It was an entertaining past weekend in front of some big crowds in Ogden as the Mustangs dominated the Casper Coyotes in a three-game sweep.
There was a lot to cheer about as the Mustangs scored 31 goals in the three games and held the Coyotes to just two.
“We wanted to get home and get some energy and buzz behind us entering the stretch,” said Mustangs head coach Jake Laime. “We’re still adjusting some lines, looking to get more production and continuity on and off the puck. I was very pleased with the puck movement and structure offensively. All the goals scored were clean and had purpose in their approach.”
On Friday, the Mustangs won 6-1. Western States Hockey League leading scorer Matus Spodniak had a goal and three assists in his return to the lineup after missing five games with an injury. Jacob Lauren had two goals. Rhett Rampinelli had a goal and an assist. Ammon Anderson and Sage Fleming had the other goals. Shots were 66-23 for Ogden. Daniel Pavlicko and newly-acquired Tymen Edelkoort III shared the win in goal.
There was a special tribute that played on the video board during the first intermission with a few former Mustang players offering congratulatory remarks to Mustangs’ head coach Jake Laime, who had picked up his 200th career victory with Ogden, over six seasons, the weekend before on the road.
On Saturday, the Mustangs won 15-1. Spodniak kept rolling with four goals and seven points in this one. Fleming, Laurin (2), Rampinelli, Ian Currie, Kerry Kruzel, Harry Gulliver, Austin Dittenhafer, Ross Bartlett (2) and Bryson Bartell had the other goals. Edelkoort got the W in net. Shots were 75-11.
Spodniak’s third point of the night gave him 100 points on the season, but before the Mustangs’ audio-visual staff could get the congratulatory video on the video board, Spodniak picked up his 101st, as the Spodniak-Laurin-Rampinelli line had a goal each on a single shift, in a 42-second span.
“Having Spodniak back is not only an offensive boost, but also one in team moral,” Laime said. “That’s a sign of a truly great player. He can make everyone else around him better.”
Spodniak is now just 10 goals away from breaking the WSHL all-time record. He’s currently on a 15-game point streak. It’s his second 15-game point streak this season. Both are Mustangs’ franchise records.
In the series finale on Sunday, the Mustangs won 10-0. Spodniak had three goals and two assists in this one. Laurin had two and two. Bartlett had two goals. Bartell, Matt McClelland and Daniel Nordstrom had the other goals. Shots were 77-32. Jon Chin got the start in goal, picking up the shutout, his second consecutive shutout in back-to-back weekends.
Your top scorers over the weekend looked like this:
Spodniak – 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists)
Laurin – 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists)
Rampinelli – 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists)
Bartlett – 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists)
Fleming – 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists)
Bartell – 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists)
Liverance – 4 points (4 assists)
Multiple other players contributed, on all four lines.
“Having the ability to roll all four lines is good this time of year with less wear and tear mentality and physically,” Laime said.
The Mustangs have now won seven games in a row, after dropping four in a row for the first time in three seasons. They’re 28-8-1 this season overall, first place in the WSHL Mountain Division and second overall in the league. Every point is crucial in this second half of the season as both the Colorado Jr. Eagles and Utah Outliers are neck-and-neck with the Mustangs at the top of the division.
The Mustangs are off this coming weekend, and then play what could be a very important home-and-home with the Outliers the weekend after. There’s a chance that if the Outliers win that series, they could overtake first place in the division.
“We are hoping the off weekend can get us some rest,” Laime said, “as we prepare for two good games against a team we are still trying to find our way with.”