Ogden Mustangs sweep Tahoe to claim tie for first place in WSHL

Wednesday , November 08, 2017 - 6:39 PM

This information was supplied by Jon McBride of the Ogden Mustangs.

The Ogden Mustangs have won 12 of their last 13 games, including a thrilling series sweep over the Tahoe Icemen at home last weekend. With 30 points overall, they sit in a tie for first place in the Western States Hockey League.

Ogden is now 15-4 and no other team is close to the Mustangs’ 148 goals scored.

The series with the Icemen (9-7, 20 points) was a crowd-pleaser, with three games running Nov. 3-5 at the Ice Sheet. Lake Tahoe scored first all three nights, forcing the Mustangs to play from behind.

In the first two games, the Mustangs wouldn’t grab their first lead until the third period. Ogden won those games 5-3 and 7-5.

In the finale, the Mustangs didn’t wait so long to mount the comeback, but spotted the Icemen two goals before winning 7-2.

While the dramatic flair gave fans plenty of entertainment, it left the team with plenty to work on.

“I was glad to get wins but was not satisfied with the effort we put in,” said Mustangs head coach Jake Laime. “We know we have the ability to score, so we neglect our responsibilities off the puck.”

The breakdowns away from the puck continue to be the pain point for Ogden. The Mustangs didn’t give Lake Tahoe many opportunities last weekend, but when they did, they were often high-quality opportunities — many on breakaways or odd-man rushes. Still, the Mustangs controlled play and outshot the Icemen 178-86 in the series.

Ogden now enjoys its first weekend off — the majority of WSHL teams have had one, two or even three bye weeks already this season.

The league’s leading scorer, Matus Spodniak, continues to pile up points. He led all Mustangs last weekend with four goals and seven assists, including the game-winners in the first two games.

Spodniak now has a remarkable 62 points in 19 games played and is approaching WSHL scoring records. He’s currently 21 points away from passing his linemate’s brother, former Wichita Jr. Thunder captain Jack McClelland, to enter the top 10 WSHL scorers of all time.

Behind Spodniak in team and league scoring is Jacob Laurin with 47 points and Ross Bartlett with 44 points.

Co-captain Austin Dittenhafer had a big weekend on defense with four goals and three assists.

In goal, Daniel Pavlicko made his Ogden debut Friday and also played Sunday. He made some remarkable saves, including one on a penalty shot in the opener that had the potential to shift momentum.

On Saturday, Oliver Marslatt got the start in goal. Despite allowing five goals, he made a number of saves to keep the Mustangs alive in their late-game comeback.

The Mustangs return to action Nov. 17-19 when they travel to Casper, Wyoming, to take on the Coyotes (3-11, 6 points). They return home Thanksgiving weekend for a single game against the Utah Outliers (12-4, 24 points) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25.

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