Two weeks ago, following a disappointing home loss to the Casper Coyotes, the Ogden Mustangs’ chances at catching the Coyotes for second place in the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division looked bleak. The Mustangs would have to win all six of their remaining games and the Coyotes would have to lose all three of their remaining games.
As improbable as that scenario seemed at the time, it played out exactly as the Mustangs hoped. The Mustangs swept the Cheyenne Stampede and Colorado Jr. Eagles two weekends ago and then this past weekend defeated the Superior RoughRiders in a 4-2 comeback victory Friday, then took care of the Colorado Evolution 13-0 on Saturday and wrapped things up with a 7-2 W over the RoughRiders on Sunday. The Coyotes lost 6-1, 7-2 and 5-2 against the Eagles.
Finishing second means the Mustangs get a bye this coming weekend, through the first round of the WSHL playoffs. The following weekend, March 18-20, the Mustangs will host a second-round series against the highest remaining seed in the Mountain Division. It will be a best-of-three format, with the winner advancing to the Mountain Division Finals. (See more playoff format info here.)
Looking back to last weekend, the Mustangs started things off with a thrilling 4-2 comeback victory over the RoughRiders on Friday. The RoughRiders opened the scoring in the second period, and the Mustangs responded with a goal from Taylor Bowman. The Mustangs surrendered a 5-on-3 goal with 11:44 left in the third period and found themselves down 2-1 late. With 5:55 left, Ilya Bobko picked a great time to score his first of the season to tie the game. Nick Frankich rocketed the game winner to the back of the net with just 1:04 on the clock. Caleb Pola added an empty netter. The win was the second that required a comeback in the third period in the Mustangs’ last three games. The other came over the first-place Colorado Jr. Eagles.
On Saturday, the Mustangs had no trouble getting past the Colorado Evolution, 13-0. The Mustangs scored on the first shift of the game and never looked back. It was a career night for Martin Söderberg who scored two goals and added two assists. Adam Zöllner scored his fourth hat trick of the season. Once again, the the Mustangs scored more goals than the Evolution had shots, that’s the second time that happened this season. Final shots on goal were 88-11. Christoffer Sjöö and Andreas Pettersson shared the shutout in goal, with Sjöö making four saves in the first half of the game and Pettersson making seven in the second half. It was the Mustangs’ fourth shutout this season.
Also of note Saturday night, before the game, the Mustangs honored Schuyler Seyfert by retiring his jersey. Seyfert, who was injured badly four weeks earlier, skated onto the ice for the presentation, a welcome and surprising site for Mustang fans. We’ll have a video honoring Schuyler, which was shown in pieces on the video board throughout Saturday’s game, up on ogdenmustangs.com later this week.
On Sunday, the Mustangs dominated in a 7-2 victory. They started with two goals in the first period and then four straight in the second to go up 6-0. Alex Forbes, Bobko and Zöllner each had two goals a piece, with Matus Spodniak netting the other. Christoffer Sjöö made 19 saves for the W. Total shots on goal were 56-21.
Overall on the weekend, Ilya Bobko led the Mustangs, racking up four goals and five assists in the three games.
The Mustangs finish the regular season on a six-game winning streak and a final record of 38-12-2. The 38 wins are the most in a single-season in franchise history.
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