Two third period goals were too little too late for the Peewee Mustangs at Takhini Arena Friday.
In the first of three games in an event deemed Hockey Night in Whitehorse, the Peewee Mustangs managed to get two on the board in the final period, but eventually suffered a 5-2 loss to the Bantam Selects B team.
“We had good goaltending tonight, it gave us a chance to win but we just weren’t getting pucks in the net,” said Mustangs coach Kerry Pettitt. “We played well from front to back, everybody played hard. We had a lot of good scoring opportunities, and just came up against a good goaltender — it made the difference for them.”
Stealing the show was Selects’ Kalin Slough, who racked up three goals and an assist. Slough opened the scoring for the Selects and made it 2-0 in the second with a beautiful spinning backhand shot.
“He and Rowan Huggard complemented each other nicely on the ice,” said Selects coach Brian Banks.
“We played a 1-2-2 system, meaning (we put) the puck deep in their end and one player (goes) in hard on the forecheck and two up high. So we played more of a trap-style game and it was successful today.”
After a goal by Daniel Bunn and Slough’s third, the Mustangs made their move with a pair of goals. With 7:29 to play, Riley Pettitt redirected a pass from Jared Steinbach to score before Cole Morris lifted his own rebound over a sprawled out Selects goalie to score. Selects Colin Kabanak ended the scoring with an empty netter in the final moments.
The contest was originally going to feature a match-up between the Mustangs and the Bantam Selects, but with the latter away in a tournament in Fairbanks, Alaska, the league formed a team with players from the remaining four bantam teams: Bantam Selects B team.
The game was the peewee Mustangs’ first since returning from a tournament in Kamloops, BC, last week, in which they won three out of four games, finishing eighth out of 12 teams. According to Pettitt, tournament play is followed by a period of adjustment.
“When we leave to play a tournament there’s an adjustment because the game is a little different,” said Pettitt. “And we feel there’s always an adjustment game needed for when we come back. Unfortunately, this is our first game since we came back.”
Bantam Mustangs end nine-game skid
Thanks to a stellar performance by their captain Brett Roulston, the Bantam Mustangs broke a nine-game losing streak with an 8-6 win over Castlerock in game two of Hockey Night.
Including an empty netter in the waning seconds of the game, Roulston totaled four goals and an assist in the game.
“He’s got outstanding ability,” said Mustangs coach Jay Glass of Roulston. “He’s going to play somewhere someday if he keeps going at the same pace that he’s on.”
“I don’t know, probably because I was really pumped up,” said Roulston, when asked what gave him a boost in the game. “(Castlerock) scoring on us pretty much got me going.”
After ending the first period even at 3-3, the Mustangs managed to rack up five more goals despite being outshot 20-12 in the second. (This game, like the following game, consisted of two 22-minute periods.)
“I don’t think we had our best game; we sat-back quite a bit,” said Collin Dawe, defenceman for Castlerock.
“When they broke out, they broke out hard. They had a lot of odd-man rushes, so a lot of 2-on-1s and 3-on-1s, and they passed the puck around our end and they finished it off. We couldn’t finish it.”
The two teams had clashed just a few nights earlier, with Castlerock taking it 6-1.
“Because it was Mustangs night, we wanted to put on a good performance,” said Glass. “We didn’t expect to beat them.”
Also scoring for the Mustangs were Isaac Moses, Gage Preece, Tyrell Hope and Tyson Glass, who also took home a pair of assists.
“We’re on a little bit of a slide, so we’re hoping that this can turn the corner for us in the New Year and we can win a couple games,” said the Mustangs coach.
Scorers for Castlerock were Derrick Hynes and Mike O’Conner, as well as Ron and Tanner Kulych, who each scored twice.
Penalties inhibit Mustangs in Muckers’ win
Logging six penalties in the final period of play spelled disaster for the Midget Mustangs as they fell 3-2 to the Terra Firma Muckers in the final game Friday.
“They got into penalty trouble and that’ll sink a team,” said Muckers coach Walt Liley. “They got a little bit undisciplined — maybe their emotions got a hold of them.”
However, according to Mustangs coach Jim Stevens, hot tempers are par for the course in midget hockey.
“It’s true with any midget-aged hockey team,” said Stevens. “The kids are at the stage of their lives where emotions kick in. That’s nothing surprising for midget hockey.
“Our kids are pretty good compared to some midget teams I’ve seen.”
Tied 2-2 with 1:55 left in regulation, Muckers’ Hugo Burgeron took a pass from Steve Israel and let loose a slap shot from the point to get the game winner. Other Muckers scorers were Rene La Pierre in the first and Chris Evans in the second.
“The other team played well, they did what we were trying to get our guys to do: getting shots on the net, driving the net for rebounds,” said Stevens. “Our guys were hanging on to the puck too much.”
Scoring the Mustangs’ goals was Jaxon Glass, netting one in each of the two periods.
“He’s our top scorer,” said Stevens. “We need him to get the puck in the net if we’re going to win hockey games.”
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