The KBL Environmental Mustangs notched their first win on the road over the weekend, but they aren’t exactly jumping for joy at this point.
The midget A Whitehorse rec team went 1-3 at the Abbotsford Midget Memorial Tournament, a Tier 3 competition in B.C. ending on Monday.
“A few games we played hard, we just have to work harder every game,” said Mustangs winger Chance Goodman. “Some days we have we take days off and don’t play as hard.”
Whitehorse’s win in Abbotsford was a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Spirit on Sunday.
Mustangs Jarrett Peterson, Kadin Kormandy, Malachi Lavallee, Ryan MacDonald, Sam Logan and Bohdi Elias all scored in the game.
Teammates Braeden Paun-Burnett and Jack Blisner each had two assists in the win.
“We had good defensive coverage and we could score goals, which we really needed to do,” said Goodman.
The Mustangs opened with a 10-1 loss to the Winfield Bruins on Saturday. Levi Johnson scored Whitehorse’s lone goal in the game.
They then lost 6-1 to the Tier 2 Richmond Blues, who went on to win the tournament. Goodman found the back of the net to avoid the shutout.
In both losses the Mustangs found themselves down by a pair of goals within the first minute or two of play.
“You’ve got to be able to battle back from that kind of thing,” said Mustangs head coach Barry Blisner. “At the same time, it’s hard to not get deflated.”
“I thought their effort was good, but there were too many lulls,” he added. “Being focused at the beginnings was a problem in a couple of games.”
Oddly, the Vancouver Spirit, who the Mustangs defeated, went on to beat the Winfield Bruins, who thumped Whitehorse at the start of the tournament.
“We know because of the age of our team, it’s going to be a tough year sometimes,” said Barry, who has just two returning players from last season’s team. “The team that beat us 10-1 – they’re a good team, but we didn’t play especially well. We beat the team that beat them and that tells us we obviously didn’t show up for that game.”
The Mustangs finished with an 8-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers on Monday. Scoring for Whitehorse were Johnson and Elias.
A team can let in a lot of goals and still win games. A team can score few goals and still win games. But a team that allows a lot of goals and scores few, is in trouble.
“In our three losses we scored a combined four goals, so we obviously have to get on the board more,” said Barry.
“Our two big things right now are we have to learn to score more and at the same time take care of our own end a little better.
“You’re not going to win many games scoring one goal. You’re not going to win many more letting in seven or eight.”
The Tier 3 Midget Mustangs team took four straight losses at the Tier 2 International Seafair Icebreaker Rep Tournament in their first road trip of the season last month.
“There were a couple teams there that were better than teams in the Tier 2 tournament we were in last month,” said Barry of Abbotsford. “There were some good teams there definitely.”
Though the midgets aren’t raking in the ‘W’s, the Mustangs organization has three tournament wins under its belt so far this season.
The Bantam A Mustangs went undefeated in Revelstoke Bantam Rep Tournament at the end of October.
The Peewee A Mustangs bounced back from an early loss to win four straight and take gold at International Seafair Icebreaker Rep Tournament in Richmond, B.C., earlier in the month.
Just this past weekend, the Atom Jr. Mustangs defeated the Mat-Su Eagles from Wasilla, Alaska, for gold at the Whitehorse International Atom Hockey Tournament.
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