On the same day Team Canada was rolling over Switzerland in the semifinals of the IIHF World Juniors, a local hockey rink was witness to a much closer contest.
The bantam A Mustangs dropped a one-goal lead but avoided the loss with a 2-2 tie against Narrow Gauge in rec league, B Division action Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
Being the first game back since the holiday break, it was a chance for both teams to clear the cobwebs and burn off some Christmas turkey.
“We haven’t even practiced yet; we had one practice over the Christmas break, but it was more of a fun practice because there was a lot of guys out of town,” said Mustangs head coach Jay Glass. “This was our
first time together in a while. So it was nice the way it turned out.
“We are quite happy with the way our guys played, there was a lot of energy. We expected to be a little sloppy and we were, but overall we were quite pleased.”
Down a goal for most of the first, Narrow Gauge ended the period with two quick goals, with Alex Vautour scoring on a wrist shot off the faceoff and Fletcher DeGraff finding the back of the net on a 2-on-1 rush
with 25 seconds left in the period.
“So there were two mental breakdowns, but they’re a good team so they make us pay,” said Glass. “Considering the Christmas break, it was pretty intense out there.”
“I guess they slowed down and we shook off all the beer from the weekend,” said Vautour. “They messed up a few plays and we capitalized a bit.”
The Mustang’s tying goal came off the stick of Jared Steinbach with 5:44 to play, knocking in a rebound from the side of the net. The goal was not all too different from the team’s opener, put in by captain
Matthew McCarthy five minutes into the game.
Both Mustangs goals came on the power play.
“Our guys can’t keep up so they were hauling them down, I guess,” said Vautour.
“Those guys have made huge improvements since the start of the season,” added Vautour. “Their playmaking has come up, their passing is crisper and they’re a lot quicker. They’ll whup our butts by the end of
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org