Over the past month, we have seen a few different forms of the Mustangs, and when they returned from their recent trip to Seattle, they vowed to make amends for the sudden change in winning habits. With an old foe coming to town, the Mustangs came flying out of the gates and quickly re-discovering their old ways.
On Friday night, the former division rival Northern Colorado Eagles arrived in Ogden for what was anticipated to be one of the toughest contests of the year at the Ice Sheet. After penalties from clubs coming just ten seconds apart, Ethan McKinley beat the goaltender after an excellent drop pass by Emil Svartbro left him all alone at the top of the slot. Just minutes later, Oliver Wieringa took the puck through center ice and, with two sweeping stickhandle moves, got past two defensemen before firing the puck past the netminder for the second goal for the Mustangs on a marvelous effort.
Chances came all night; however, the post and crossbar became the biggest adversary of the Mustangs and not allowing them to gain a more significant lead in the contest.
The Eagles eventually tied the game in the 3rd period after several flukey bounces, but the Mustangs never wavered. After picking up the loose puck at center ice, Wieringa again quickly stickhandled away from the defenseman and scoring on the far-side. His goal with 4:37 remaining in the 3rd sent the crowd into a frenzy and eventually home happy as the Mustangs held on for the 3-2 victory.
On Saturday, as many in attendance came prepared for the Mustangs to score, Shane Gilbert and Gleb Krivoshapkin teamed up for a wide-open attempt in close and the socks came raining down. Just 30 seconds later, Christoffer Juvas' center ice hit gave the Mustangs possession and Svartbro sent a perfect breakaway pass to Lukas Vacin, who went upstairs for the 2-0 lead just midway through the opening frame.
In the second, Aidan McAleer's effort supporting as a defenseman and then quickly driving hard to the net allowed Gilbert and Krivoshapkin the time and space for one of the smoothest goals of the year.
With 4:14 remaining in the 3rd, Harry Gulliver, with two defenders closing on him, sent a backhand feed to Sudbrink, who snapped a quick shot into the cage for a powerplay goal and leaving no doubt that they would remain "cerebral" as Coach Laime stated to us. Alex Engan picked up the fifth goal of the game with 16:17 remaining. After two initial attempts were stopped, Engan came around the net and backhanded a rebound high into the net for final tally.
The series remained physical throughout each game, but no bad blood seemed to carry over. The Sunday contest started out hot. Both sides were looking to match each other hit for hit before the Eagles struck first midway through the first period.
Unfortunately for the visitor, that was about all they could muster as the Mustangs went on to score seven unanswered goals. They never let their foot off the gas and put a stamp on signature weekend for Ogden.
Ogden had seven different skaters score in Sunday's contest: David Sudbrink, Gleb Krivoshapkin, Shane Gilbert, Caleb Dolman, Alex Engan, Harry Gulliver, and Patrick Tuma. Four of the goals were scored on either the powerplay, penalty kill, or 4-on-4. Bryson Bartell and Hayden Masterson each added two assists. Travis Allen backstopped the Mustangs throughout the weekend. He registered 69 saves on 72 shots, good for a .958 Save % and 1.00 GAA against Northern Colorado. Allen now has a record of 12-3, two shutouts, .944 Save % and a 1.46 GAA on the year.
Ogden is now 32-3-1-1 on this season with 99 points. They sport the 2nd-best record in the WSHL.
Next up: The Mustangs travel to up to the Pacific Northwest again, this time facing the Bellingham Blazers. This weekend will be the first time these two clubs have met this year. Bellingham is currently 4th in the Northwest Division with a record of 10-17-0-1.
Friday night puck drop is at 7:30 pm PST.
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