The Peewee A Mustangs had no fire in their bellies over the weekend.
The Whitehorse rep team was held to one win in four games at the Winfield and District Minor Hockey Association peewee tournament in Winfield, B.C., just outside of Kelowna.
The Mustangs lacked pep at the Tier 2/3 split tournament, said head coach Kirk Gale.
They opened with a 5-1 loss to the North Okanagan Knights.
“We flew in Thursday and that was at 7:30 Friday morning,” said Gale. “It was a game we just weren’t ready to play. The kids were slow, lethargic. The first period and a half they were skating in a fog.”
The Mustangs kept the Knights scoreless in the third period, but the damage was already done. Brett Walchuck scored to avoid the shutout and was named the Mustangs’ game MVP.
Whitehorse’s one win was a 4-3 squeaker over the North Vancouver Thunderbirds on Saturday.
“The kids played a lot better in this game,” said Gale. “They had their legs, were moving the puck, everything seemed to be working well.”
The Mustangs took the game with goals from Kyron Crosby, Oscar Sawicki, Eric Potvin and Kyle Bierlmeier. Oscar Burgess was named the Mustangs’ game MVP.
Whitehorse began the third period up 4-1 and held on for the win.
“They pulled their goaltender and there was a lot of commotion around the net, but we ended up keeping the puck out of our net,” said Gale.
Earlier in the day the Mustangs fell 4-2 to the Nelson Leafs. The Leafs will host the Tier 3 B.C. Hockey Championships that the Mustangs will compete at in March.
“So I thought this was a pretty important game for us to see where we fit for those provincials,” said Gale.
Mustangs goalie Dawson Smith faced 40 shots in the game. Isaac Williamson scored both Whitehorse goals and was given the MVP nod.
“It was a close game and could have gone either way,” said Gale.
Whitehorse finished with a 6-2 loss to the Abbotsford Hawks. The Mustangs returned to their somnolent play in the final game, said Gale.
“We went back to skating in a fog. No sense of urgency. We couldn’t get the puck out of our own zone and couldn’t establish a forecheck, so it was a pretty tough game.”
Wyatt Peterson and Williamson scored for the Mustangs and goalie Smith, who “kept us in it,” was named his team’s game MVP.
“We learned a couple things about our team,” said Gale. “They need to better prepare to show they are committed to playing every shift.”
In the Peewee Mustangs’ first tournament of the season, the team rallied from an opening loss to win four straight and claim gold at the International Seafair Icebreaker Rep Tournament in Richmond, B.C., at the start of October. They took gold with a 7-4 win over the South Delta Storm.
“In the tournament before we had Dylan Cozens and Bryce Anderson with us and those guys scored a lot of goals, so we were able to make a pile of mistakes and recover from it,” said Gale.
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