Ogden Mustangs hockey: Mustangs tied for 1st in division with 2 weeks left

Thursday , February 22, 2018 - 4:51 PM

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

The Ogden Mustangs, still in a battle for first place in the Western States Hockey League's Mountain Division, picked up two important points in a thrilling 7-6 shootout victory over the Idaho IceCats on Sunday in Boise, Idaho.

The breakthrough win came after two close losses against the IceCats the previous two nights.

While the Mustangs picked up two points, the other four they left on the table are tough to swallow. They fell 4-2 on Friday and, despite a valiant third-period effort on Saturday to tie the game 4-4 in the third, the Mustangs fell 5-4.

Ogden is now tied for first in the Mountain Division with the Utah Outliers, each with 71 points.

> Ogden’s Matus Spodniak breaks WSHL all-time goals record

"There were a lot of ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda's' this weekend," Mustangs coach Jake Laime said. "Friday we lost a lot of foot races. Idaho was more hungry, and it showed. Saturday was the better effort, winning individual battles and having more sustained offensive pressure. Overall, Idaho made fewer mistakes, or at least were very opportunistic on ours."

Sunday, the Mustangs took a lead on the first shift of the game, just 46 seconds in, when Jacob Laurin scored on a long-distance attempt. Ogden got out to a 4-1 lead before Idaho came all the way back to tie it.

The game went through two overtimes and into a shootout, where Laurin scored on the Mustangs' first attempt and Tymen Edelkoort III stopped all three Idaho attempts to get the win.

"Sunday was a complete effort," Laime said. "Much more engaged and focused, with a purpose. I think we got the most out of the majority of the team. Everyone was pulling more weight. We started to get away from ourselves in the second but managed to pull it back and get the two points."

Matus Spodniak continued his incredible scoring tear through the weekend. Having set the WSHL all-time goals mark in stunning fashion the weekend before, he kept things rolling in Idaho with 10 points in three games. He had two assists Friday, two goals and two assists Saturday, and three goals and an assist for a hat trick Sunday. He is on a 26-game point streak.

Next on the record watch is the WSHL single-season point mark which was set in 2006-07 by Chris Bachman of the Capital Thunder. He racked up 149 points in 45 games. Spodniak is at 144 in 42 games.

Ogden is off this week while the Outliers take on the Colorado Eagles, just three points behind with 68, in a three-game set. While a variety of outcomes are possible, one certainty is that at least one of those teams will pass the Mustangs for first. The series will take place in Salt Lake.

All three teams conclude their regular seasons March 2-4. The Mustangs will host the Eagles while the Outliers will hit the road to face the Superior RoughRiders.

The final stretch is key for playoff seeding as No. 1 and No. 2 teams get a bye in the first round while the No. 3 team plays — then the Nos. 1 and 2 host games in the next round. Home ice advantage is huge in these games, so if the Mustangs can't finish first, they at least don't want to finish third.

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