The Whitehorse Peewee Mustangs hit the ground running over the weekend.
The Tier 3 rep hockey team opened the season playing Tier 2 in the 13th annual Seafair International Ice Breaker Rep Tournament in Richmond, B.C.
The Mustangs produced a pair of wins to place fourth out of eight teams. Last year’s Peewee Mustangs team went winless at the same tournament (as did the Atom Mustangs).
“Being Tier 3 going into a Tier 2 tournament, you’re not sure what to expect,” said Mustangs head coach Trevor Matthews. “You know you’re going to meet some really, really strong teams. But we were going with the expectation that we could compete with them and we definitely did.
“We ran into one tough team that was pretty strong.”
The Mustangs went 2-1 in the round robin. Following a 2-0 loss to the Comox Valley Chiefs on Friday, Whitehorse downed the Portland Junior Winterhawks 5-3 on Saturday. Forward Ashton Underhill scored twice and Mustangs teammates Hugo Burgess, Errol Eckholm and Landon Marsh also found the back of the net.
The Mustangs then beat the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies 2-1 on Sunday. Burgess and fellow forward Ty Beacon scored.
Whitehorse started the playoffs with a 7-2 loss to Campbell River on Monday. Marsh and Joey Schultz put the Mustangs on the board.
“The first four games were all good, hard-battle games,” said Matthews. “Through to the fourth game the kids progressed; you could see them getting better each game.”
The Mustangs capped the tournament with a rematch against Comox Monday afternoon. The Chiefs scored five unanswered goals in the third period to take a 9-4 win.
“I think the boys were just tired,” said Matthews. “We ran out of steam in the third.”
Underhill, Marsh, Schultz and Orion Cruikshank scored against the Chiefs.
Mustangs goalies Joshua Wallness and Mason Driscoll each picked up a win in Richmond.
“Going forward this year, we’ll try to hit a couple more Tier 2 tournaments to keep pushing the boys,” added Matthews.
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