated in a six-game series against Juneau Douglas High School’s Crimson Bears, outscoring the Alaskans 45-4 with shutouts in three games.
Still the Crimson Bears, who brought their varsity and junior varsity teams, were glad for the competition, said head coach Luke Adams.
“These are our first games for the kids because we don’t have any other competition in our town,” said Adams. “We’re really thankful because in the early part of our season we don’t know what we have because we don’t have anybody to test against. So some of the results were a little lopsided, but that’s good for us because now we know what we have and what we need to work on going forward before we start our in-state Alaska competition … This is nothing but positive for our kids.”
Three Mustangs teams hit the ice for the friendly series – one more than expected. After three one-sided games, organizers shuffled up the teams to try and find balanced match-ups, bringing in the U15 Bantam Mustangs for a game Saturday. There was also some movement of players between the Mustangs teams.
The U16 Mustangs beat the junior varsity team 17-0 and the U18 Midget Mustangs beat the varsity team 8-1 on Friday. The U16 Mustangs then went 7-0 junior varsity team Saturday morning.
The Midget Mustangs then downed the varsity squad 4-2 in the closest of the six games.
“That one had some intensity to it, which was nice,” said Mustangs program head coach Derek Klassen. “All the hockey I watched this weekend we were doing something good and there’s obviously lots of stuff we can work on … All the games we can get, the better.”
The series ended with the U15 Bantam Mustangs beating the junior varsity squad 4-1 and the U16 Mustangs going 5-0 over the varsity team.
All games were two 22-minute stop-time periods.
“It’s always good to have those guys in and create those relationships,” said Klassen. “It’s a matter of finding the match-ups, what works, going forward if we want to have a home series here and home series there. It makes sense for both teams to be around the same caliber for both teams to get what they’re looking for.
“But it was a good weekend. It’s always fun for the team to play at home, at Takhini Arena and Canada Games Centre. It was certainly a bonus weekend for us with Juneau calling us up and asking us if they can come play.”
U16 Mustangs forward Mackenzie Benn-Wipp led his team in scoring in their three games with four goals and six assists. Teammates Anthony Louie, Brett Walchuk and Dion Fowler all had three goals and five assists. Kyron Crosby stacked up four goals and two assists.
Johnny Elias notched one goal and five assists.
Caleb Marsh, Nick Dobush and Ryan Troke each produced three goals and two assists in the Midget Mustangs’ two games.
Josh Austin, Wyatt Peterson, Oscar Sawicki and Lailem Letto each scored in the Bantam Mustangs’ 4-1 win. Kaelen Troke helped with three assists.
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