The Ogden Mustangs picked up three more victories over the Steamboat Wranglers last weekend to start up the second half of the season.
The Mustangs have now won 10 consecutive games, dating back to Dec. 7. Their 29-1-1 record remains No. 1 overall in the Western States Hockey league, and they’re 16 points ahead of the No. 2 team.
“It’s a sprint to the finish now,” said Ogden head coach Jake Laime, “so there’s an extra emphasis on detail and work ethic.”
Believe it or not, there are only 20 games remaining in the regular season schedule, with only eight of those on home ice. (Of course the playoffs start up after that and culminate with the Thorne Cup Finals in Ogden this season.)
It’s been a historic season in Ogden, so far. The team went 38-12-1 last season and 42-7-3 the season before. Those are the two best seasons in team history, but the Mustangs look poised to set a new record this season.
There’s a possibility the Mustangs could even compete for one of the best seasons in WSHL history. In the past 10 seasons, the following are the best regular season records for WSHL teams (organized by total wins).
El Paso Rhinos (2017-18) – 49-1-1
El Paso Rhinos (2009-10) – 47-5-0
Long Beach Bombers (2016-17) – 46-5-1
Idaho Jr. Steelheads (2015-16) – 46-7-1
El Paso Rhinos (2008-09) – 45-3-1
Valencia Flyers (2015-16) – 45-7-0
Idaho Jr. Steelheads (2012-13) – 44-1-1
El Paso Rhinos (2013-14) – 44-2-0
Idaho Ice Cats (2017-18) – 44-4-3
Fresno Monsters (2011-12) – 43-2-1
Idaho Jr. Steelheads (2016-17) – 43-5-4
Colorado Jr. Eagles (2015-16) – 43-9-2
Idaho Jr. Steelheads (2014-15) – 42-2-2
Idaho Jr. Steelheads (2011-12) – 42-2-2
Dallas Ice Jets (2012-13) – 42-3-1
Phoenix Polar Bears (2008-09) – 42-6-1
Oklahoma City Blazers (2017-18) – 42-7-2
Ogden Mustangs (2016-17) – 42-7-3
Oklahoma City Blazers (2016-17) – 42-8-2
If the Mustangs happen to win out, their best possible record would be 49-1-1, matching El Paso’s regular season record last season. They would be one of only three teams to lose two or fewer games. If the Mustangs can win 13 of their final 20 games, they’ll set a new franchise record for wins.
But for now, the Mustangs are just taking things one game at a time. That next game comes on the road against the Casper Bobcats this Friday, the first of a three game series.
The Mustangs remain the top offensive and defensive teams in the WSHL, now with a +152 goal differential this season. Those skills were evident last weekend as the Mustangs scored 30 goals and allowed only three in the series against the Wranglers.
Mustangs offensive leaders last weekend:
Rhett Rampinelli – 9 goals, 3 assists
Ammon Anderson – 5 goals, 5 assists
Ian Currie – 2 goals, 7 assists
Lukas Vacin – 4 goals, 3 assists
Bryson Bartell – 2 goals, 3 assists
Lukas Kucera – 5 assists
Harry Gulliver – 2 goals, 2 assists
Shane Gilbert – 1 goal, 3 assists
Ryan Mascali – 1 goal, 3 assists
Anders Johnson – 1 goal, 3 assists
Ilya Boyko – 1 goal, 3 assists
Rampinelli is now up to 74 points this season, in a three-way tie for second overall in WSHL scoring, just two points out of first. He has points in all but three games this season.
This goal from Gulliver to Vacin was probably the prettiest last weekend:
We had plenty to choose from, but here’s last night’s goal of the game, featuring some sick puck handing from Harry Gulliver and the finish by Lukáš Vacín.
— Ogden Mustangs (@OgdenMustangs) January 5, 2019
See a bunch of other highlights from last weekend on our Twitter feed.
In goal last weekend Jake Hough picked up wins on Friday and Sunday. Alex Neverve got the win on Saturday.
After this weekend’s series in Casper, the Mustangs next home game will be Jan. 19 against the Utah Outliers. Join our event page and help us spread the word!