OGDEN — If Friday’s season opener was any indication of what the Ogden Mustangs have in store this year, area hockey fans are in for six months of sore throats.
It took overtime, then penalty shots for the Mustangs and Valencia Flyers to settle the first contest of the season with Valencia narrowly escaping the Weber County Ice Sheet with a 3-2 shootout win.
In an aggressive match on both sides of the ice Ogden didn’t waste time finding the net as midway through the first period Christian Kraus logged the first goal of the 2012-13 season after taking a puck from Aaron Peters on the weak side and squeaked a shot past Valencia’s Stephen Palmer.
Peters ended the night with two points on a pair of assists.
Godfrey, Ill., native Daniel Selby was in-goal for the Mustangs and turned in a phenomenal performance especially early in the second period turning away wave after wave of Valencia attacks.
Selby finished with 35 saves on the night but struggled during the shootout allowing the first two Flyers to score before Austin Erlich finished the Mustangs off.
Sparks flew with 2:18 left in the first when Ogden’s Kody Rodriguez was hit with a stick after an offside whistle and went after a Valencia defenseman, seconds later another scrum broke out between Ogden’s Corey Meyers and Valencia’s Preston Nowak after which Nowak was tossed from the game.
Ogden logged multiple penalty kills on the night and endured 5-on-3 for over two minutes in the second period and looked like they would kill another penalty but 30 seconds after having a goal waved off due to a high stick the Flyers equalized with a short side goal as Philip Zubenko sent a rocket into the net from 30 feet out.
Ogden regained the lead a few minutes later as Rodriguez camped in front of the goal and deflected a Bobby Chamberlain shot past Palmer to make it 2-0 just before the buzzer ended the second period.
Valencia equalized again two minutes into the third period as a streaking Lakoda Coleman corralled a pass from Greg Heimann and buried a quick wrist shot.
Valencia went up 2-0 in penalty shots and didn’t look back as Palmer stopped three straight Mustangs for the win.
Ogden will play the second of the three-game series tonight with the puck slated to drop at 7:30 p.m.