A pair of uninspired third periods in their opening games took the Peewee Mustangs out of medal contention at the Winfield Rep Tier 3 Tournament over the weekend in B.C.
But the Whitehorse rep team, who went 2-2, started to punch in for the full 60 minutes to finish with a pair of wins.
“We had a few bad bounces, but we were good for the first 40 minutes of the first two games,” said head coach Kirk Gale. “Our third period was tough. I think it just comes from getting an hour and a quarter here (in the Whitehorse minor league) when we get two hours there.
“It’s hard to prepare a team to play 60 minutes when they are really just playing 40 at home.”
The Mustangs finished the round-robin with an 8-3 win over the hosting Winfield Bruins. Whitehorse forward Eric Potvin registered five points with a hat trick, while forward Saul Gale found the back of the net twice. Mustangs forward Jesse Goodman had a goal and assist and teammates Ashton Underhill and Josh Zaccarelli also scored.
Despite the win, the Mustangs were delegated to the sixth-seventh place game in the seven-team tourney.
“We missed out by a quarter of a point trying for fourth and fifth,” said Kirk. “In these small tournaments, you have to get a couple of wins.”
The Mustangs galloped into sixth place in a 4-0 win over the South Delta Storm. Forward Kyron Crosby pocketed two goals and Kyle Bierlmeier and Goodman took care of the rest. Aimery Barrault and Saul Gale had assists.
Goalies Dawson Smith and Quinn Howard shared the shutout, each playing a period and a half.
Whitehorse opened the tournament with a 6-2 loss to the Kelowna Jr. Rockets after finishing the second period down 3-2.
They then fell 7-4 to the Richmond Blues, dropping a 4-3 lead in the third.
“The tournament actually didn’t go too bad,” said Kirk. “It seems like it takes them a game or two to realize they can play with these guys. After that they were fine. They got better as the tournament went on.”
Crosby and Saul scored against the Rockets while defenceman Conner Cozens grabbed two assists. Crosby and Potvin each had two goals against the Blues, Saul had two assists.
Crosby, Potvin, Smith and Saul Gale each received Player of the Game nods during the tournament.
“They performed really well and scored a couple goals,” said Gale. “Dawson played three and a half out of four games, so he stood pretty tall there.”
The Peewee Mustangs captured bronze at Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s International Fall Showdown in Whitehorse early this month.
At their first tournament of the season, the Mustangs went winless at the Seafair International Ice Breaker Rep Tournament – a Tier 2 competition – in Richmond, B.C., in October.
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