Seven Whitehorse Mustangs squads competed at the B.C. Hockey Provincial Championships last week and a fourth-place finish was the best result for the Whitehorse representative teams.
The Peewee A Mustangs went 3-2-1 to snag fourth at the Tier 3 tournament in Quesnel, B.C.
“We played three games in a 24-hour period to wind (down) the tournament,” said co-head coach Martin Lawrie. “And we ended up with four or five kids sick going into the Whistler game – coming down with the flu.
“That being said, they played well.”
After tying Dawson Creek Canucks 3-3 to open the championships, the Mustangs lost 4-1 to the Canucks in the bronze-medal game. Scoring for Whitehorse was forward Kaine Comin.
“By then the flus and colds had set in pretty solidly. They were pretty tired,” said Lawrie. “I think we were one of the teams to beat there. A number of people commented that the Whistler game was really the gold medal game.”
The Mustangs missed out playing for gold with a 4-1 loss to Whistler, who went on to win gold. Finding the back of Whistler’s net was forward Jesse McQuaig.
Whitehorse’s wins were 7-2 over the Kelowna Junior Rockets, 5-1 over the Creston Chiefs and 5-4 over the Nelson Leafs, after scoring two goals in the final eight minutes to come from behind.
Leading the charge for the Mustangs in Quesnel was Lukas Jirousek with nine points while McQuaig had eight. Comin had three goals and five assists and Matthew Braga had one goal and four assists.
“We went down expecting to reach the final and having a legitimate opportunity to win,” said Lawrie. “The boys were pretty disappointed we didn’t. It’s just a really difficult tournament to win and everything has to fall in place.”
Cinderwood Mustangs inches off the mark
If statistics were kept for shots off the post at the B.C. championships, the Cinderwood Midget A Mustangs would probably be at the top of the list.
“I’ve never seen a tournament where a team has been that unlucky,” said head coach Jay Glass. “I think they outplayed all five teams in all five games.
“We’re not disappointed with the performance, we’re disappointed in the way the result ended up.
“I think we led the tournament in posts hit. We probably hit a dozen posts at key times.”
After five games, going 2-2-1, the Mustangs were a point from advancing to the semifinal. They had to settle with sixth overall out of 11 teams at the Tier 3 championships in Osoyoos, B.C.
The midgets opened with a 3-2 loss to Kaslo/Nelson. Scoring for Whitehorse were Graeme Close and Wyatt Gale, both assisted by Mike Arnold.
“We were hitting posts and out-chancing that team, we just couldn’t get it going,” said Glass. “We came back to 3-2 and had a bunch of chances to tie the game – we just couldn’t do it.
“We got behind the eight-ball after that loss to Nelson and we were never able to recover.”
Following a 3-1 win over South Okanagan – with Whitehorse goalie Nigel Sinclair-Eckert getting the win with 25 saves – the Mustangs took a 2-2 tie against Kerry Park. Kerry Park went on to take the bronze. Mustangs had the winning goal called back by the ref in the third period.
“It cost us and it was really disappointing,” said Glass. “If we won that game we would probably have been in the semifinal.”
After a 5-1 loss to Quesnel, the Mustangs finished the championships with a 7-0 shutout over Abbotsford. Mustangs goalie Patrick Soprovich got the shutout with 12 saves.
Arnold and Tyler Wiens led the team in points, each with eight. Captain Mike Hare and Gale had six points apiece. Centre Riley Pettitt had two goals and three assists.
Sixteen members of the Cinderwood Mustangs were on the Yukon’s gold medal winning team at the Arctic Winter Games a few weeks ago.
“Maybe we were a little bit emotionally drained after that,” said Glass, who coached that team as well. “It was definitely a quick turnaround, but I don’t want to make excuses.
“I think the guys tried real hard and deserved a better fate down there.”
Peewee B Mustangs down home team
The Peewee B Mustangs squashed the hopes of the hometown crowd at the Tier 4 peewee championships in Fort Nelson, B.C.
The Mustangs defeated Fort Nelson 5-2 for their only win. They finished with a 1-4-0 record to tie for fifth out of six teams.
Scoring for Whitehorse in the one win were Ethan LaVallee with two, Jacob Newkirk, Jedrek Dendys and Brendan Gairdner. Producing assists were Wyatt Peterson, Cameron Saunders, Lavalle and Newkirk.
Kindervader, Dendys and Newkirk each finished the championships with four points.
The Peewee B Mustangs also took a narrow 4-2 loss to Langley, the silver medal winners.
Bantams held to one win
The Bantam A Mustangs went 1-4-0 at the Tier 3 bantam championships in Burnaby.
But in addition to winning the Fair Play Award, the Mustangs gave the eventual gold medal winning team a run for their money.
Whitehorse went up 4-1 before slipping to a 6-5 loss to gold-winning Quesnel. In the game Mustang Levi Johnson had two goals and one assist, Dylan McQuaig had two goals and Kole Comin two assists. Ben McClelland and Jack Blisner each had an assist.
The Mustangs’ win was a 7-3 triumph over the Burnaby Winter Club. Whitehorse’s Alex Hanson with a hat trick and an assist. Comin and Kadin Kormendy both produced one goal and one assist. Chance Goodman and McQuaig both contributed a goal. Mustangs goalie Devon Troke got the win.
Female Mustangs out-shot in Salmon Arm
In their first time playing the B.C. provincials as a part of the Mustangs organization, the Female Midget Mustangs went 0-6-0 in Salmon Arm, B.C.
Mustang goalies, Maya Oakley and Mikaela Ponsioen, had a lot on their plate. In two games the Whitehorse goalies faced twice as many shots as their counterparts at the other end of the rink. In a 10-1 loss to Kelowna, the Mustangs were out-shot 53-23.
However, their closest game was a 7-4 loss to the hosting Salmon Arm team, who went on to win bronze.
Leading the Mustangs in points was Sierra Oakley with one goal and three assists. Adrianne Dewhurst had two goals and an assist. Lynsey Keaton had one goal and two assists. Linsey Eby assisted two goals.
Ten players from the Female Mustangs were on the Yukon’s bronze winning team at the Arctic Winter Games a few weeks ago in Whitehorse.
Midget Bs winless in five
The Midget B Mustangs went 0-5-0 in the Tier 4 bantam championships in Nakusp, B.C.
The Mustangs’ closest loss was in a 7-5 effort against Fort St James, the silver medal winner.
Whitehorse’s Austin Smith and Matt Pollard both had three goals at the tournament.
Bantam Bs go 0-3
The Bantam B Mustangs took in the Fair Play Award, but ended with a 0-3-0 at the Tier 4 championships in Vanderhoof, B.C., last week.
Their closest game was a 4-1 loss to Juan de Fuca, the bronze medal winning team.
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