After a wild and dramatic exhibition series against the Las Vegas T-Birds, the Mustangs take on the Pueblo Bulls for the first installment of this new Mountain Division rivalry at the Ice Sheet.
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 0-2-1. They are currently sit at 3rd in the USPHL Mountain Division. This series against the Bulls is the first home divisional series of the season for Ogden. The Mustangs are coming off of a thrilling home opening exhibition series against the Las Vegas T-Birds. Down 3-0 early in the 2nd period, Ogden rode a tidal of momentum and pulled off the OT win with 11 seconds left in the extra period on Saturday night. The games and stats against Las Vegas do not count towards league records.
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 is 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.
Bulls this Season
The Bulls come into the weekend with a record of 2-1-0. Pueblo split their first 2 games against the Northern Colorado Eagles before taking the rubber match on Sunday, 6-3. This weekend will be their first road trip of the season before three consecutive home series against Utah, Provo and Ogden. They are currently in the 2nd in the USPHL Mountain Division.
2020-21 is just the second season of Pueblo Bulls hockey. Before joining the USPHL, they competed in the WSHL after being founded in September of 2018. In their inaugural season, Pueblo finished 3rd in the highly competitive Midwest Mountain Divison with a record of 25-13-7-6. They would win the final 19 of 24 games last season before the season was ultimately cut short.
This will be the inaugural meeting between the Mustangs and the Pueblo Bulls franchise. Both teams will be looking to take the first game and series in what is expected to be a highly anticipated matchup.
Players to Watch
For the Bulls, Brigham Neuhold leads the way with 2 goals and 5 assists on the season. Wyatt Andres currently leads the Bulls with 3 goals scored. Milan Breczko and Benjamin St-Onge are tied with Andres for 3rd on the team in points. Doug Wakelyn has been their #1 goaltender in net with a 2-1 record, 3.33 GAA and .878 SV% in 3 games played for the Bulls. The Bulls feature 12 returning player combined from last year’s roster and from around the WSHL.
For the Mustangs, Cade Herrera currently sits atop the league points standings with 2 points. Lukas Washco had 8 assists this past weekend during the exhibition series vs Las Vegas. Jake Meure made an instant impact upon his arrival with 5 goals and 1 assist. Andrey Shmakov had 3 goals against Las Vegas, including the GWG in OT on Saturday night’s comeback victory. Christian Phinney is back to anchor the defense while being joined by new faces such as Seth Jones, Jack Jones, Tate Jenson, Aaron Cope and Pavel Gerasimenko. Time in goal is split almost evenly thus far between returner Titan Anderson, Domagoj Troha and Anthony Seykora. Troha’s league record currently sits at 0-1-1, 2.99 GAA and .915 SV% while facing the division leading Northern Colorado Eagles in their league opening series.
Team Stats/Statistics/Other Player Notes: Divisional Standings
Mustangs special teams statistics: Powerplay – 0/13 – 0% (T-3rd) Penalty kill – 8/11 – 72.7% (2nd)
Bulls special teams statistics: Powerplay – 2/12 – 0.16% (2nd) Penalty kill – 13/15 – 86% (2nd)
Mountain Division Standings
Northern Colorado Eagles – 8 points
Pueblo Bulls – 4 points
Ogden Mustangs – 1 point
Provo Riverblades – 0 points
Utah Outliers – 0 points
Overall USPHL Standings
Charlotte Rush – 8 points (4-0)
Toledo Cherokee – 8 points (4-0)
Northern Colorado Eagles – 8 points (4-2) Tampa Bay Juniors – 6 points (3-1)
Florida Eels – 6 points (3-1)
Carolina Jr Hurricanes – 6 points (3-1)
This weekend’s Mountain Division matchups
Ogden Mustangs Vs. Pueblo Bulls
Provo Riverblades @/Vs. Utah Outliers
Keys to the Game
Find Their Game Early
The Mustangs showed great resiliency when facing Las Vegas last weekend. Their determination to come back and focus on playing one shift at a time after trailing 3-0 was paramount in changing the outcome of the series. However, when facing divisional foes with a more balanced lineup, every shift will matter even more and they will want to get going early as we saw last Sunday.
Stay Out of the Box
The flow of the games so far have been normal for early season hockey: Teams trying to find their rhythm, control the tempo and assert themselves on the ice. For Ogden, staying out of the box will go a long way to avoid falling behind. On Sunday, Las Vegas was able to capitalize on consecutive penalties in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Luckily, a 7-0 lead helped subside those mistakes, but in a closer game, those could change the final outcome.
Friday, October 2nd | 7:30 PM | White Out Night
First 500 fans at the game will receive a rally towel
Saturday, October 3rd | 7:30 PM | Pink in the Rink
Breast Cancer Awareness, live jersey auction and silent jersey auction for special game jerseys worn on Saturday night
The Ice Sheet | Ogden, UT
Tickets are available at tickets.ogdenmustangs.com
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