Mustangs Undefeated in Moose Novice Winter Classic

Submitted by:
Chris Zamzow |

The Mustangs travelled to Wawanesa February 11 to compete in a six team novice tournament. A previous commitment left them slightly shorthanded, missing hard charging forward Peyton Lehmann and Coach Tyler Mullin.

Back Row: Head Coach Kolby Danielson, Griffin Klatt, Bryden Danielson, Porter Atkinson, Matt Zamzow, Austin Eisner, Coach Chris Zamzow
Front Row: Kennedy Baskier, Lincoln Staniland, Parker Hulme, Walker Atkinson, Damian Leask

Their first game was against the host Brandon based Montana’s Moose. The game was scoreless until late in the first when Lincoln Staniland won a face off just outside Swan’s end to defenceman Matt Zamzow who managed to split the Moose D-men and fired a high wrister past Moose goalie for a 1-0 lead. Fifty seconds later Zamzow scored his second of the game assisted by Austin Eisner. Less than a minute later Porter Atkinson found the back of the net with Zamzow getting the assist on Atkinson’s first. Thirty seconds later Atkinson shook the twine a second time. Five minutes into the second Staniland slid the puck up to Atkinson and he put the Mustangs up 5-0 to complete his hat trick. A half minute later Damian Leask picked up a loose puck in the Moose end and sent a laser over Moose goaltender’s shoulder for his first of the weekend. Near the end of the second Leask threatened again as he weaved his way through the Moose D-men and fired a low hard shot on goal. The rebound squirted out to the side of the net and Lincoln Staniland swooped in and sent the puck over the goal line. Five minutes into the third Zamzow completed his hat trick on a shot from the point that found its way through the five hole and the Mustangs put up their first win of the tournament 8-0. Bryden Danielson had a rock solid game in net for his first shut out of the year. Wingers Walker Atkinson and Kennedy Baskier did a great job digging the pucks out of the corners and helping out with solid backchecking.

Game two pitted the Mustangs against the Brandon Blizzard, five minutes in Porter Atkinson broke free up the middle and ripped a wrister high glove to open what was to become a flood of scoring by the Mustangs. Two minutes later Matt Zamzow had his first on a shifty back hand deke. Atkinson made it 3-0 just before the end of the first frame with another high glove shot that the Blizzard goaltender was unable to handle. With 30 seconds left a Blizzard forward snuck behind the defence and took a pass that led to a long breakaway, a backhand deke did not flinch Austin Eisner who covered the net and held on for a whistle to hold the 3-0 lead.

Less than a minute into the second Zamzow and Atkinson created a two on one ending in a goal mouth pass to Atkinson that Atkinson fired into the open side of the net. A minute later Zamzow notched his second of the game and the Mustangs held a commanding 5-0 lead. Moments later Damian Leask got involved and pulled a northern Manitoba toe drag on a couple Blizzard defenders who appeared bewildered and then lifted a high backhander into the net. Less than a minute elapsed and Zamzow completed his hat trick with a bar down backhand to make it 7-0. With 3 minutes to go in the second, a patiently waiting Griffin Klatt picked up a pass in his own end. Klatt wasted no time and raced up the sideboards from the halfwall all the way into the Blizzard end with no less than four Blizzard defenders unable to match his speed or dislodge the puck, Klatt cut to the net from a bad angle and shoveled the puck low blocker side behind the Blizzard goalie. To round out the period Leask added his second of the game assisted by Zamzow.

The third period saw a scrum behind the net end with Klatt banking one in Gretzky style off the downed goalie’s pads early in the frame. Then Lincoln Staniland scored on a nice backhand assisted by Walker Atkinson making it 11-0. Usually stay at home young defenceman Parker Hulme decided to enter the fray and wove his way from his own end thru traffic deep into the Blizzard end and put a nice wrister past the goalie to the pleasure of a very vocal group of Mustangs supporters. Staniland wasn’t done yet with talk of him suiting up in the goal equipment for the next game and he notched his second of the game after muscling his way through a bewildered Blizzard defence. With 1:14 to go the Blizzard were finally able to solve steady Austin Eisner and robbed him of his shut out and ended the Mustangs nearly six periods of play without allowing a goal. The ‘Stangs seemed in disbelief of what had just happened, and with 35 seconds left to go a couple missed assignments showed the Blizzard were more than happy to burst the Mustangs bubble and put home another past Eisner to end the game 13-2.

For their final game the Mustangs faced also undefeated Gladstone Lakers. A minute and a half in Matt Zamzow scored on a backhand deke to get the Mustangs out to a 1-0 lead. Moments later the Lakers put a blistering shot top shelf past usually unbeatable Lincoln Staniland. Porter Atkinson took a Zamzow pass just over centre ice and turned the jets on and fired his signature high wrister top shelf to make it 2-1. After a lot of unrewarded pressure by the Mustangs, Kennedy Baskier parked in front of the net and much like a scaled down version of Dustin Byfuglien, the crowd roared as he managed to slip the puck past a distracted Lakers goalie and put the Mustangs up 3-1 to end the first. It took until halfway through the second in a tight checking and fairly physical affair when Bryden Danielson responded with some nifty moves and outsmarted the Blizzard defence to wire home his first of the game and give the tired out nine skaters on the Mustangs team a much needed lift and put the Mustangs ahead 4-1. Zamzow added his second of the game with four minutes left in the second followed by Damian Leask adding his first assisted by Danielson as the period drew to a close with Mustangs in a seemingly commanding 6-1 lead.

The third took its toll on the short bench Mustang squad who may have had a little too much pool time and a few too many periods of mini sticks the night before. A minute in Laker gunner Eric Kopp ripped a wicked wristshot past Staniland’s ears to serve notice on the Mustangs that the Lakers had more in store for Swan Valley. Fifty seconds later Kopp added more of the same as another one went in past Staniland top shelf and nearly came out the back side to make it 6-3. With seven minutes remaining the Lakers added their fourth and the played out Mustangs were looking a little flat. Five minutes to go and a collision between Zamzow and a Lakers player had him sent for medical attention and Eisner and Hulme had to hold off the Lakers without a breather for the remainder of the game. With just over two minutes to play one more Atkinson wrister gave them a little breathing room although Kopp was not done yet and whistled his third past Staniland’s mask which thankfully limited him out for the game and the buzzer went with a 7-5 Mustang win.

The coaching staff was very pleased with the two way play and the passing and teamwork by all the kids who outscored their opponents 27-7 for the best performance in the six team tournament.