The Ogden Mustangs moved to 5-3 on the young season after picking up a 2-1 series victory on the road over the Superior RoughRiders in Colorado last weekend.

The Mustangs are now preparing to face the Cheyenne Stampede who’ll be in Ogden this weekend for a three-game series.

“We are looking good this season,” said Mustangs co captain Matus Spodniak. “This team is all new. We only have a few returners. So it’s important that we get all the guys together and become a team and play like a unit to win games. The season is still long, and we have a lot of work to do.”

The series last weekend started off rough, as the Mustangs found themselves in a wild, back-and-forth game against the RoughRiders. They went down 4-1 midway through the second period, then battled all the way back to tie the game 5-5 on a Spodniak powerplay goal with just 2:18 remaining in the game. Just as it looked like overtime was imminent, the RoughRiders came back only 58 seconds later as their top gun Nikita Sheberov scored his third goal of the game for the hat trick and game winner in the 6-5 final. Sheberov leads the entire Western States Hockey League with 13 goals in seven games.

On Saturday, the Mustangs responded big-time, winning 8-1 and outshooting the RoughRiders 61-17 in the game. Hunter Hansen’s goal 8:47 into the first period, his first as a Mustang, stood as the game winner.

Saturday’s loss was the RoughRiders’ first of the season.

“We found success on Saturday because we paid attention to our structure and systems,” said Mustangs head coach Jake Laime.

On Sunday, with both team’s battling for the series victory, the Mustangs fell behind 2-0 early in the first, but then went on to score five straight from that point and win the game 5-2 and win the series 2-1.

Spodniak led the charge for the Mustangs offensively in the series. He had multi-point efforts in each game, racking up a total of five goals and four assists in the three games. He now leads the team with 19 points in eight games this season. He is sixth overall in WSHL scoring.

Here’s a look at one of his blasts last weekend.

Behind Spodniak, Jacob Laurin had two goals and four assist, Matt McClelland had one goal and three assists, Harry Gulliver had two goals and two assists, Ross Bartlett had four assists and Bryson Bartell had a point in each game.

Along with Hansen, the Mustangs had two other players register their first goals as Mustangs. Brayden Mannek scored on Friday. Ammon Anderson had the final goal of the series on Sunday. Anderson becomes the youngest Mustangs player to score a goal in team history.

The Mustangs’ offense has been solid this season, averaging more than four goals per game. Spodniak and Bartlett are both averaging more than two points per game individually. Six others are averaging a point per game or more.

Defensively the Mustangs still have some things to work out. The team is allowing more than three goals per game on average, a lot more than last season.

“I think we’re under preforming right now,” said Mustangs goaltender Jon Chin. “We have so much potential and show moments of greatness, but we need to be more consistent. We have a great group of guys and the more we play together, the better we’ll get.”

Chin played all three games last weekend for the Mustangs, making 59 saves in the three games. Chin has faced the fourth most total shots in the WSHL this season.

“We’ve got to avoid sloppy, selfish and undisciplined play,” Laime said. “When we’ve had problems this season, especially in our defensive zone, it’s come down to that.”

With the Cheyenne Stampede up next now, the Mustangs will see what kind of challenge they’ll face. The Stampede started out the season allowing 33 goals in their first four games and not scoring a single one themselves — 9-0 and 8-0 losses to the RoughRiders and 10-0 and 6-0 losses to the Colorado Jr. Eagles. A horrific start to the season by all accounts. But the Stampede came back last weekend and picked up two wins in three games on the road against the Wichita Jr. Thunder. We’ll see if any of that momentum will carry over into this weekend for them.

With the Mustangs sitting in a tie for second in the Mountain Division, two points behind the Eagles, every point is important right now. The team will look to make up some ground this weekend.

“We expect to sweep,” Chin said, “and build upon the last two games from the Superior series.”

Be sure to join our event page and invite your friends out as we look to pack The Ice Sheet this weekend.

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