Unlike their brethren in the younger divisions over the weekend, the midget Mustangs did not start off their season with a check in the win column.
In the season opener for both teams, Yukon Appliance took off in the second period with four unanswered goals, eventually beating the Mustangs 6-1 in rec league, Division A hockey at Takhini Arena on Monday.
Damaging the Mustangs the most was Appliance’s Spencer Tomlin, scoring the hat trick.
“He’s a heck of a player,” said Yukon Appliance left-winger Curtis Goodman.
“He’s one of the younger players on the team - we have a young line and an old line on the team and the young line did well tonight.
“We have five young skaters, which is good and helps out the team, especially playing against these young guys.”
Also having three-point games were Appliances’ Aaron Pettitt with three assists and Adam Lightfoot with two assists and a goal.
“Some of the kids were nervous and were squeezing the sticks, but (Yukon Appliance) is a pretty good team and they’ve improved from last year,” said Mustangs head coach Jim Stephens. “When they had chances they buried theirs - we didn’t bury ours and that’s probably experience versus youth.
“We played a pretty solid game; we just had a few breakdowns.”
Special teams marked missed opportunity for the Mustangs, going 0-5 on the power play and failing to register a shot during one minute, eight seconds of a two-man advantage in the first period.
“Our five-on-three wasn’t very good so we’re going to have to work on that,” said Stephens. “We really haven’t done any practice on our power play or special teams.
“We have a few new players and we have to go through some of the basics.”
Erasing Appliance goalie Brian Curry’s chance at a shutout was Mustangs centre Trevor Hanna, on a wristshot from the left wing from 20 feet out, assisted by Travis Rivest and making it 2-1 in the first.
“He’s our most skilled forward,” said Stephens of Hanna. “He could have played down in Fort St. John this year but decided to come back to Whitehorse and play here, so we’re quite happy.
“He’s fun to watch; he’s a real heart-and-soul player.”
The majority of the midget Mustangs team will be representing the Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games in March. However, a separate tryout is scheduled for Team Yukon in January, so no positions are guaranteed for players.
“It’s Team Yukon, so we have to have a separate tryout for the Arctics,” said Stephens.
“There’s a midget A and a midget B (Mustangs) team this year, so theoretically there could be a couple kids moved. Some of the guys on the B team have really picked up their game.”
The midget Mustangs’ next game is against Boston Pizza/Matco Thursday evening at the Canada Games Centre.
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