The Whitehorse Atom Mustangs development team poses after winning silver at the Squamish MHA Atom Family Day Tournament on Feb. 12. (Submitted)

Whitehorse Mustangs bring back silver from Squamish

‘They played together as a team, worked hard and were rewarded for it’

The Whitehorse Atom Mustangs finished second in the Squamish MHA Atom Family Day tournament that was held Feb. 8 to 12.

Made up of players within the Whitehorse atom development program, the Mustangs had a slightly different mix of players than the team’s previous tournament outing to Revelstoke in December.

“I’m really proud of the kids,” said coach Kurt Neunherz. “It was a great year and they worked really hard through that tournament. They deserved that second place.”

As is often the case, the team was not a pretournament favourite.

“We were a little bit of an underdog going down,” said Neunherz. “There were some big-name teams we were going up against.”

The team opened the weekend with a 4-3 victory against the Mission Stars on Feb. 9.

A 6-4 win against the Surrey Thunder the morning of Feb. 10 and a 7-0 win against the Kamloops Jr. Blazers kept the momentum rolling.

Against the Semiahmoo Ravens on Feb. 11, the Mustangs picked up a 4-2 win.

The final day started early with a 7 a.m. game on Feb. 12 going to a shootout where Whitehorse defeated the hometown Squamish Eagles 2-1.

In the final game that afternoon, the Mustangs win-streak came to an end with a 4-1 loss to the Oceanside Generals.

“The kids played great. Right from the beginning they came out hard in all the games,” said Neunherz. “They played together as a team, worked hard and were rewarded for it.”

While he said second place was a great result, Neunherz acknowledged silver can be the toughest medal to win.

“There were mixed emotions for sure. There were kids that were upset and there were kids that were happy and excited,” said Neunherz. “We just kept reiterating that … second place is a great achievement for our team and for our program.”

The atom development program operates in addition to the regular house league schedule, and Neunherz said it’s always a challenge to balance the two.

“There is a learning curve to learn how to incorporate a program into atom house hockey,” said Neunherz. “But overall, I think you could really see an improvement in their skills, both individually and as team players. The kids had a fun season and it was exciting to coach them all year.”

On top of the house league schedule, players in the atom development program hit the ice together once a week for practices and exhibition games against peewee teams.

The program capped their season with an inter-squad game over the weekend, as the atom house finals are in early March.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Volunteer firefighter dead after ambulance rolls into highway ditch near Haines Junction

The Yukon Coroner’s Service has identified the deceased as 19-year-old Elizabeth Boyd.

Colleagues remember Yukon hydrologist Rick Janowicz

The territory’s only hydrologist died May 23. A celebration of life is scheduled for June 21

Yukon contractors start to feel the pinch of Canada-U.S tariff spat

‘I think it’s absurd that we have tariffs because of national security…. It’s ridiculous’

Liard First Nation launches Watson Lake shuttle service

‘We think it has a lot of potential’

Whitehorse man sentenced to house arrest after threatening coworker with axe

Ram Naresh Prasad pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and uttering death threats

Chefs showcase Indigenous cuisine in B.C.

On top of leading a kitchen in the province, owner travels around Canada to introduce his cuisine

Polarettes set to debut new equipment at Midnight Sun Invitational

‘We’ve really never had an opportunity to compete on home soil before with other clubs’

Claims, costs increase for Yukon workers’ compensation system

Board says it still has more money than it needs to cover liabilities

Whitehorse slo-pitch season starts with tournament

‘When everyone is out at the fields and there are crowds, people enjoy it a lot more’

The Dawson Daily News comes back to life

The life and times of the Klondike’s longest-lasting newspaper

Whitehorse needs to do a better job keeping bears away from trash

The City of Whitehorse has has repeatedly ignored expert advice to deal with the problem

Victim in alleged Whitehorse hit-and-run sues taxi driver, Premier Cabs

Vincent Charlie alleges that he continues to suffer from the impacts of the Feb. 8 crash

Most Read