The Ogden Mustangs were able to close out the 2019 regular season calendar with a weekend sweep of the rival Utah Outliers. As always, both teams supplying the drama for this action-packed affair, however, the two fourth-year forwards, Bryson Bartell and Harry Gulliver, score the game-winning goals and Travis Allen wins back-to-back thrillers.
This team from Ogden has seen plenty of offensive talent blossom while in their program. The Friday night affair against the rival Outliers saw a different story play out as the Mustangs gained 1-0 advantage from a Bryson Bartell goal just midway through the opening period. His goal would stand as the game-winner and the Mustangs would hang on to defeat the Outliers for the fifth time in six games this season.
We caught up with Bartell after the game about his goal and what this series meant to him.
"I remember the boys winning battles down low and thinking to myself that I'm not getting off without getting the puck to the net. I stayed out there and chilled by the post. I saw a seam, Ethan dished me a nice little sauce, I snuck it in there."
"The rivalry games are what make the boys feel like a team. When everyone's battling together, doing their job, hyping each other up, it makes us realize why we appreciate each other."
This game would be the lowest scoring matchup for the Mustangs since facing the Colorado Eagles (1-0 W) on January 3rd, 2015. Friday nights matchup featured a very spirited event for all in attendance. The expected night of physicality was blended with end-to-end rushes and sprawling netminders desperately attempting to keep the puck out of the net.
Goaltender Travis Allen (6-1-1) would preserve the shutout victory for the WSHL leading (25-1-1) Mustangs. His 36 saves were the most of the season until the following evening where key made 39 saves. The 1-0 win was the first time all season that the opposition outshot the Mustangs.
Fast-forward 24 hours and we had a wild one on our hands.
The Mustangs and Outliers combined for 70 penalty minutes at the Acord Ice Center. Both teams just one day removed from posting the lowest combined PIM totals since squaring off in the Divisional Championship last season.
After trailing 1-0 through the 1st period, the Mustangs got on the board thanks to Shane Gilbert taking a feed from Caleb Dolman, who was stood up at the blue line, skating in and beating the goaltender for the Outliers. That power play goal came after the Outliers goaltender, Oscar Wahlgren, attempted to clear the puck but shot the puck over the glass and subsequently being called for delay of game.
Three minutes later, Bartell dropped a slick pass off to Zach Pires at the blue line and Pires would go on to score one of the best goals of the year. After receiving the Bartell pass, he stayed onside before going inside-out on two defensemen before sweeping the puck from his forehand to backhand and finding the back of the net. The opposing netminder was left on his back and the crowd in awe of the brilliant move.
The Outliers came back in the 3rd to tie the game before a litany of penalties almost derailed the Mustangs plans of a victory. A tripping penalty called after the whistle began the parade to the box, however, the Mustangs special teams battled through adversity and killed the opposing 5-on-3 advantage. Regulation proved to be not enough for these two rivals. However, just 3:56 was all that Harry Gulliver needed in overtime to send the Mustangs home with their sixth win against the Outliers this season. He rifled a shot past the glove hand of Wahlgren and sent the Mustangs bench into a frenzy. The Gulliver goal increased the Ogden grasp on the Northwest division lead and pushing the team to a 25-1-1.
The Mustangs will now prepare to travel to Las Vegas for matchups that will attract everyone from around the WSHL. All games during the Las Vegas Shootout will be played at Las Vegas Ice Center.
12/18: Vs. Edson Aeros (21-1) | 12:30 pm MST | North
12/19: Vs. Hinton Timberwolves (20-3) | 11:15 am MST | South
12/20: Vs. El Paso Rhinos (23-4-1-1) | 12:15 pm MST | North
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