It’s hard to decide what’s more impressive about the Bantam A Mustangs’ road trip to Winfield, B.C., over the weekend.
On one hand, they outscored the competition 27-6. On the other hand, they posted three straight shutouts to win gold at the Winfield Bantam Rep Invitational.
“We were very satisfied with the outcome,” said Mustangs head coach Barry Blisner. “Like any of these tournaments, you never know what your competition is going to be like. But we came out strong, ended strong.
“Bringing home the championships, the kids were, to say the least, pumped about it.”
The Whitehorse rep team went undefeated in five games to win the Tier 3 tourney.
The Mustangs captured the gold with their closest and lowest-scoring game, downing the Nelson Maple Leafs 1-0 in the final. Goalie Josh Tetlichi got the shut out.
Co-captain Nick Dobush scored the golden goal in a hack-fest in front of the Nelson net, assisted by forward Spencer Lessard and co-captain Jack Blisner.
“Nelson was a small and quick team and they played a lot better than in the first game,” said Barry. “I thought, of our five games, that was probably our flattest game.
“Our forwards didn’t have the jump they did in the other four games.
“In the third period, we played a lot better. We didn’t get any goals, but we seemed to get our legs back.”
The Mustangs galloped over the hosting Winfield Bruins in the semifinal with a 6-0 win. Mustangs goalie Devon Troke, who, like Tetlichi, is a second-year player with the team, got the shut out.
The Mustangs’ other co-captain, Chance Goodman, had two goals, defenceman Caleb Marsh had a goal and two assists, while Kaine Comin, Levi Johnson and Jack Blisner contributed a goal each.
“Like most of those game, once you get up by three, you deflate the other team,” said Barry. “Our goals four, five and six, came in a bunch towards the end.
“That game was the most physical and roughest game of the tournament.”
Tetlichi was also in net for a 7-0 shut-out win over Vancouver’s Arbutus Club to end the round-robin. Goodman and Johnson both had two goals, Riley Smoler had two assists, and Ryan Macdonald, Matthew Braga and Jack each scored.
The Mustangs opened the tournament with a 6-3 win over Nelson before downing North Vancouver 7-3.
Against North Van, Lessard and Goodman both produced two goals, and Gavin Lawrie had a goal and two assists. Jack pocketed three assists.
Dobush scored a hat trick in the Mustangs’ first game against Nelson.
“Our player of the game for that game was (defenceman) Ben McClelland,” said Barry. “He just had a really good game. He was really skating well. He didn’t have a lot of points that game – he had an assist – but it was just one of his better games of the year.”
The Bantam A Mustangs will be looking to carry the momentum from last weekend into Hockey Day in Whitehorse on Saturday.
The bantams will be playing a three-game series against the Aldergrove Bruins, a Tier 2 team, this weekend. Saturday’s Game 2 in the series will take place 6:45 p.m. at Takhini Arena.
The Midget A Mustangs are hosting Aldergrove’s midget team for three games this weekend. The midget game will wrap-up Saturday’s action at Takhini, beginning at 9 p.m.
The Peewee A Mustangs are hosting the Juneau Capitals for a three-game series. Saturday’s game, also at Takhini Arena, begins at 3:30 p.m.
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