The Ogden Mustangs took Game 1 of the Western States Hockey League Mountain Division Semifinals 5-2 Friday night at The Ice Sheet.
As happened last year when these two teams met in the playoffs, the Coyotes struck first and the Mustangs needed to play from a deficit. This is now the third straight Ogden-Casper playoff game that has been a comeback victory for the Mustangs.
It was a disjointed first period overall. The second period featured high-flying, end-to-end action.
The Coyotes struck 2:15 into the second to open the scoring. The Mustangs answered four minutes later and then two minutes after that to go up 2-1.
The Coyotes came back again to make it 2-2.
Zeke Zeier scored a huge powerplay goal with 2:55 left in the period that would stand as the game-winner, firing a perfect shot off the post and in from a tough angle.
The Mustangs added another big powerplay marker just 28 seconds into the third period for insurance, and never looked back, adding another goal with 8:44 left in the game.
Matus Spodniak and Corey Iapalucci each had a goal and an two assists in the game. Zeier, Montell Greene and Austin Shea each had a goal and an assist.
Vladimir Cibulka made some huge saves throughout the game for the Mustangs, a few on clear-cut breakaway chances.
Special teams were a difference-maker in the game, as the Mustangs were 2-for-3 on the powerplay, while the Coyotes were 0-for-3.
A win tomorrow would end the series and advance the Mustangs to the division finals.
The Mustangs have now won nine straight games against the Coyotes, dating back to last season’s playoffs. A win tomorrow would be the third straight season the Mustangs have ended the Coyotes’ season.