102018 Ogden Mustangs goal score

An Ogden Mustangs goalscorer raises his arms to celebrate as the puck finds the net in a game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, against the Utah Outliers in West Valley City.

The Ogden Mustangs continued their undefeated stretch to start the 2018-19 season, defeating the Utah Outliers twice last weekend in a home-and-home series.

The Mustangs won 6-2 on Friday, Oct. 19, in Ogden and 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 20, in West Valley.

The Mustangs are now 9-0 this season and remain first overall in the Western States Hockey League. They’re one of only three undefeated teams remaining in the league, along with the Oklahoma City Blazers (6-0) and El Paso Rhinos (3-0).

“I thought we put together a complete, 60-minute effort on Friday, and we were rewarded accordingly,” Mustangs head coach Jake Laime said. “Saturday was a sloppy game with mismanaged officiating. Hard to find rhythm on either side of the puck when both teams are playing the majority of game on special teams.”

In Friday’s game, the Mustangs came out flying in a game that featured highlight-reel goals, huge hits and even an entertaining fight.

Lukas Kucera was the first star of the game with two goals and an assist in his first game as a Mustang. His first goal came on his first shot.

Ian Currie had a remarkable hip check in the game, sending an Outlier player flipping in the air, head over heels.

Bryson Bartell dropped the gloves and squared up with his man for the first fight of the season. He absorbed a number of early blows, then responded with some heavy rights of his own and dropped his man for the take down.

The Mustangs went up 2-0 in the first period Saturday on goals from Bartell and Samuel Sabos.

Then the march to the penalty box started. There were 24 penalties in game. The Mustangs were able to kill a number of penalties, not allowing the Outliers to get much going offensively, and hung on for the tight victory.

Artur Ogandzhanyan recorded both wins in goal for the Mustangs, stopping 52 of the 55 shots he faced, making a number of remarkable saves. He’s sitting at a glossy 1.81 goals against average and .940 save percentage with an 8-0 record this season.

Kucera led the Mustangs with two goals and two assists on the weekend. Rhett Rampinelli had four assists, putting him at a WSHL-leading 20 points.

Ogden has four players in the top 10 of league scoring — Rampinelli, Kerry Kruzel, Harry Gulliver and Currie.

The Mustangs have won seven consecutive games against the Outliers, dating back to January.

Ogden now hits the road for three games at Casper, Wyoming, from Oct. 26-28. The Mustangs swept three games against the Bobcats in Ogden already this season. This will be the Mustangs’ first true road trip of the season. Seven of their first nine games have been in Ogden, the other two in West Valley.

The Mustangs’ next home games will be Nov. 2-4 at The Ice Sheet against the expansion Steamboat Wranglers. Those games will be first responder and military appreciation weekend.

Jon McBride is a broadcasting and media specialist for the Ogden Mustangs. He can be reached at jonathanmcbride@gmail.com.

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