The Melfort Mustangs put in the effort but didn’t see results as they finished the week 0-3, pushing their losing streak to six games.
Against Flin Flon
The week kicked off on Feb. 1 at home when they welcomed the Flin Flon Bombers to the Northern Lights Palace.
The game got off to a tough start for the Mustangs as they dug themselves a 2-0 hole just over 12 minutes into the first period.
Tyler Heidt cut the Mustangs’ deficit back to a goal with his seventh of the season at 16:47 on the power play but that was as close as the Mustangs would come as the Bombers added a goal in the second and two more in the third to skate away with a 5-1 win.
Evan Plotnik was charged with the loss in the Mustangs’ goal giving up five goals on 36 shots.
Despite the 5-1 loss, Trevor Blevins, the Mustangs’ head coach, was not overly disappointed with their play.
“It was just a matter of every mistake we make right now seems to be going into the net.”
Against Nipawin at home
The Mustangs had little time to lick their wounds, as they were back in action two nights later when they welcomed the red-hot Nipawin Hawks to town.
The Mustangs carried the play for a large majority of the game, outshooting the Hawks in both the first and third periods, but they could not find the back of the net as they fell 2-0.
Plotnik again was charged with the loss, turning aside 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
Despite the loss, Blevins was once again pleased with how his team played, noting that they brought an edge to their game and competed hard. They just could not find a way to beat Hawks goalie Kristian Stead.
A big key to the loss was the power play for the Mustangs, said Blevins, which finished the game 0/8.
“We just didn’t have the movement we usually have and we didn’t generate enough to the net.”
Against Nipawin away
The two teams then returned to Nipawin the following night for the back half of the home-and-home.
The Mustangs again came out flying in the first period and held the edge in shots on goal but could not beat Stead as they found themselves down 1-0 at the first intermission.
The Mustangs finally got on the board in the second as Andrew Thompson scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the score at one. The tie was short-lived as the Hawks answered less than two minutes later to regain the one goal lead.
The Hawks extended their lead to two with a power play marker at 8:24 but the Mustangs refused to quit and were rewarded with a power play goal of their own at 16:51 to send the game into the third period with the Mustangs trailing 3-2.
The final period saw the Hawks add three goals, including one on the power play and one in an empty net as they skated away with a 6-2 win.
Plotnik once again was charged with the loss as he turned aside 31/36 shots.
Blevins once again thought his team played a real hard game, but they just were not rewarded for their effort.
“[It] definitely wasn’t a 6-2 game but [there are] just some breakdowns I need to address.”
Looking ahead the schedule does not get any easier for the Mustangs as they play the three hottest teams in the league, all on the road, starting in Nipawin on Feb. 7 before making stops in Battleford Feb. 10 and Kindersley Feb. 11.
“As long as we just worry about ourselves and bring the work ethic and attitude and execution, we’ll be fine most nights,” said Blevins.