DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE DECIDED IN UTAH
For the Utah Outliers, the Division Championship is within reach. After a tough series victory against the Superior Roughriders, the Mountain Division crown will be handed out to a Utah based team as the Outliers host the Ogden Mustangs. This best of three series should be intense as the two teams have created a strong rivalry. Having faced each other nine times during the regular season, these teams are no strangers to each other which will make for an exciting battle this weekend.
TALE OF THE TAPE:
- September 29th, 2017 – UTAH 5 @ OGDEN 6
- September 30th, 2017 – UTAH 3 @ OGDEN 2
- October 27th, 2017 – UTAH 0 @ OGDEN 3
- October 28th, 2017 – OGDEN 1 @ UTAH 3
- November 25th, 2017 – UTAH 2 @ OGDEN 3
- December 8th, 2017 – UTAH 4 @ OGDEN 3
- December 9th, 2017 – OGDEN 1 @ UTAH 6
- January 27th, 2018 – OGDEN 1 @ UTAH 3
- January 28th, 2018 – UTAH 2 @ OGDEN 3 OT
Every game these foes have played against one another has been an all-out battle, with every game except two being decided by one or two goals. The matchup features a potent offensive against a stalwart defense. The home team has won seven out of the nine games and that is a streak the Outliers hope continues as they earned home ice advantage for the series. The Outliers were a perfect 3-0 against the Mustangs on home ice. As seen by the previous round however, the playoffs are completely different than the regular season. Recent history shows that any team in the Mountain Division can beat any other team on a given night.
Things to keep an eye out for this weekend are the battles featuring some of the most dynamic offensive players in the league (Matus Spodniak, Jacob Laurin, Ross Bartlett), against some of the top defensive players (Dawson Rodin, Zack Hoffman). Ogden has been proficient in scoring goals all year and will look to continue their offensive touch. Utah has done well in holding that offense at bay, allowing an average of only 2.5 goals against in the nine games against while scoring at an average of 3.1 goals per game.
Only eight teams remain in the hunt for the Thorne Cup. Six of the remaining eight teams will make it to El Paso, TX on April 10th for a chance to become the Thorne Cup Champion. Utah has worked extremely hard all season to make that chance a reality, and now set their sights on winning the Mountain Division. In a best of three series, every play is critical and can change the momentum of a game and a series. The Outliers will no doubt be prepared to take on the challenge and keep this great season run going strong.
Friday and Saturday’s games will take place at the Acord Ice Arena at 7:30 PM. With Easter Sunday being this weekend, if a game three is needed, it will take place on Monday at 8:00PM at the County Ice Center, in Murray.