The boys are back on home ice for the first Ogden Mustangs home series of 2018 with the Casper Coyotes coming to town. Every point is crucial down the stretch, as the playoff push is officially underway and three teams are log jammed at the top of the division. This weekend is a big chance for the Mustangs to pick up six big points.

Game Notes are compiled by Ogden Mustangs Director of Broadcasting and Social Media, Jon McBride. Catch Jon live during the game, calling all the action on Black Dog Hockey.

Mustangs this Season

  • The Mustangs enter the weekend with a record of 25-8-1. They’re alone in first place in the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division and second place overall in the WSHL. But the Colorado Jr. Eagles and Utah Outliers are just behind the Mustangs and have games in hand. After their worst losing skid in three seasons, dropping four straight games, the Mustangs have now won four in a row. They’re coming off of a dominant series victory in Cheyenne last weekend over the Stampede. They won 11-1 in Game 1, 13-1 in Game 2 and 12-0 in Game 3. Previous to that series, the Mustangs went 1-2 in Las Vegas at the Western States Shootout, dropping the first two games narrowly to the Oklahoma City Blazers and El Paso Rhinos, but came back to defeat the Valencia Flyers 6-3 in the finale. The Mustangs are first overall in the league in goals scored this season with 247. That’s an average of 7.2 per game.

Mustangs Historically

  • This is the seventh season of Mustangs hockey. Head coach Jake Laime is in his sixth season. The Mustangs won division championships in 2014 and 2015. Total points earned and team winning percentage increased each of the first six seasons. For the past five seasons, the Mustangs have been considered in the top tier of teams in the WSHL, with deep runs in the postseason, but are still looking for their first league title. Last season ended in heartbreaking fashion, on home ice, one win away from the Thorne Cup Finals championship game.

Coyotes this Season

  • The Coyotes enter this weekend with a record of 11-15-0. They sit in fifth place in the Mountain Division and 17th overall in the WSHL. They started off the season 3-18 with a tough schedule that included six games against the Outliers, three against the Mustangs and three against the Idaho IceCats. Since then, the Coyotes went on an eight-game winning streak before dropping their most recent matchup against the Dallas Snipers. The Coyotes’ were off last weekend and haven’t played since the showcase in Vegas. They dropped that final game 5-2 against the Snipers but won their two other matchups at the showcase, 6-1 over the Seattle Totems and 2-1 in overtime over the CPJHL White select team.

Coyotes Historically

  • This is the fourth season of Casper Coyotes hockey. They came into the league in very impressive fashion, finishing the regular season first in the division in their first season. They built an intense rivalry with Ogden in those early seasons, but history has not been kind to them when facing the Mustangs. Each of their three seasons has ended in the playoffs at the hands of the Mustangs. Overall, the Coyotes had an impressive all-time record of 106-45-12 through those first three seasons. Now, the franchise is in a totally different spot. After having the same ownership and coaching staff through those first three seasons, they now have a new ownership group and new coach. Dave Cole has come into Casper this season after coaching the Southern Oregon Spartans the past two seasons.

All-time Series

  • Friday will be the 35th all-time meeting between the Mustangs and Coyotes. That is a lot of games against the same opponent in just four seasons. The all-time series sits at 22-10-2 in favor of the Mustangs. The Mustangs have won 13 of the last 14 games played between these teams, dating back two seasons. This season, the teams played three times in Casper in mid November. The Mustangs won those games 9-5, 13-0 and 11-0. Matus Spodniak had a ridiculous 16 points in the three-games, including a five-goal effort in the finale.

Players to Watch

  • For the Coyotes, they’re led by local Davis High School product Bradley Green. He put up a crazy 43 points in 14 high school games last season, playing his home games right at The Ice Sheet in Ogden. This season he’s the only point-per-game player for the Coyotes with 28 points in 26 games. He had the overtime game winner in his team’s most recent W in Vegas. Behind Green there is some extremely balanced secondary scoring, featuring seven players who have between 15-20 points. Dallen Neese has 20. The lone returner from last season’s Casper team, Andrew Williamson, has 18. The Coyotes recently picked up a WSHL veteran in Conor Dempsey. He’s expected to make his debut this weekend. The Coyotes also have what might be the youngest player in the league. Hunter Brown was born in 2003. On defense, Tyler Rossi leads the crew with 16 points, and Brody Surette provides the physical edge. In goal, Nolan Kare and Dylan Ossachuk have shared time this season, including against the Mustangs in Casper earlier this season. They have .851 and .883 save percentages respectfully.
  • For the Mustangs, for the first time on home ice this season, they’ll be without the services on WSHL leading-scorer Matus Spodniak, who is sidelined with a leg injury. While he’ll be missed, there are a plethora of other Mustangs capable of stepping up. Jacob Laurin is now at 82 points this season, just 12 points Spodniak. Ross Bartlett is up to 75 points after leading the Mustangs in scoring last weekend with 11 points. Rhett Rampinelli has taken Spodniak’s spot on the Mustangs’ top line and had nine points last weekend. Ammon Anderson has worked his way up the depth chart as the season’s moved along. The 16 year old had a hat trick last weekend and eight total points. On defense, Austin Dittenhafer leads the group with 36 points in 27 games. Recent-addition Matts Thielemann is finding his groove. He had eight points last weekend, including his first goal as a Mustang. In goal, the Mustangs have a new addition in veteran Tymen Edelkoort III who just joined the team this week. Expect him to make his debut this weekend.

 Special Teams

  • Mustangs:
    Powerplay – 39/157 – 25% (6th)
    Penalty kill – 128/144 – 89% (4th)
  • Coyotes:
    Powerplay – 11/115 – 9% (23rd)
    Penalty kill – 90/100 – 75% (16th)


  • WSHL Standings
    El Paso Rhinos – 64 points
    Ogden Mustangs – 51 points
    Oklahoma City Blazers – 50 points
    Colorado Eagles – 45 points
    Utah Outliers – 44 points
    Long Beach Bombers – 43 points
  • Mountain Division Standings
    Ogden Mustangs – 51 points
    Colorado Eagles – 45 points
    Utah Outliers – 44 points
    Superior RoughRiders – 32 points
    Casper Coyotes – 22 points
    Cheyenne Stampede – 4 points
  • This weekend’s Mountain Division matchups
  • Friday
    Coyotes at Mustangs
    Eagles at RoughRiders
    Outliers at Stampede
  • Coyotes at Mustangs
    Eagles at RoughRiders
    Outliers at Stampede
  • Coyotes at Mustangs
    Outliers at Stampede

What Jon’s Watching For

  1. Line Combinations – With Spodniak out, that’s moved some players around into some new positions. After a pile of goals last weekend, it seems as if those combinations are coming together well. A lot of chances for guys to prove themselves once again this weekend.
  2. Complete Effort – Into the second half of the season, with the division as tight as it is, the Mustangs can’t afford to take a night off, or a period off or a shift off. Time to tighten things up and play a full 60 minutes every night.
  3. New Goalie – There’s been some buzz this week with the signing of Edelkoort. He brings some impressive experience to Ogden with him. Goals against have been one of the most inconsistent stats for the Mustangs this season. They’ve allowed six or more goals three times this season, all losses. They’ve allowed four or more goals nine times this season. Can a new goalie help shore things up in that area?