The Ogden Mustangs return to the Ice Sheet to host the Bellingham Blazers for the first time in franchise history and just the second series all-time between the division foes.
Game Notes are compiled by the Ogden Mustangs broadcasting and media Director, Steffen Bell. Catch the Mustangs live during the games via Black Dog Hockey.
Mustangs this Season
The Mustangs come into the weekend with a record of 35-3-1-1. They are currently 2nd in the WSHL with 108 points, trailing only the El Paso Rhinos by three points. This series against Bellingham is the first of three-consecutive series at home before the start of the Northwest Division playoffs in mid-March. Ogden is currently riding an eight-game winning streak after previously sweeping the Blazers while on the road two weeks ago. The Mustangs are averaging 7.025 goals-per-game (1st) while also surrendering just 1.55 goals per game (1st).
2019 is the ninth season of Mustangs hockey. Head Coach Jake Laime is in his eighth season. The Mustangs won division championships in 2014, 2015, 2018, and last season in 2019. Total points earned and team winning percentage increased each of the first six seasons. For the past seven seasons, the Mustangs have been considered in the top tier of teams in the WSHL, with deep runs in the playoffs each season, but are still looking for their first league title. The Mustangs have established themselves as the top producer of NCAA commitments in the WSHL. They had nine players commit from last season’s roster and have had 40+ overall, including Matus Spodniak’s NCAA DI commitment to American International College.
Blazers this Season
The Blazers come into the weekend with a record of 12-20-1-2. Bellingham is coming off consecutive OT games against Southern Oregon, winning the first before losing the Sunday game in a shootout. They are currently 1-6-1-1 since the start of the new year being swept by both Utah and Ogden. In a very interesting stat, Bellingham is 1-13-1 at home and 11-7-1 on the road. Their road record is good for 2nd in the Northwest Division.
2019-20 is the fourth season of Bellingham Blazers hockey in the WSHL. They are currently coached by Colten Teubert who is in his first season since retiring from playing professional hockey in the NHL and DEL. The Blazers are coming off their best season in franchise history going 34-14-0-3 and making an appearance in the Thorne Cup Finals.
Now in the sixth season of matchups, Tuesday will be the 4th all-time meeting between the Mustangs and the Bellingham Blazers franchise. The Mustangs lead the all-time series 3-0-0-0. The Mustangs outscored the Blazers by a combined 29-7 in their only series matchup. The Blazers will make their second trip to the Ice Sheet after playing in Ogden during the 2019 Thorne Cup Finals. Bryson Bartell scored 9 points in the series with four assists coming in the opening game.
Players to Watch
For the Blazers, Milo Schneidmiller leads the way with 29 goals and 20 assists on the season. Seth Hebert is 2nd on the team in goals with 15 and Daniel Hebert is tied for 1st with Schneidmiller in assists (20). Their top scorer on defense is Jeremy Dewar with 17 points on the season. Bellingham lists just seven players taller than 6’0” on their roster and the tallest being Keeyaani Goodluck at 6’2”. Their #1 goaltender is December player of the month winner Saahil Mann. He is currently 6-6-1 this season with a .914 Save % and a 4.07 GAA. They still feature a three-man rotation in goal with Sam Miland and Matt Lee combining to play the other 21 games for the Blazers this season.
For the Mustangs, boasting seven players with 40 points or more and six with 20 goals more, the offense can be found everywhere. Shane Gilbert continues his impressive 2019-20 campaign with 78 points, good for 3rd in the WSHL. Lukas Vacin and Zach Pires are 1st and 2nd on the team in goals with 31 and 29. Gilbert and Hayden Masterson are the only two players to appear in every game this season for the Mustangs (40). Emil Svartbro (Estonia) and Gleb Krivoshapkin (Ukraine) are currently playing with their home countries as part of the Olympic Qualification games. Bryson Bartell (68 points | 39 games played) and Harry Gulliver (28 points | 21 games played) are both tied for second most regular season games played for the Mustangs (158). Caleb Dolman was recently the first commit of the season (Briercrest College) for Ogden, he is coming off of a seven-point performance in the last matchup with Bellingham. David Sudbrink recently finished 2nd in the voting for WSHL Daily January player of the month. He is currently on a ten-game point streak (nine goals, seven assists) that began on January 7th vs the Utah Outliers. Travis Allen is now 13-3 with a .942 Save % and 1.57 GAA.
Team Stats/Statistics/Other Player Notes
Mustangs special teams statistics: Power Play – 42/169 – 24.9% (T-2nd) Penalty Kill – 162/178 – 91.4% (2nd)
The Mustangs are tied for 1st in the WSHL with 20 shorthanded goals this season.
Blazers special teams statistics: Power Play – 11/123 – 0.09% (7th) Penalty Kill – 124/156 – 79.5% (14th)
Northwest Division Standings
Ogden Mustangs – 108 points
Utah Outliers – 79 points
Seattle Totems - 51 points
Bellingham Blazers - 40 points
Southern Oregon Spartans – 14 points
West Sound Admirals – 0 points - Defunct
Overall WSHL Standings
El Paso Rhinos – 111 points
Ogden Mustangs – 108 points
Edson Aeros – 90 points
Hinton Timberwolves – 82 points
Utah Outliers – 79 points
Fresno Monsters – 78 points
Northern Colorado Eagles – 76 points
San Diego Sabres – 75 points
Las Vegas Thunderbirds – 71 points
Pueblo Bulls – 65 points
This week and weekend’s Northwest Division matchups
Ogden Mustangs Vs. Bellingham Blazers
Southern Oregon Vs. Seattle Totems
Keys to the Game
During the last series in Bellingham, the rink was substantially smaller than what the Mustangs are accustomed to playing on. There minor issues of creating space but the Mustangs were able to dictate the flow of the game. Returning to Ogden, we expect some fast, open-ice play on the Olympic sized sheet that will allow the Mustangs to establish their offense quickly.
The open ice should create more time of possession for Ogden. In doing so, they can apply sustained pressure on Bellingham and create power play chances. With the major disparity in special teams play between the two squads, the Mustangs should be able to really separate themselves from the Blazers with their potent power play and penalty kill units.
#OMHockey | @Ogdenmustangs