The Whitehorse Atom Mustangs have faced some tough competition so far this season and a home-ice advantage didn’t help notch wins this past weekend.
The rep team went winless at the Nuway Crushing Atom Invitational Tournament in Whitehorse at Takhini Arena and the Canada Games Centre, plus an outdoor game at the Mount Lorne Rec Centre on Thursday.
The Atom Mustangs are now 0-13 in tournament play this season.
“They’re a young, immature group and it’s discipline – they’ve got to be disciplined when it comes down to positions,” said Mustangs head coach Trevor Matthews. “They know their positions, they know where they need to be, but when it comes to getting on the ice, they’re scrambling. We have to get it through to them they have to remember where they need to be.”
To Whitehorse’s credit, the Mustangs are a Tier 3 team and have only faced Tier 2 squads so far in three tournaments.
This past weekend the Atom Mustangs went 0-4 against two Tier 2 teams: B.C.‘s White Rock Semiahmoo and N.W.T.‘s Yellowknife Wolfpack.
“Our kids haven’t played in a Tier 3 tournament yet, which is where we are seeded,” said Matthews.
“We go to Kelowna the third week in January and that’s a Tier 3 tournament, with actual Tier 3 teams we’ll be playing, and we’ll see if that changes (results).
“If we take it from the beginning of the year to now, they’ve made a big change in how they’ve progressed.”
Whitehorse lost 8-2 to White Rock at Mount Lorne on Thursday, 6-4 to Yellowknife on Friday, 7-3 to White Rock and 7-2 to Yellowknife on Saturday.
In Saturday’s losses, which eliminated Whitehorse from a spot in the final, Ty Beacon, Joshua Schenk and Nolan Matthews scored against White Rock, and Scheck scored both goals against Yellowknife.
The Yellowknife Wolfpack, who went 4-0 in the round robin, went on to win gold with a 5-4 overtime win against White Rock on Sunday morning.
The Atom Mustangs went 0-5 at the Seafair International Ice Breaker Rep Tournament – a Tier 2 tournament – at the start of the season in October. They then went 0-4 against the Wolfpack in Yellowknife in the second annual Air North Hockey Challenge in October.
“It’s still a good growing period for the kids. It’s good for them to recognized the teams they are playing, how they are playing positionally,” said Trevor. “Our kids need to read that and be a little more disciplined in the positions that they play.”
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