The Whitehorse Mustangs had a weekend good enough to be bronzed. Actually, it kind of was.
Atom and peewee teams from the Whitehorse rep hockey club collected bronze medals at the Sunshine Coast Hockey Tournament in Gibsons, B.C.
Both won bronze in one-goal games.
The Atom Mustangs downed the North Vancouver Storm 3-2 in the bronze game with Landon Marsh scoring the game-winner.
The Storm defeated the Mustangs 4-2 earlier in the tournament.
“The bronze game was a comeback in the sense that that team handed them a loss earlier,” said Mustangs coach Carl Burgess. “It was a nail-biter – pulled goalies and everything.”
The Atom Mustangs were placed in the bronze game following a three-way tie for second place in round-robin, and were excluded from the gold medal game based on goals for and against.
The Mustangs opened with a 5-2 win over the West Vancouver Thunder with a game-winner from Joey Schultz.
After the round-robin loss to North Vancouver, the Mustangs were shutout 6-0 to the Sunshine Coast Blues, who went on to win the tournament.
“They couldn’t put the puck in the net and the wheels fell off,” said Burgess.
The Mustangs wrapped up the round-robin with a 2-0 win over the Seafair Islanders, who claimed silver at the tourney.
Whitehorse’s goalies Naoise Dempsey and Aiden Power shared the shutout while Ashton Underhill had a two-point game with a goal and assist.
“It was fantastic, it was their first engagement in quite some time,” said Burgess. “It’s always harder for the goalies in those environments and they stepped up huge. They did bag a shutout at one point.
“They were really even matches and all three lines contributed. I haven’t seen an even team effort like that in quite a while.”
The Peewee Mustangs claimed bronze in overtime on Sunday, in a 2-1 win over the West Vancouver Avalanche.
The Avalanche forced overtime with 16 seconds left in regulation, but Player of the Games Kyle Schwantz scored a power play goal for the hardware.
Whitehorse’s Isaac Williamson scored the first goal and Saul Gale, Eric Potvin and Liam Hudson each had assists in the game.
The Peewee Mustangs went 3-2-1 over the weekend counting an exhibition game on Monday.
“The kids battled,” said Peewee Mustangs head coach Kirk Gale. “Our goaltending was really good between Dawson Smith and Glenn Howard. They kept us in every game.
“So we were able to weather the storm in our own zone.”
The Mustangs posted two ties before penciling a checkmark in the win column.
Whitehorse tied the Semiahmoo Ravens 1-1 with a shorthanded, unassisted goal from Kyron Crosby, and the West Vancouver Thunder 1-1 with a goal from Williamson, assisted by Oscar Burgess and Kyle Bierlmeier.
The Mustangs downed the North Vancouver Avalanche 2-0 on goals from Williamson and Saul Gale, each assisting each other’s goals. Potvin also logged an assist and goalie Smith was named Player of the Game.
Whitehorse was shutout 2-0 to the Sunshine Coast Blues in the semifinal.
“I thought they had a pretty good tournament,” said Kirk Gale. “They came out in the first game pretty good – I thought it was a decent pace.
“We got out-shot in a couple of the games, not creating enough scoring chances, but that’s because we spent a bit too much time in our own zone. It’s hard to create offence if you’re trying to get the puck out of your zone most of your shifts.”
Before heading home, the Mustangs downed the North Vancouver Storm 5-3 in an exhibition game. Whitehorse’s Josh Austin had two goals.
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