The Bantam A Mustangs didn’t make the playoffs at the Grizzlys Bantam AA Tournament over the weekend in Olds, Alberta. But the Whitehorse rep team isn’t hanging their heads over it.
The Mustangs had a tough draw in the round-robin, but managed to pull off a win against the eventual third-place finishing team in the tournament of 20.
“We went 1-3, which doesn’t sound that great, but we’re fairly happy with that,” said Mustangs head coach Barry Blisner. “We ended up playing all the Edmonton and Calgary teams in our round-robin … Going in we knew we’d have a tough row to hoe, but in the end all our games were good games. I think we played really well considering it was our first games of the year in terms of playing other bantam-age teams – and it was contact (hockey).”
The Mustangs took a 3-2 win over third-place’s Edmonton Brick late Saturday night.
Down 2-0 going into the third period, the Mustangs tied the game on goals from forwards Nick Dobush and Levi Johnson. Mustangs forward Chance Goodman then poked the puck in during a scramble in front of the Brick net with two minutes left in regulation.
“After we got the first period out of the way the kids seemed to clear their heads and get into it,” said Blisner. “Josh Tetlichi was in net and he played really well.”
“Their loss to us cost them (Edmonton) a spot in the finals,” he added.
Whitehorse opened the tournament with a 5-3 loss to Edmonton’s Canadian Athletic Club. The Mustangs started strong, taking a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from forward Gavin Lawrie. After dropping the lead and falling behind 3-2, Mustangs forward Riley Smoler tied the game. Edmonton then scored two in the third period, including an empty-netter.
“They were a strong team and they chipped away at it and got it to 3-3,” said Blisner. “We just couldn’t beat their goalie in the third.”
The Mustangs then were shutout 4-0 by the Calgary Rangers, who went on to take first place. All of the Rangers’ goals came on the power play.
“Devon Troke, in net, had a strong game,” said Blisner. “We had quite a few penalties in that game – it was a physical game – and Devon played quite well.”
Whitehorse had another comeback attempt that came up short to end the tournament. After going down 2-0 to the Beaumont Braves, the Mustangs fought back to make it 3-3 before losing in a shootout.
Scoring for the Mustangs were forwards Spencer Lassard, Sam Logan and Johnson. Defencemen Caleb Marsh and Jack Blisner both had two assists.
The Bantam A Mustangs, who are 3-2-1 in Whitehorse’s midget rec league, will be back on the road in late November, heading to Winfield, B.C. Nov. 23 to 25.
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