Mustangs off to hot start at Centennial Cup in Oakville

Heather Pollock/Hockey Canada Melfort Mustangs forward Mathieu Pigeon (left) fights off a check from Winkler Flyers defenceman James Richards during Melforts 6-5 shootout win Centennial Cup national championship in Oakville, Ont.

The Melfort Mustangs are off to a great start at the Centennial Cup national championship at the Six Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ont.
The tournament has a round-robin format with teams broken into two pools. The Mustangs moved to 1-1-0 with a 6-5 shootout win over the MJHL Champion Winkler Flyers on Saturday, May 11.
The Flyers Zach Nicholas sent the game to overtime with a tying goal with 22 seconds left inregulation. Clay Sleeva and Ryan Duguay each scored for Melfort in the four-round shootout to securethe win.
“It was a slow start for us,” Mustangs forward Clay Sleeva said in a press release. “It wasn’t really Mustangs hockey. Our coach gave us a good speech after the first period. We know how we play and we finally got around to remembering what our identity is and playing our game.”
Winkler led 2-0 after the first period and the game was tied 3-3 after the second period.
Leith Olafson, Tye Evans, Nolan Patterson, Chase Friedt-Mohr and Huthchinson scored in regulation time for the Mustangs. Jakob Jones, Brody Beauchemin, Connor Jensen, Dalton Andrew and Nicholas
scored for the Flyers.
James Venne made 23 saves for Melfort; Malachi Klassen made 31 saves for Winkler.
The Mustangs opened the Centennial Cup with a 4-1 win over Maritime champion Miramachi Timberwolves on Thursday, May 9. Melfort led 1-0 after the first period and 4-1 after the second period.
Hutchinson had a pair of goals for Melfort, while Freidt-Mohr and Logan Belton added the other Mustangs’ goals. Ludovic Dufort scored the lone Miramachi goal.
Venne made 26 saves for Melfort; Jack Flanagan made 27 saves for Miramachi.
As of May 13, the Miramachi Timberwolves are first in Group B with a record of 2-0-1-0 with six points. The Mustangs are second with a record of 1-1-0-0 with five points, the Flyers are third with a record of 1-0-0-1 with four points, the host Oakville Blades are fourth with a record of 1-0-1-0 with three points and the Sioux Lookout Bombers are fifth with a record of 0-0-3-0 with zero points.
Teams receive three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime or shootout win, and one for an overtime or shootout loss.
In Group A, the Navan Grads of the CCHL are in first place with a record of 2-0-0-0 with six points, the Collingwood Blues of the OJHL are is second with a record of 2-0-0-0 with six points, the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL are in third with a record of 1-0-1-0 with three points, the Greater Sudbury Cubs of the NOJHL are fourth with a record of 0-0-2-0 with zero points and the Collège Français de
Longueuil of the QJHL are fifth with a record of 0-0-2-0 with zero points.
The Mustangs play the SIJHL champion Sioux Lookout Bombers on Tuesday, May 14 and the host Oakville Blades of the OJHL to wrap up the round-robin.
Quarterfinals begin on Friday, May 17 and semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, May 18.
The Centennial Cup champion will be crowned on Sunday, May 19.