Consistency has been an issue for the Atom Junior Mustangs this season.
Luckily for the Whitehorse rep team, they closed out the season with one of their better games.
The Atom Mustangs captured the peewee title with a 6-1 win over Skookum Asphalt at the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s Year End Tournament at the Canada Games Centre on Sunday.
“These guys weren’t sure what team was going to show up. Sometimes, when all the stars align, they play really well, some other times they go through peaks and valleys,” said Mustangs head coach Kirk Gale. “We were off for a week, we didn’t have any ice-time leading up to this, so we didn’t know what to expect. We knew they were capable of beating any of these teams on any given night, but we weren’t sure.”
The Mustangs breezed through the final, but only a couple hours earlier they lost 5-4 to Skookum.
“It was one of those things,” said Gale. “They got on a roll, got confidence, momentum was huge and at that age, they were loving it.”
The Skookum team, which went into the tournament the underdogs, was happy to make the final considering the season they had.
“We had a rough year. I think this was our first couple wins since November (at this tournament),” said Skookum head coach Gord Campbell. “We had a rough year without a goalie for most of it and the kids were fairly despondent. But they try.
“We beat them, so going into this game we knew we had a good chance. There was a couple times where we hit the post when the game was still close.”
Mustangs winger Kyron Crosby scored three goals in the final. Teammates Saul Gale, Josh Zaccarelli and Kyle Bierlmeier each had one. Bierlmeier also had an assist.
“Kyron is a big kid, he’s a strong kid – he doesn’t know his potential,” said Kirk.
The Atom Mustangs, who won the peewee title at last year’s Yukon championships, had goalie Dawson Smith in net for the win in the final.
“Dawson is solid. He’s very dependable back there,” said Kirk. “The kids know they can give up the odd two-on-one or an odd shot and can get away with that.”
Preventing the shutout was Skookum’s Oscar Sawicki, scoring midway through the second period to make it 2-1.
“We came in with really low expectations, but when we won our first game on Saturday morning we thought, ‘OK, we can do this now,’” added Campbell.
Scotia Bank won the peewee division’s bronze with a 5-1 win over Canadian Tire.
Scotia Bank’s Wyatt Peterson had a hat trick – including the game-winner – and teammates Brendan Petolski and Torsten Nordland each put one in the net.
Matt McBride scored for Canadian Tire.
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