The winning streak has now hit 14 games for the Ogden Mustangs and they show absolutely no sign of slowing down. This past weekend, they welcomed the last team to defeat them (Seattle) and approached this series much differently than they did in the previous matchup. They now sit atop of the WSHL standings with 126 points on the season and a record of 41-3-1-1.
Following conversations with several Mustangs over the last six weeks, they promised to be a different team after suffering three consecutive losses. When Sunday's contest came to a close, there was indeed something different about it. The expression of the group was business-like. They were pleased with the victories, but are also fully aware that the real battles are only forthcoming. This group is hungry and their focus is as scary as ever.
Red Friday began with the Mustangs roaring out of the gates. They fired seven shots on goal in the opening 4:05 before Seattle even had a chance to get a shot on goal of their own. Stanislav Dosek's blast from the top of the right circle would give the Mustangs the early 1-0 advantage. David Sudbrink would get credit for the goal, and Ogden was off and running.
Following an unfortunate sequence and a thunderous hit during the penalty kill, Harry Gulliver received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct. Seattle would convert twice during the prolonged man-advantage and hold a 2-1 lead until midway through the 2nd period.
The Mustangs drew a power play of their own and found the back of the net. Caleb Dolman provided the screen in front and pounced on the loose puck to tie the game 2-2 with 8:02 remaining in the 2nd period.
Sudbrink would get hauled down while entering the offensive zone 48 seconds after the Dolman game-tying goal and go back to work on the power play. Oliver Wieringa would convert for his 19th goal of the season and the second power play goal on the game for his team. Sudbrink would again find the back of the net after the goaltender could not control the Christian Phinney shot from in front of the blue line. His 3rd period goal coming 58 seconds into the third period and now taking a two-goal lead. Lukas Vacin added the fifth and final goal of the game with 8:39 remaining by taking the loose puck off of the draw and going directly to the net and beating legs of the goaltender.
Saturday saw Ogden showcase their furious attack and stingy defense even more than the previous night. Johan Zöllner opened the scoring with another goal from the top of the right circle 6:40 into the 1st period. Seattle would tie the game on their third shot on goal during another power play midway through the opening frame.
After a back and forth 1st period, Aidan McAleer gathered a drop pass and rifled a shot past the glove of the goaltender with 2:57 remaining. Seattle would apply plenty of pressure to close the opening period, but Travis Allen was up to the task.
Dolman added another goal nearly 4:44 into the 2nd before a flurry of goals sent the opposing goaltender to the bench for the rest of the evening. Nick Garza added the eventual game-winner on a one-time snapshot from the slot. Diego Contreras went into the corner and beautifully backhanded a pass to a wide-open Garza for the fourth goal of the game for Ogden.
Vacin and Gilbert would team up for two more goals in the next 54 seconds to give the Mustangs a commanding 6-1 lead. The Mustangs and Totems traded goals in the final 2:08 of the 2nd period. Vacin would get his second of the game and Christoffer Juvas got on the board with 30 seconds left on the clock. Gilbert would strike one more time late in the 3rd on the power play and his fifth point of the game. Matthew Genter came into the game during the second in relief of Allen.
Sunday was another dominant performance for Ogden as Vacin slammed home a Zöllner shot from the point 1:32 into the game. Later in the period, Sudbrink scored his first of three goals of the afternoon. The tremendous effort from Bryson Bartell to shield the puck away from the Seattle defenseman and distribute the puck to a collapsing Sudbrink lead to the second goal for Ogden. Vacin got his second goal of the game with 1:34 left, courtesy of a great show of support on the cycle and slick stickhandles from goal scorer, himself.
The energy line for the Mustangs compromised of McAleer, Hayden Masterson and Alex Engan teamed up for another incredible display of skill, determination, and finish as their tic-tac-toe passing lead to a McAleer tally on a wide-open cage. Ogden would score three goals in the span of 2:06 during the closing minutes of the 2nd period. Wieringa, Juvas and Sudbrink all registered the goals for the Mustangs with Sudbrink notching his during the penalty kill.
Emil Svartbro was the last of four skaters (Bartell, Dolman and Zöllner) for Ogden on Sunday to extend his point streak to ten games. He scored on a rebound 2:40 into the 3rd period. Seattle scored their only goal of the game nearly midway through the 3rd on Titan Anderson. Anderson came on in relief of Allen midway through Sunday's game and finished with 14 saves on the afternoon.
Following a heated battle in front of the penalty box area near the end of the 3rd period, Sudbrink closed out the series with his third goal of the game. His hat trick goal also capped a rare feat for him as he scored three goals in three different ways: Even-strength, shorthanded and on the power play.
The Mustangs will now look toward the Inaugural Players Skills Challenge next week (Feb. 29th| 7:30 PM) at the Ice Sheet during their extended break. The previously scheduled games against West Sound will be counted as forfeit victories since no suitable replacement is available to fill the lost games.
The Mustangs (41-3-1-1) have one last opponent remaining during the regular season when they host the rival Utah Outliers (31-9-1-2) in March.
Mar. 6th-7th | Vs. Utah Outliers
The Ice Sheet | Ogden, UT
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