The Yukon Midget Mustangs and the Yellowknife Wolfpack collected matching 1-1-1 records and a whole lot of penalty minutes over the weekend.
The two U-18 rep teams both finished with a win, a loss and a tie in a heated three-game series in Yellowknife, N.W.T.
It was an instance of “misguided testosterone,” said Mustangs head coach Kerry Pettitt.
The fact the series was the Midget Mustangs’ first road trip of the season might have had something to do with it, he added.
“That could be part of why the emotion got out of hand is the boys haven’t played enough of that brand of hockey,” said Pettitt. “But better here in a (series) like this than at provincials. So we’re hoping the way they responded after we had a talk with them after the second game, they’ll take all that into provincials … Control their emotions and keep an even keel.”
The two northern teams tied 1-1 in the first game with Mustangs forward Mathew Cooper logging a power-play goal.
The Yukon team then fell 5-0 in the second game that saw both teams dealt 10 penalties each.
“They all played hard, wanted to win. Talking to the coach of the other team, it was much the same, his team lost focus,” said Pettitt. “We obviously lost it more. We didn’t pay attention in our end very well. We had a lot of mistakes and they scored on them.
“The other two games were close because both teams played responsibly.”
The Mustangs bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Wolfpack to end the series. Yukon forward Matthew Braga sniped two power-play goals and forward Ryan Troke also scored. Cooper helped with two assists and teammates Matthew Butler and Caleb Marsh also notched assists. Mustangs goalie Roy Sinclair-Eckert was in net for the win.
The road trip to Yellowknife was the last Outside competition the Mustangs will face before competing at the B.C. Hockey Championships in the Sunshine Coast, March 13-17.
Pettitt and Wolfpack head coach Mike Aumond figured both teams would benefit before hitting the road.
“His team was planning a trip into Alberta, so we both agreed that it would be a perfect time for a tune-up. We get to test our team structure and the special teams to see how we’re doing,” said Pettitt.
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