Two teams began the weekend undefeated, and one team still is. Ogden Mustangs (14-0-0-0) proved why they are one of the elite teams of the Western States Hockey League by sweeping the Las Vegas Thunderbirds (8-3-0-0) in their three-game series this weekend at SoBe Ice Arena.
The league leading Mustangs, who have played in the last two Thorne Cup Finals, have proven over the past two+ seasons to be one of the top programs posting 85 regular season victories. After finishing with a league-best 47-2-0-2 record last season Ogden came up short for the second straight year in the final losing to El Paso 2-0.
Playing only West Division rivals in their first eight games, the Thunderbirds were unproven in regards to their place overall. Las Vegas was overwhelmed in the opener losing 5-0. Saturday night the home team responded with a good start, scoring twice in the opening eight minutes only to see Ogden net six unanswered goals. Penalties proved costly in the game with the Mustangs taking advantage on the powerplay with three goals.
Emil Svartbro and Joe Terrana scored for Las Vegas in the 6-2 loss.
Dropping the opening two games, Las Vegas came out flat in the Sunday finale finding themselves down 3-0 after just over 10 minutes played. With all reason to pack it in the Tbirds showed some mental strength in the second half of the game.
Svartbro scored first at the 8:00 mark before Filip Nordin made it a one-goal game at 6:11. It would stay that way through intermission before Joseph Wheeler tied the game at 17:32 of the third.
Ogden didn’t let the home crowd celebrate though scoring :28 late to retake the lead. Now a never-quit Thunderbirds team were forced to battle back once more – and the did – with Terrana tying the game 4-4 at the 15:47 mark.
Despite making some big saves in the final frame, Owen Kennedy would give up the game winner at 6:26 when Gleb Krivoshapkin scored for Ogden. A late powerplay goal made the final 6-4.
Las Vegas will return to division play next weekend traveling to San Diego to face the Sabers.
Ogden Mustangs 6⃣
Las Vegas Thunderbirds 4⃣
Tbirds battle back down 3-0, but fall short in the weekend finale. #WSHL
— Las Vegas Thunderbirds (@LVTbirdsHockey) November 3, 2019