Outliers and Mustangs split in final meeting
The Utah Outliers and the Ogden Mustangs are very familiar with one another this season in the WSHL. Having played each other seven times prior to this weekend, both teams know the opponents almost as well as themselves. In the latest home-and home-series, the story was no different as each team won on their home ice. Saturday the Outliers skated to a 3-1 victory, and Sunday the Mustangs earned a 3-2 victory in double overtime. The two games complete the season series with Utah taking home a 5-4 edge in the nine games. The next meeting for these two rivals will not occur until a possible meeting in the playoffs.
Saturday’s game started out in the same fashion as most have gone, with numerous chances offensively and solid goaltending from both net minders. Halfway through the first period, Oskars Ancitis buried the first goal of the game on a great transition play by Zack Evans and Roman Svik. Feeding on the momentum, Dylan Massie was able to double the lead after a great showcase of speed, scoring a breakaway goal. Dawson Rodin shut the door for Utah as the team took a 2-0 lead into the end of the first.
The second period was much more physical, as seven coincidental penalties were called. Both teams traded blows, but once again, only the Outliers were able to break through. Kane Toriumi found himself alone on a breakaway and similar to Massie, slid the puck fivehole. The 3-0 lead would hold as the teams entered the second intermission.
Ogden came out firing in the third period, showing no quit as they tried to make a comeback. Just over a few minutes into the third period, Austin Dittenhafer would score the Mustangs only goal of the game on a powerplay. Luckily for Utah, that would be the only blemish in Rodin’s game, and the boys in black would hold on to preserve the 3-1 win. Rodin collected an impressive 45 saves to earn his 16th win of the season.
In Sunday’s contest in Ogden, it was unfortunately a tale of two different teams for the Outliers. Utah set the pace early, scoring just over two minutes into the game, courtesy of Benji Mickel. Identical to Saturday, the Outliers doubled the lead, this time on the powerplay. Toriumi found Ancitis who blistered a shot on net, and Brandon Krumpschmid was there to put in the rebound. The lead would hold until just seconds left in the first frame, as a 4 on 3 powerplay advantage gave Ogden some life, as Rhett Rampinelli would score a rebound of his own.
Although each team had multiple chances and a few odd man rushes in the second period, only one puck would find its way by the goalies. Ian Currie capitalized on a nice scoring chance and for the first time of the weekend, evened the score at 2. The game would remain tied throughout the rest of the second and the third, and for the first time all season, the two teams would go to overtime.
Both Ogden and Utah traded great chances in the extra frame, but it wasn’t until halfway through double overtime that Jacob Laurin found himself alone on Rodin, and slid the puck into the net giving the home team the win.
The Outliers look to bounce back in a 6-game homestand, starting with a 3-game home series this weekend against the visiting Cheyenne Stampede. In the previous meeting with the Stampede, the Outliers were able to win three straight. Games will start 7:05 PM Friday. 6:35 Saturday, and 12:05 PM on Sunday. Every game is crucial at this point in the season as all three teams: Outliers, Mustangs, Eagles are all within striking distance of securing the number one spot in the Mountain Division.