Outliers split series with Mustangs
This past weekend, the Utah Outliers played in a home and home series against the Ogden Mustangs. Both teams came into the weekend coming off huge sweeps, with the Outliers winning three games against the Casper Coyotes, and the Mustangs taking three from the Southern Oregon Spartans. Both teams also came into the series on big winning streaks (UT 7, OGD 8). The two-game set was the second installment of the heated rivalry between the in-state foes this season. Similarly to the previous series, each team was able to pick up a win on home ice.
Friday night, the Mustangs hosted the Outliers at the Ice Sheet in Ogden, Utah. Both teams came out battling, and the first period featured fast-paced action with only one penalty being called. Late into the first period, forward Matus Spodniak showed why he is the league leader, and new franchise leader in points for the ‘Stangs, as he put one past Outlier’s goaltender Dawson Rodin.
In the second period, the action intensified as the teams really started to show why they are amongst the elite in the WSHL. Ogden capitalized on a chance five minutes in when a Ross Bartlett shot bounced off an Outlier defender and into the net. The Mustangs added to their total in the next shift courtesy of Ian Currie. The Outliers would not show defeat as defenseman Zack Evans tried to spark some life into the visiting team by engaging in the first fight of the season for Utah, against Mustang’s Sage Fleming.
The third period saw more back and forth action, with Bartlett scoring the lone goal in the period. Rodin finished the game with 36 saves, and Ogden keeper Oliver Marslatt picked up a 28 save shutout.
Saturday, at the Acord Ice Center in Salt Lake City, the Outliers came out prepared and ready to avenge their loss from the previous night. Late in the first period, a Utah power-play led to a Brandon Krumpschmid goal, with assists from Oskars Ancitis and Viktor Burman.
The Mustangs came out hard in the second period, and added a tally two minutes in on a Rhett Rampinelli goal. With the score even, both Rodin and Marslatt made crucial saves and helped preserve their teams’ chances to win. Much of the second frame was up and down action, and with just over a minute left, Captain Jacob Wanstrom scored a shorthanded goal to break the tie. Assists were awarded to Kane Toriumi and Vladislav Buyanov.
The third period saw both teams standing their ground, as each team had numerous chances but were stifled by the net-minders. With 16:50 to go in the final frame, Buyanov distributed the puck to Krumpschmid, who found Toriumi in the slot. Kane faked Mustang’s goalie Marslatt before adding the insurance goal.
By Carly Tashman