Thursday , December 07, 2017 - 4:30 AM
This information was supplied by Jon McBride of the Ogden Mustangs.
The Ogden Mustangs faced their toughest task of the season last weekend at The Ice Sheet, hosting the Idaho IceCats, winners of five of the past seven Western States Hockey League Thorne Cup Championships.
The Mustangs (21-4-1) took the Friday, Dec. 1 contest 4-2 by scoring four goals in the third period. Idaho took game two Saturday, Dec. 2, with a 5-4 overtime win, then Ogden took the Sunday rubber match 5-4.
“I thought this weekend was a great measuring stick for where we are and where we need to be,” Ogden head coach Jake Laime said. “Idaho is a good team. We really enjoyed the pace.
“We need to take advantage of our offensive zone pressure more, as Idaho was very opportunistic when looking at their shot count. I think our defensive zone coverage got better and more aggressive, but there are still some holes.”
The Mustangs outshot the IceCats 119-91 in the series and handed Idaho its first losses of the season.
Ogden scored 4.3 goals per game against an Idaho team that previously allowed only 1.2 per contest.
Matus Spodniak continues to put up out-of-this-world numbers. He tallied 10 points for the series, including the game-tying and game-winning goals Friday. Spodniak also factored in all five goals the Mustangs scored Sunday — the game-winning goal and four assists.
He now has 92 points in 26 games this season to lead the league in scoring. The second leading scorer, his linemate Jacob Laurin, is 27 points behind at 65. Spodniak is 19 goals away from breaking the all-time WSHL record and is well on pace to do so.
Ogden was once 0-17 all-time against Idaho but is 12-7-1 since, including a 7-1-1 mark at home. The Mustangs are one of only two teams to have a winning record against the IceCats in the last five seasons.
The Mustangs are in second place in the 23-team WSHL — five points behind the undefeated El Paso Rhinos — and are first in the Mountain Division.
Ogden is seven points up in the division on second-place Utah Outliers, who the Mustangs face in a home-and-home two-gamer this weekend.
The Outliers are 18-2 in their last 20 contests, with those two defeats at the hands of Ogden, but the Outliers have already defeated the Mustangs twice this season.
Ogden plays host Friday in a game set to start at 7:30 p.m. at The Ice Sheet. That’s Ogden’s final home game of the calendar year. The two teams meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Salt Lake City.
Following this weekend, the Mustangs prepare for the three-day Western States Shootout in Las Vegas from Dec. 19-21. WSHL league play then resumes Jan. 5, 2018.
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