The Atom Jr. Mustangs had a rough start to the season but went out on top at the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Championships on Sunday.
The Whitehorse rep team took gold in the peewee division with a 6-4 win over Northern Lights Optometry at the Canada Games Centre.
“It’s been a long journey. They just slowly kept getting things we were teaching them and finally at the end came together as a team,” said Mustangs head coach Trevor Matthews. “That almighty word ‘intensity’ that we’ve been driving into them all year, finally, in this last tournament and last week, it all came together.”
The Mustangs began the season going 0-17 in tournament play. However, it is worth noting the majority of the 17 games were at the Tier 2 level, one up for the Tier 3 Mustangs.
But things began to come together last month when the team claimed silver in the Spring Classic tournament in Richmond, B.C.
“I think that gave the kids a good confidence boost,” said Matthews.
“It was a good final outcome for these boys to show that their hard work paid off.”
The Mustangs had five goal-scorers in the final. Sawyer Adams opened it up with a goal late in the first for a 1-0 lead. From there the Mustangs kept just a step ahead, leading the game by a goal or two until the final buzzer.
Mustangs centre Joshua Schenk scored twice while Hunter Long, Nolan Matthews and Austin Larkin contributed individual goals.
“Happy. Relieved,” said Schenk, when asked about taking gold. “I think we played really good and left all of it on the ice.
“We had more intensity and brought it to them. We didn’t let their good guys get shot and our goalie (Alex Aresnault) was on fire.”
Cameron Ryles pocketed a hat trick for Northern Lights and teammate Landon Marsh also found the back of the Mustangs net.
In the battle for bronze, the Kilrich Lumberkings beat the DGC Welders 11-0. Adam Hennings scored four goals for Kilrich, Hugo Burgess had two goals and an assist and Sasa Jirousek had two assists and a goal.
The Atoms weren’t the only Mustangs team to win hardware in the championships.
The Whitehorse Female Mustangs outscored Skookum Asphalt 5-2 to capture gold in the bantam championships on April 15. The Peewee Mustangs topped Castlerock by the same score
Contact Tom Patrick at