OUTLIERS EXPERIENCE SETBACK
The Utah Outliers hit a roadblock this past weekend in a home and home series against their division rivals the Ogden Mustangs. Going into the weekend, both Utah squads were ranked number 1 and 2 respectively overall (OGD 7-0-0 / UT 6-1-0). The tale of the tape was relatively similar as the two teams came into the rivalry weekend, however Ogden was able to take advantage and win two straight.
In game one, the Mustangs came out strong, scoring the only two goals of the period and outshooting the Outliers 16-8. Although Utah was able to control the puck and generate numerous chances, the opportunistic Stangs were able to provide the finish, giving them the lead going into the break. Utah came back swinging early in the second as some hard work by new forwards Nicholas Ness and Matt Bartel led to a goal courtesy of leading scorer Jan Dvorak. Similar to the first, Ogden was able to tack on two more goals in the second frame, giving the home team a 4-1 lead. The third period played out similar to the second, as the Mustangs scored two more goals before Alex Charin scored his first goal of the season on a beautiful top shelf snipe. The score would end up 6-2 Ogden in a game featuring non-stop action and brilliant plays from both clubs.
The rematch in Salt Lake City was a lot closer as both teams traded blows both offensively and physically. Almost identical to game one, the Mustangs scored two early in the first, with the Outliers slightly behind. After two goals by Ogden, a beautiful face-off play from Zach Dornseifer led to an easy tap in goal by Ryley Bast. The two teams played extremely tight defense from then on, as no team could garner many shots with each team focusing on keeping their opponent off the board. The rest of the game stayed physical, with each team having their chances, but to no avail. The Outliers were able to outshoot the visitors in both the second and third period, but the stellar goaltending of Artur Ogandzhanyan kept Utah at bay, helping the away team maintain the 2-1 lead and keeping them undefeated.
The Outliers look to bounce back next weekend at home once again as they host another elite WSHL team in the form of the Oklahoma City Blazers. The Blazers are riding high after completing a successful weekend against the powerful Northern Colorado Eagles. Utah fans may remember OKC as the Outliers played them last season at the Las Vegas Showcase, earning a 3-0 victory. Stay tuned for more information on the team, as well as the upcoming matchup throughout the week. Game one puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM at the Acord Ice Arena.