The Ogden Mustangs put together a gritty, intense, playoff performance, getting some revenge on the Colorado Jr. Eagles Friday night at The Ice Sheet, in a 3-1 victory.
The Eagles defeated the Mustangs for the division championship in Ogden two weeks ago, but this was the game the Mustangs really wanted. In the final day of pool play at the Thorne Cup Finals, the Mustangs moved to the 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals.
The Mustangs will now face the only other 3-0 team in the finals, the Wichita Jr. Thunder tonight at 7:30 p.m. The other semi-final will feature the Idaho Jr. Steelheads and Valencia Flyers. It’s a do-or-die scenario for all four teams.
The Mustangs’ Friday night win featured a shorthanded breakaway goal from Sage Fleming to open the scoring, a remarkable goal by Max Dorfman knocking it his own rebound out of thin air and a spinning empty-net goal from his own zone by Henrik Axelson. Vladimir Cibulka stopped 37 of 38 shots for the win.
Day 3 of the Thorne Cup Finals featured a lot of teams with their backs against the wall, resulting in intense, hard-fought games. The No. 1 seed Long Beach Bombers and No. 3 seed Colorado Jr. Eagles are now eliminated.
WICHITA 2 IDAHO 1
In the first game of the day, the Wichita Jr. Thunder kept things rolling, defeating the defending-champion Idaho Jr. Steelheads 2-1. It was a goaltending battle with Sergei Pysarenko and Adam Conkling, exchanging huge saves. The win put the Thunder at 3-0 and the Steelheads at 1-2. The Steelheads grab a spot in the semis despite having only two points, but had the goal-differential tie-breaker.
LONG BEACH 3 VALENCIA 2 (OT)
The Long Beach Bombers ended their finals run on a high-note, but it was all for naught, because the Valencia Flyers automatically picked up a point by virtue of making it to overtime. In the only game of the finals to go to overtime, the Bombers scored quickly on a rocket of a shot by their leading scorer Anton Bowallius. The Bombers ended their run at 1-2. Valencia moved to 1-1-1.