The sport of hockey is full of many unique attributes that make it so enjoyable. Superstition might be near the top of most things that make hockey so great. Hockey players and pundits alike will traditionally agree that you do not speak of something before it happens. The journey can be difficult, and the roads are not always smooth. The Mustangs discovered a path and have accomplished something that deserves much recognition – 20 consecutive victories and the best start in Franchise history.
The Mustangs knew their opponent well after recently facing the Southern Oregon Spartans just three weeks ago in Medford, Oregon. After encountering some doubt, results were not reflecting the flow of the games; the narrative took a shift for the Mustangs from dominant to outright terrifying. The Mustangs have been waiting to see their tireless efforts reap the rewards and, goodness, did they get it.
Friday night saw the Mustangs get out of the gates quick with a goal from Caleb Dolman just 1:22 into the contest. Dolman's early tally would eventually be the game-winner as the Mustangs held Southern Oregon to only six shots on goal in the game. The Mustangs maintained a relentless forecheck that created havoc in the offensive zone throughout the series. A theme for the majority of the weekend series as the Mustangs would go onto win all three contests by the combined score of 47-1. Southern Oregon knew they would be facing a daunting task; however, perhaps no one expected the onslaught that occurred. By the time the buzzer would sound on Sunday, the Mustangs had increased their win streak to 20 consecutive victories, and every player on the ice for the Mustangs that day recorded a point.
Mustang fans welcomed back a few familiar faces as Harry Gulliver made his highly anticipated and long-awaited season debut. Along with Gulliver was the home debut for players Lukas Vacin, Bobby Gallard, and newly acquired goaltender, Travis Allen. All four players were instrumental in the series as Gulliver, Vacin, and Gallard combined for twenty-four points while Allen collected the clean sheet on Friday night. Several Mustang lines were able to consistently rush into the attacking zone and create high-chance scoring opportunities and many of which found the back of the net. Vacin (7g, 8a), Zach Pires (3g, 10a), and Bryson Bartell (4g, 4a) lead the way with a combined fourteen goals and twenty-two assists. Not to be outdone, Shane Gilbert (5g, 4a), Gleb Krivoshapkin (5g, 7a), and Dolman (3g, 3a) registered ten goals and fourteen assists of their own. The Mustangs attack kept their foot on the gas to score goals and did so seven times within a minute of each other throughout the series.
Suffice it to say; the Mustangs were ecstatic to be back home.
The Mustangs sit firmly atop the WSHL standings with a total of 60 points and a 20-0-0-0 record. Gilbert (45pts), Pires(43pts), Krivoshapkin (41pts), and Bartell (35pts) are among the top-10 in scoring for the WSHL.
The schedule features a change as games listed on the calendar for Nov. 22nd and 23rd dates will now take place the following weekend. The Mustangs next face-off against the rival Utah Outliers on Nov. 29th for the opening leg of a home-and-home series. The following evening (Nov. 30th) will feature both teams again, this time back at the Ice Sheet in Ogden, UT for puck drop at 7:30 pm.
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