After going undefeated for gold in their previous tournament, the Atom Mustangs had a very different experience in their final road trip of the season over the weekend.
The Yukon atom development team went winless at the West Kelowna Atom Development A Tournament, March 2-5 in B.C.
“It was a tough tournament,” said Mustangs head coach Derek Johnstone. “We went knowing we were in tough against these top atom development teams but (it) was a good measuring stick for our program. We were in three out of four games until mid- or part-way through the third periods (but) unfortunately couldn’t pull out a win.”
Other than a 9-3 loss to the West Kelowna Warriors in their second game — with one goal from Nash Holmes and two from Gavin Mckenna — the Mustangs were in the mix in their other three losses.
The Mustangs opened with a 7-4 loss to the Kelowna Rockets, who scored two late-game goals to help secure the win. Down 2-0 in the first, the Mustangs tied it up with goals from Mckenna and Jase Jonstone, but finished the period down 3-2. Kayden Smith scored in the second and Jase scored again in the third period.
The Mustangs fell 7-3 in Game 3 to the Prince George North Stars, who posted three late goals for the win. Holmes, Mckenna and Nash put the Mustangs on the board.
The Yukon squad finished the tournament with a 7-5 loss to the Prince George Huskies with two goals for the Huskies late in the third. McKenna notched a hat trick while Noah Kinney and Conner Labar also scored for the Mustangs.
Landon Cowper, Keaton Macintosh, Kaelen Halowaty, Zack Seguin, Jaxon Tentrees and Chayce Tuton all logged one or more assists for Yukon at the tournament.
“Kids played hard, I think they learned a lot this weekend on how and what you have to do to win at a higher level,” said Derek Johnstone. “With these four losses they will remember what it takes.”
On their previous road trip the Mustangs won gold at the Eagles Family Day Atom Tournament in Squamish, B.C., in mid February.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org