The Ogden Mustangs come into the 17th annual Western States Shootout with a 21-6-1 record, sitting atop the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division. They now get the chance to test themselves against three of the top teams in the WSHL on a league-wide platform in front of a plethora of NCAA scouts in Las Vegas. Can the Mustangs replicate their showcase magic of the past two seasons, where they’ve gone 6-0-2?

Game Notes are compiled by Ogden Mustangs Director of Broadcasting and Social Media, Jon McBride. Catch Jon live at the showcase, calling 11 games over the three days on Black Dog Hockey.

THE OGDEN MUSTANGS

Record: 21-6-1

Standings: 1st in the Mountain Division, tied for 3rd in the WSHL

Players to watch:

Matus Spodniak – 44 G, 49 A, 93 PTS, 10GWG

Austin Dittenhafer – 6 G, 20 A, 26 PTS, recent 10-game point streak

Daniel Pavlicko – 2.89 GAA, .883 SV%

How they’re entering the showcase:

The Mustangs come into Vegas looking to regroup, having picked up back-to-back losses to the Utah Outliers in their last two games. Before that, the Mustangs had an impressive performance against the Northwest-leading Idaho IceCats, picking up five of six points from them. Before the Outlier losses, the Mustangs were 18-1-1 in a 20-game stretch. The Mustangs’ 201 goals scored this season are the second most in the WSHL. Spodniak leads the league in points, 25 points ahead of his linemate Jacob Laurin, who is second overall in team and league scoring.

Game 1 | Mustangs vs. Blazers | Dec. 19, 8:00 am PST | CNA-B

THE OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS

Record: 23-3-0

Standings: 2nd in the Midwest Division, 2nd in the WSHL

Top players:

Ivan Bondarenko – 30 G, 37 A, 67 PTS

Joshua Chamberlain – 23 G, 31 A, 54 PTS, 14 PPP

Bobby Cloutier – 2.33 GAA, .915 SV%

How they’re entering the showcase:

The Blazers started the season red hot with 21 straight victories. They then played in a battle-of-the-unbeatens series in El Paso. The Rhinos swept the Blazers, winning each game by three or more goals. The Blazers came back just this past weekend to defeat Springfield twice on the road, including an overtime victory on Saturday. The Blazers have played 18 home games this season (18-0-0) and only eight road games (5-3). The Blazers are the highest scoring team in the WSHL with 219 goals.

Game 2 | Mustangs vs. Rhinos | Dec. 20, 1:30 pm PST | CNA-A

THE EL PASO RHINOS

Record: 27-0-0

Standings: 1st in the Midwest Division, 1st in the WSHL

Top players:

Chaseton Sare – 28 G, 31 A, 59 PTS

Carlo Wittor – 10 G, 29 A, 39 PTS, 10 GWA

Filip Kransanovsky – 1.39 GAA, .932 SV%

How they’re entering the showcase:

The Rhinos are the lone undefeated team remaining in the WSHL. They are one of only a few teams in league history to enter the showcase undefeated and are off to one of the best starts in WSHL history. The Rhinos have impressive sweeps of the Eagles in Colorado and the Blazers at home. They’ll face the IceCats in their first game in Vegas, before facing the Mustangs in their second. The Rhinos have returned to their league-powerhouse status after a couple of seasons rebuilding.

Game 3 | Mustangs vs. Flyers | Dec. 21, 5:00 pm PST | CNA-B

THE VALENCIA FLYERS

Record: 16-7-0

Standings: 2nd in the Western Division, 8th in the WSHL

Top players:

Jakob Kranabetter – 16 G, 50 A (league best), 66 PTS

Nikita Pintusov – 23 G (team best), 12 A, 35 PTS

Spencer Kozlowski – 3.59 GAA, .898 SV%

How they’re entering the showcase:

The Flyers are part of a Western Division that’s had some interesting parity this season. The Flyers, first-place Bombers, third-place Avalanche and fourth-place Monsters have all taken turns beating each other as of late. After a marquee 5-4 overtime victory over the Bombers on Nov. 22, the Flyers have lost three in a row to the Avalanche, Monsters and Bombers respectively. The losses ended a five-game winning streak they had previously. This Mustangs-Flyers game is set to feature two of the top 10 all-time WSHL scorers in Kranabetter (289 PTS, 3rd) and Spodniak (235 PTS, 9th).

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