Following a brief pause to the schedule, Ogden returns to the Ice Sheet for a Showcase Series vs. the Anaheim Avalanche. Friday night is Military Appreciation Night sponsored by Smitty's Tires and Services and we are honored to welcome all veterans of our military. We also wish a warm welcome to the U.S. Army Recruiting Stations from Clearfield and Ogden, UT.
Game Notes are compiled by the Ogden Mustangs media Director and Broadcaster, Steffen Bell. Catch the Mustangs live during the games via HockeyTV.
Mustangs this Season
The Mustangs come into the weekend with a league record of 7-6-1. They are currently sit at 3rd in the USPHL Mountain Division standings. The Mustangs enter the weekend after back-to-back 3rd period comebacks that resulted in Overtime and Shootout victories over the Utah Outliers.
2020 is the tenth season of Mustangs hockey. Head Coach Kenny Orlando is in his first season. The Mustangs won division championships in 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and finished atop of league standings last year. During the previous eight seasons, the Mustangs have been considered in the top tier of teams even while being members of the WSHL. Although a perennial powerhouse complimented with deep runs in the playoffs each season, Ogden still searching for the ever elusive first post-season title. The Mustangs have established themselves as one of the top producers of NCAA commitments in Tier II Junior hockey with 50+ overall, including Matus Spodniak’s NCAA DI commitment to American International College.
Avalanche this Season
The Avalanche come into this matchup with a record of 2-8-0. They currently sit at 3rd in the USPHL Pacific Division standings. They enter the game after last facing the Pueblo Bulls at the Ice Sheet, losing 9-3. Their two victories have been over the San Diego Sabres.
2020-21 is the ninth season of Anaheim Avalanche hockey. Officially rebranding from Ontario to Anaheim during the offseason. The Avalanche have made the playoffs in every season since missing the postseason in their first year. They have finished 2nd in their division twice, however, never grabbing the top spot. The Avalanche are coached by Rob O’Rourke, who is in his fifth season with the team.
This is the eight season in which these two teams have been members of the same league. They have faced one another just once until last season. In the initial matchup, the Avalanche took a 2-1 OT victory during a showcase in 2016-17. Last season, Ogden won all six games against the Avalanche, outscoring their opponent 35-9. Ogden leads the all-time series 6-0-1.
Players to Watch
For the Avalanche, Charles Riordan, Liam Massie and Nic Abernathy all return for their 3rd season. Riordan currently leads the team in scoring with 8 points. Massie and Abernathy are 2nd and 3rd on the team with 7 and 6 points, respectively. Gabel Longshore is another dangerous and speedy forward for the Avalanche. He is currently tied for 3rd in scoring with Abernathy. The defense is anchored by Angel Puentes. The skillful and smooth skating defenseman helps push the pace for the Avalanche from the backend. Time in net is split amongst five different goalies. Will Simpson and Filip Dobes appear to be the main goalies in net for Anaheim. Both facing well over 100 shots a piece while only surrendering 13 goals each.
For the Mustangs, Jake Meure now leads the Mustangs with 17 points in 11 games. His linemate, Cade Herrera, is right behind him with 16 points in 14 games. Lukas Wascho was one of the hero’s a few weeks ago and is now 3rd in scoring with five goals, 4 assists and 9 points. Tucker Thorstad has been red-hot lately and is currently tied for 3rd in goals with Washco. The defense is perhaps one of the most well-rounded groups in the country. They are led by veteran Christian Phinney. Michael Heller and Deven Boldway have been huge additions after joining Ogden from the NAHL. Their adds have allowed the dangerous Seth Jones to move between defenseman to forward depending on the matchups. Domagoj Troha is the #1 netminder in goal and is tied for 5th in the USPHL for wins. His 335 shots faced are 8th-most in the league. Troha currently boasts a 6-3-1 record, 2.80 GAA, and .916 SV% in 601 minutes, which is also good for 2nd-most in the USPHL.
Mountain Division Standings
Pueblo Bulls – 30 points
Northern Colorado Eagles – 27 points
Ogden Mustangs – 15 points
Provo Riverblades – 7 points
Utah Outliers – 7 points
Overall USPHL Standings
Rockets Hockey Club – 33 points (16-2-1)
Pueblo Bulls – 30 points (15-6)
Metro Jets – 29 points (14-0-1)
Toledo Cherokee – 28 points (14-2)
Philadelphia Hockey Club – 28 points (13-3-0-2)
Northern Colorado Eagles – 27 points (13-3-1)
Minnesota Moose – 26 points (13-3)
This weekend’s Mountain Division matchups
Ogden Mustangs Vs. Anaheim Avalanche
Pueblo Bulls @ Utah Outliers
Provo Riverblades Vs. Anaheim Avalanche
Keys to the Game
The team speed of Ogden has kept them in every contest and also helped them run away with some. They will look to create offense off of their speed and ability to accelerate through the neutral zone. On defense, the backcheck and support from all five players on the ice should take pressure off of the goaltending and keep the opponents on their heels.
Play Your Game
The youthfulness of this team is what keeps everyone so engaged. Just as things don’t seem to be going their way, one bounce is all it takes before the game changes. This was especially key for the Mustangs when facing the Outliers several weeks ago. If they stick to their systems, stay focused, and play with control, they will be just fine.
#OMHockey | @Ogdenmustangs
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#OMHockey | @Ogdenmustangs