Female Mustangs down Skookum for bantam gold

Final positions of Whitehorse's bantam house league were settled with a pair of 5-2 hockey games on Wednesday.

Final positions of Whitehorse’s bantam house league were settled with a pair of 5-2 hockey games on Wednesday.

The Whitehorse Female Mustangs outscored Skookum Asphalt 5-2 to capture gold while the Peewee Mustangs topped Castle Rock by the same score for bronze, at the Canada Games Centre.

“We knew that if we kept to our game plan their goalie (Anthony Steele-Legault) couldn’t stop us all game long,” said Female Mustangs head coach Louis Bouchard. “It is a tribute to him and that team that they were able to hold us off until late in the third.”

The Female Mustangs out-shot Skookum 37-20, but the final was tied for most of the game.

The first period ended tied 1-1 before a scoreless second. With seven minutes left in the third the Mustangs broke it open with four goals in a little over five minutes.

Maddie Nicholson scored twice to put the Mustangs up 3-1 before Davina McLeod and captain Sierra Oakley added two more. Forward Chyanne Spenner scored in the first period for a 1-0 lead.

“You can’t keep giving Maddie Nicholson breakaways and expect her not to score. She eventually put two in,” said Bouchard. “But the turnaround point was probably the save that Ali Nordahl made in the first: she over-played the puck to make a save on her right side and somehow stretched her leg on the recovery to stop a rebound on her left, effectively stealing the scoring opportunity.”

Skookum centre Trenton Hope scored both of his team’s goals – one with 18 seconds left in the first and the other with 18 seconds left in the third. Teammates Logan Legault and Josh Austin picked up assists.

Hope’s first goal came on a two-man advantage.

“On the two-man advantage, I put the guys out there who knew how to play with a little bit of puck movement and they got it done,” said Skookum head coach Gord Campbell. “Trenton is one of these guys I’ve been coaching since he was five years old. Most of these kids I’ve been coaching for nine or 10 years now. Trenton is one of those players you know can score a goal.”

With the gold medal win marking the end of the season, it also means the end of the line for three Mustangs who are aging out of the program this year.

Oakley, Spenner and goalie Abbie Turner all played their final game for the Whitehorse rep club on Wednesday.

“It’s really sad. I’ve been playing for four years (with the Mustangs) and it’s sad,” said Spenner. “It’s been a great, long hockey career … Louis taught me a lot.

“I like playing with the same girls because it feels like we’re a family.”

“(Oakley) was actually part of the original Avalanche crew my daughter started back in 2008,” said Bouchard.

The Female Mustangs, who beat the Peewee Mustangs 3-0 in the semifinal, lost to Skookum 5-2 – another 5-2 game – in the playoff’s round robin. The Skookum squad progressed a lot this season, especially considering the team never held practices, said Campbell.

“We didn’t have any practices all year, we only had games – two games a week for the whole season,” said Campbell. “I was just really impressed with our team. We gelled without practices, we had a great bench. We had one player, Michael Chisholm, and this is his first year playing hockey and he was just great.

“We have people who just love the game and they were an absolute joy to coach.”

Having recently come off a 1-2-1 run at the B.C. Hockey Championships, the Peewee Mustangs might have been a bit sluggish coming into the house league playoffs, but they got the job done in the bronze game.

The Mustangs led for most of the game en route to a 5-2 win over Castle Rock.

“They were at provincials a couple weeks ago, so they come back and sometimes it can be hard to get up for (house league),” said head coach Kirk Gale. “It’s a tournament, but the provincials is kind of the peak (of the season). They come back and their mind isn’t really into it, they think it’s just another bantam league game. But the other teams want to beat us.”

Mustangs forward Wyatt Sheardown-Waugh scored twice and teammates Jesse Goodman, Eric Potvin and Kyron Crosby – who also had an assist – each contributed goals. Kyle Bierlmeier and Cole McCulloch registered assists in the bronze game.

“Wyatt Sheardown-Waugh, who is a first-year rep player, had a really good game, has a really good nose for the net,” said Gale. “Kyran Crosby is skating miles out there, playing really well. Kyle Swantz and Liam Hudson on defence – they’re certainly playing well. Eric Potvin is skating well and getting good shots in.

“The team as a whole played far better than they have in the last couple of games.”

Both of Castle Rock’s goals were scored by Oscar Sawicki and assisted by Tim Haydon.

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