ALERT: Due to inclement weather impeding travel from Tahoe, this series will now begin Saturday night and go through Monday.

The Ogden Mustangs come into the weekend ready to start up the second half of the season, after the most successful first half of the season in team history. It will be the Lake Tahoe Icemen in town this weekend, taking the place of the now-defunct Vail Powder Hounds, who were initially on the schedule. It should be an entertaining weekend of hockey as both teams look to start off the second half strong.

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 WSHL TV, brought to you via Black Dog Enterprises.

Mustangs this Season

  • The Mustangs enter the game with a record of 23-2-3. They sit in second place in the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division and sixth place overall in the WSHL, but sit just two points out of first place in the division (with six games in hand) and three points out of first place overall in the WSHL in what has become a log jam between the top eight teams in the league. The Mustangs are coming off of a three-week break over the holidays. Prior to that was the Western States Shootout in Las Vegas where the Mustangs went 1-0-3, picking up at least a point in all four of their matchups, each against top WSHL teams.

Mustangs Historically

  • This is the sixth season of Mustangs hockey. Head coach Jake Laime is in his fifth season. The Mustangs won division championships in 2014 and 2015. Total points earned and team winning percentage increased each of the first five seasons. For the past four 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.

Icemen this Season

  • The Icemen enter this weekend with a record of 7-20-4. They sit in seventh place in the Northwest Division and 24th overall in the WSHL. The Icemen started off the season fairly well, going 7-9 in their first 16 games. It was a vast improvement for the team, considering they only won two games in the entirety of last season. Since the surprising start though, the Icemen have lost 15 in a row, four of them in overtime. The Icemen will look for some magic this weekend, trying to pick up their first W since Nov. 11.

Icemen Historically

  • This is the second season of Icemen hockey. Before that, the franchise was called the Lake Tahoe Blue for two seasons. Before that, the franchise was in San Fransisco for a season as the Bay Area Seals. The Seals went to the Thorne Cup Finals in that inaugural season, just falling short in the championship game to the Idaho Jr. Steelheads. The organization has undergone multiple changes of management and coaches over the years. This year, new head coach Mickey Lang is in his first season.

All-time Series

  • Friday will be the 5th all-time meeting between the Mustangs and the Icemen/Blue/Seals. The Mustangs are 3-0-1 in those games, going 2-0-1 in a series in San Francisco in 2012 and winning a 5-2 game at the Western States Shootout over the Blue in 2013.

Players to Watch

  • For the Icemen, all eyes are on crafty Ukranian forward Ivan Radetskyi. He’s 10th overall in points in the WSHL with 53. That number is especially impressive considering the Icemen in total this season have scored only 89 goals. Behind Radetskyi is team captain Phil Heisse with 28 points, a big gap between the top two scorers. A defenseman, Heisse is quick to join the rush and contribute in the offensive zone. In goal, both Luke Cohen and Wade Conlan have shared time and have very comparable numbers, allowing between five and six goals per game and saving 87-88 percent of the shots they face.
  • For the Mustangs, Montell Greene continues to lead the charge with 23 goals and 43 points this season. Henrik Axelsson is second in team scoring with 37 points. Alex Forbes and Matus Spodniak both have 34 points. Nick Frankich leads the defense corps with 32 points and leads the team with 24 assists. In goal, Vladimir Cibulka, leads all WSHL goaltenders (who have faced 100 or more shots this season) in all major goaltending statistical categories, with 17 wins, a goals against average of 1.66 and a save percentage of .942.

Other Player Notes

  • Robert Horak will make his home-ice debut for the Mustangs this weekend.
  • Max Dorftman recently became the first Mustang this season to commit to a college program, heading to NCAA DIII Worcester State University next season.
  • David Karlsson is no longer with the team and has signed with the Cheyenne Stampede.
  • Francis Asselin has joined the team, filling Karlsson’s spot as the third Mustang goaltender. Asselin was a former teammate of Brad Jenion’s at the Ontario Hockey Academy. He started this season with the New York Aviators in the USPHL.
  • Matus Spodniak, Austin Shea and Alex Forbes each recently entered the Mustangs’ top 10 all-time leading scorers.
  • Corey Iapalucci is 19 assists away from passing Schuyler Seyfert for the most assists all-time in Mustangs history.

Special Teams

  • Mustangs:
    Powerplay – 35/147 – 24% (8th)
    Penalty kill – 105/116 – 90% (2nd)
  • Icemen:
    Powerplay – 33/191 – 12% (19th)
    Penalty kill – 128/177 – 72% (25th)

WSHL Mountain Division Info

  • Standings
    Colorado Jr. Eagles – 51 points
    Ogden Mustangs – 49 points
    Casper Coyotes – 38 points
    Utah Outliers – 33 points
    Cheyenne Stampede – 28 points
    Superior RoughRiders – 24 points
  • This weekend’s matchups
  • Friday
    Icemen at Mustangs
    Eagles at Coyotes
    RoughRiders at Outliers
    Tulsa Oilers at Stampede
  • Saturday
    Icemen at Mustangs
    Eagles at Coyotes
    RoughRiders at Outliers
    Tulsa Oilers at Stampede
  • Sunday
    Icemen at Mustangs
    Eagles at Coyotes
    RoughRiders at Outliers
    Tulsa Oilers at Stampede

What Jon’s Watching For

  1. Starting Off Strong – In these three games specifically, and in this second half of the season generally, the Mustangs need a strong start. They’ve done well playing from behind this season overall, but in their two regulation losses, it was slow starts that doomed them, with late-game comebacks falling short. They’ll look to get things going early this weekend.
  2. Dictating Play – The Mustangs had a number of games in the first half of the season when they played down to their opponents’ level. They’ll look to be the aggressors and play their game and systems.
  3. Offensive Output – The Mustangs have been held to just eight total goals in their last four games. They’ll be facing a more porous defense this weekend than they did in Vegas. The Mustangs will look to get back to their previous offensive potency?