Competing in tier two of the Abbotsford Western Bantam Classic last weekend, the Mic Mac Bantam Mustangs had a couple strong games but eventually came home with a winless 0-4 record.
“We competed but our results weren’t as positive as we had hoped,” said Mustangs coach Dave Pearson. “Efforts were real good, but we were a little out of the competitive field. It takes a little while to gear up because we don’t have too many games.”
Although their first game, against the Mission Stars from BC—who eventually finished second in the tier—was the closest they played, Pearson feels they had a slow start and the loss set the tone for the remainder of the tournament.
“One of the problems teams from Whitehorse have is when they go out to tournaments they tend to start slowly because we’re not as experienced as other teams in tournament play,” said Pearson. “Game 1 is the most important game of the tournament. If we had won that game, I think our results would have been quite different.”
Down 4-2 coming into the third, midway through the period, defenceman Isaac Moses took a hard hit but got off a pass to Brett Roulston who then found Gibson Pearson who, in turn, found the back of the Stars’ net. The same line tied the game minutes later, giving Pearson his fourth point of the game.
However, with five minutes left the Stars scored the leadoff goal, eventually taking the game 5-4.
“We came out with lots of energy and lots of play and we really did well,” said Pearson. “The kids showed a lot of resiliency, but they’re still real young—we’ve got a young team—they worked out how to win those hockey games when they need to.”
In their second game against the eventual winners of the tier, the North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks, Mustang’s Matthew McCarthy scored a power play goal with eight minutes left in the game, but it was too little too late as his team fell 4-1. Mustangs’ Mitch Read and Mike Arnold got the assists.
The Mustangs finished off the tournament Saturday with a pair of losses, losing 8-1 to the Semiahmoo Ravens and 4-1 against Pursuit of Excellence from Kelowna, BC. Forward Scott Merideth scored the Mustangs’ lone goal in the former and Roulston scored in the latter.
“Two of our main players weren’t allowed to travel with the team because of injury and personal reasons,” said Pearson. “It kind of left us short-handed.
“What really happened is that we just wore out. For contact we need to have our full squad with us and I think that was the biggest determining factor in the results.
“The kids played well, it’s just when you’re short two guys it’s tougher to compete at that level.”
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