The Ogden Mustangs hockey team hit the road for their first three road contests of the season last weekend against the Steamboat Wranglers, dominating all three to move to 6-0 this season.
The Mustangs won 7-1, 17-2 and 14-1 over the Wranglers. Counting their sweep of the Ontario Avalanche at home, the Mustangs have now scored 61 goals, most in the Western States Hockey League. They’ve allowed just seven goals.
Through three weeks of WSHL play, the Mustangs are No. 1 overall in the standings.
They’ll face their toughest test of the young season this weekend when they host the Utah Outliers on Friday at The Ice Sheet. The two teams square off again the next night on the Outliers’ home ice in West Valley.
The Mustangs and Outliers have one of the longest-running current series in the WSHL. They will enter their ninth season of play against each other on Friday.
In 71 previous games, the Mustangs lead the all-time series 49-17-5. The last time these two teams met was in last season’s Mountain Division Finals, when the Mustangs won the best-of-three series with a double-overtime goal in Game 3. In their previous five playoff games against each other, four of those games have gone into overtime. The Mustangs have won all four.
The Outliers have played just three games this season after having last weekend off. Two weeks ago on the road against the Northern Colorado Eagles, the Outliers lost 4-0 in the first game, 4-3 in the second game and then picked up a breakthrough 5-1 win in the third game.
Both the Outliers and Mustangs are riding some momentum. For Ogden, the scoring spree to start the season has built confidence.
“Last weekend was great,” said Mustangs second-year forward Shane Gilbert. “It was good to get all the boys going and contributing. I think all of our lines found a steady rhythm and transitioned very well from the systems we practice to games.
“With our depth in the lineup and everyone bringing something to the table, it makes it much easier to make plays. I’m excited to see what this team can do the season. It will make for some great hockey, that’s for sure.”
Gilbert leads the WSHL in scoring with four goals and 15 assists for 19 points in just six games. Playing alongside newcomer Gleb Krivoshapkin, of Ukraine, the duo have been scoring machines to lead the way offensively. But contributions are coming from throughout the lineup, with 12 players averaging a point per game or more this season.
“We’ve made some progress on the offensive side of the puck these first few weeks, but we haven’t had a great measuring stick yet,” Ogden head coach Jake Laime said. “This weekend should give us a better idea of where we are. With a week off, we know the Outliers will be rested and hungry.”
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Ice Sheet.