The Peewee B Mustangs just don’t give up.
Their persistence served them well over the weekend in Alberta.
The Whitehorse rep team twice fought back from losing situations en route to a silver at the Wetaskiwin Peewee Challenge, a Tier 4 tournament an hour south of Edmonton.
Not bad for a team that had only three games under their belt before leaving on the road trip.
“I’m very happy with the trip,” said Mustangs head coach Ryan Hennings. “These boys only played three games as a group prior to going to this tournament and we were playing teams from Alberta that play two games a week and have practices … they’ve played 20 games this season, in pressure games, in tournaments every second weekend.”
Down 2-0 against Wainwright STS Storage Saturday morning, the Mustangs got on the board with a goal from defenceman Josh Kearney.
In the final minute of play, with the goalie pulled, Whitehorse tied the game on a goal from winger Adam Hennings during a mad scramble in front of the Wainwright net, sending the Whitehorse fans into a frenzy.
“It felt like a win for us, it felt like a loss for them,” said Ryan. “It was a battle right down to the end.”
Later in the day the Mustangs found themselves down 3-2 at the start of the third period against the Okotoks Oilers. Not only did Whitehorse take the lead, the team piled seven goals in the Oilers’ net.
Mustangs Keegan Bevilacqua, Kyle Bierlmeier and Adam Hennings each had two goals in the game. Joshua Zaccarelli, Brandon Petelski and Jakob Ekholm each contributed individual goals.
“We got contributions from all our lines and all our players,” said Hennings. “We got on a roll, put the puck in the net, and kept on rolling.”
The Mustangs opened the tournament with a 6-4 win over home team Wetaskiwin Black Hawks with Whitehorse snapping the tie on a pair of third period goals. Bierlmeier had two goals in the game and winger Joseph Coyne was named Whitehorse’s Player of the Game.
“The kids were nervous of course,” said Ryan. “It was their first tournament and the pressure was on. They were all full of excitement.
“The kids were totally ecstatic (with the win),” he added. “We started off on a real good note and that gave the kids some confidence to play. They knew they could play with these teams in Alberta. We started moving forward and gaining some momentum.”
The Mustangs fell 2-0 in a rematch against Wainwright in the gold medal game on Sunday. Whitehorse sent two pucks off the crossbar and one off the post in the third period but just couldn’t get one through.
“It was just one of those games where we just couldn’t get a break,” said Ryan. “The kids never gave up the whole weekend, battled hard, and truly deserved that silver medal.”
Mustangs teams, including the Peewee Bs, will be busy this weekend for Hockey Day in Whitehorse and Mustangs Night.
The Peewee B Mustangs will host the Juneau Capitals for a four-game series and the Norcope Bantam Mustangs will play four games against the visiting Port Alberni Bulldogs.
The weekend will also feature league games and an interesting matchup between the Peewee A Mustangs and the Female Mustangs on Saturday.
The action kicks off with a Timbits game between Whitehorse teams the Wild and the Flames Friday at 4:45 p.m. at Takhini Arena.
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