Oct 2018 Ogden Mustangs Kerry Kruzel

Ogden Mustangs forward Kerry Kruzel (red) watches the puck against Northern Colorado defenseman Trent Hines during a series held Oct. 12-14 at the Ice Sheet in Ogden.

The Ogden Mustangs remained undefeated after sweeping rival Northern Colorado Eagles last weekend at home in The Ice Sheet.

The Mustangs picked up 5-3, 7-3 and 4-2 victories, putting them at 7-0 through three weeks of Western States Hockey League play. The Mustangs are in first place overall in the league.

The series proved to be the battle many were expecting between these longtime rivals, featuring a lot of speed, pace and physicality.

“It was a good measuring stick in regards to how far we’ve come and still where we need to be,” Mustangs head coach Jake Laime said. “Colorado will get better and we need to be proactive in our approach. There are still a lot of holes defensively that we need to address, as well as being more opportunistic on the offensive side of the puck.

“I don’t think we have played a full 60 minutes yet, but I do see a lot of upside and promise.”

The 16 goals in the series came by committee led by last season’s returners, including the two players who played their first games of this season last weekend, Matts Thielemann and Bryson Bartell.

Rhett Rampinelli and Harry Gulliver both had two goals and four assists to lead the way. Rampinelli is second overall in WSHL scoring with 15 points this season. Ryan Mascali had four assists to put him at 12 on the season. He’s first overall in the WSHL in that category. Thielemann and Bartell each averaged a point per game last weekend.

Also scoring for the Mustangs last weekend were Ian Currie (3), Lukas Vacin (2), Ammon Anderson, Kerry Kruzel, Oliver Wieringa and Aidan McAleer (his first as a Mustang).

Artur Ogandzhanyan was in goal for all three games for the Mustangs and had 95 saves, including a season-high 40 saves in Sunday’s series finale.

The Mustangs move on to a home-and-home series with the Utah Outliers this weekend. Friday’s game will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ogden, Saturday’s at 6:30 p.m. in West Valley. The Outliers are second overall in the WSHL and the Mountain Division, right behind the Mustangs.

The Mustangs have two more former NAHL players who just joined the team this week and will be in the lineup this weekend — John Shively and Lukas Kucera.

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

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