Opening the season with three decisive wins is a feat at any level of hockey.
That’s what the Whitehorse peewee Mustangs did at the Abbotsford Icebreaker Peewee Tournament in BC over the long weekend in Abbotsford, BC.
Playing in Tier 3, the Mustangs outscored the competition 25-3 in their first three round-robin games. Unfortunately, the following two games didn’t go as hoped.
“We were generally happy,” said Mustangs head coach Martin Lawrie. “We have tapes of the games to go over and take a look at what the kids have done.
“Most of the clubs there realized early on we were the team to beat. But in the end we probably beat ourselves, in that semifinal game.”
In their fourth round-robin game, the Mustangs had everything going for them but a sizable lead. Playing the Seattle Admirals, a junior AA squad from Washington State, the Mustangs outshot the Admirals 41-9, taking a 2-1 lead on goals from Kaine Comin and assistant captain Lukas Jirousek.
However, the game ended in a tie when the Admirals scored with just four seconds left in regulation.
“That was a game we probably deserved to win,” said Lawrie. “They tied it on their only shot in the third period.”
Their next game, in the semifinal, the Mustangs lost 7-2 to the North Shore Winter Hawks. Scoring for the Mustangs were assistant captain Gavin Lawrie and Riley Smoler.
“The play was relatively even, we just ran into a pretty good goalie and I think the kids were starting to squeeze their sticks a bit and tightened up,” said Martin Lawrie. “We just couldn’t score.”
The Mustangs opened the tournament against the Abbotsford Hawks, winning 5-2 and registering over 50 shots on net. Doing the most damage was Logan Morris with one goal and three assists. Also scoring were Jirousek, Bryce Anderson, Smoler and captain Matthew Butler.
“It’s one of the teams we can expect to see at provincials (in March),” said Martin Lawrie.
The Mustangs then creamed the Ridge Meadow Rufflers 13-0. Accumulating the most points in the thrashing were Jirousek with four goals and three assists, while Logan Morris had two goals three assists and Jesse McQuaig three goal and one assists.
In net for the Mustangs’ first shutout of the season was goalie Ethan Vanderklay.
Carrying their momentum into their third game, the Mustangs then rolled over the Sunshine Coast Blues 7-1. In the game Comin scored twice while Gavin Lawrie and McQuaig both produced a goal and assist.
“The guys we expected to do well, for the most part, performed,” said Martin Lawrie. “We have pretty strong forwards and we’re pretty happy with their play.
“We have some young defencemen and we’re happy with their progression, but they’re definitely on a learning curve. A couple of them are first-year peewees and a couple are first-year defencemen. They did very well.
“Probably our top defenceman would be Matthew Butler through the tournament.
“Kaine Comin played some very good hockey for us. Jesse McQuaig, Lukas Jirousek and Gavin Lawrie – that line played very well for us. Logan Morris as well, he played very strong.”
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