The Whitehorse Mustangs produced three wins at the B.C. Provincial Hockey Championships last week. Unfortunately, that was the grand total between the three Whitehorse teams competing.
Each Whitehorse rep team was held to one win at the Tier 3 championships held in various locations across B.C. None of the three made the playoffs.
The Norcope Bantam Mustangs came back with the best record – securing a win and a tie – and the most balanced scores of the three Whitehorse teams.
The bantams went 1-2-1 at the championship in West Kelowna.
Mustangs head coach Martin Lawrie said it was “disappointing in terms of not making it to the playoff round, we definitely had a club strong enough to make it to the playoffs. We dropped that last game to Alberni Valley 5-3 on an empty-net goal, which was a must-win to make it to the playoffs, and I think we out-shot them 39-25. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.
“The result was disappointing, but as far as how the kids played and the effort, definitely not disappointing. It was nice to see how competitive we were.”
The Bantam Mustangs opened with a 3-3 tie against Sunshine Coast, who finished fourth at the championship. Whitehorse got on the board with goals from Ryan Troke and Johnny Elias with two.
The Mustangs fell 8-4 to Terrace, the eventual bronze winner, in Game 2. Whitehorse’s Bryce Anderson had a goal and assist in the game.
The Mustangs bounced back in a 9-0 win over hosts West Kelowna. Jesse McCuaid and Kaine Comin each had two goals and an assist for Whitehorse.
Matthew Cooper, Elias and Joe Stokes scored for the Mustangs in the 5-3 loss to Alberni Valley.
“The other thing that is really encouraging is we have at least nine kids coming back to play bantam again next year from this team, so we likely had the youngest team there,” said Lawrie.
The Peewee A Mustangs finished in the dark. Literally.
Their last game was called when a power outage killed the rink’s lights as Whitehorse trailed 3-2 to the hosting Nelson team with 12 minutes left in regulation. Unable to get the lights back on, Nelson was awarded the win.
“We were losing 3-2, but we were starting to gain a bit of momentum,” said Mustangs head coach Kirk Gale. “It was quite odd. I’ve never had that happen before.”
The Peewee Mustangs finished with a 1-4-0 record.
Whitehorse opened with an 8-3 win over Quesnel, who went winless at the championships. Isaac Williamson had five goals for the Mustangs.
Then Mustangs then lost 7-0 to South Okanagan, who took third, and 5-2 to Vanderhoof.
“We didn’t compete as well as we could and lost that game there,” said Gale. “The next game against Vanderhoof, we should have beat that team, but we again got behind the eight ball and couldn’t get back.”
The Mustangs finished up the tournament with an 8-2 loss to Dawson Creek, who placed fourth, before the truncated game against Nelson.
The Midget A Mustangs went 1-3-0 at the Tier 3 midget championship at 100 Mile House.
They opened with a 4-2 win over Aldergrove before a 6-3 loss to Cranbrook the same day.
Whitehorse then lost 9-1 to Quesnel, who took bronze, and 7-0 to South Okanagan to finish the tournament.
A Midget A Mustangs representative could not be reached by press time.
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