Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Hutchinson, Venne lead the way as Mustangs cruise in Game 1 of Centennial

(Photo credit to Heather Pollock/Hockey Canada)

OAKVILLE, ON – For the Melfort Mustangs in their Centennial Cup opener vs. the Maritime champion Miramichi Timberwolves, it was more of the same from Game 6 of the Canterra Seeds Cup final.

Aidyn Hutchinson once again led the way offensively with two goals, scoring in his fifth straight game stretching back to Game 3 vs. Flin Flon, and James Venne was terrific in making 26 stops as the Mustangs took the contest 4-1 Thursday evening.

“We played a great game today,” Venne said to Hockey Canada post-game.

“We had a really good practice leading up to it yesterday and it was great to play Mustang hockey and come out with a victory.”

Chase Friedt-Mohr, who notched an assist in Game 6 to tie the Millennium record of points by a defenceman in the SJHL post-season, also remained hot with a goal and an assist on the day.

Logan Belton chipped home the other Mustangs’ tally at the 16:24 mark of the second period after he had plenty of chances in the first 35 minutes of the contest.

One adjustment Venne and company had to make was the oft-spoken-about Olympic-sized ice surface at Oakville’s Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, though given the high quality of Melfort’s all-around play, it should not come as much of a surprise that the 20-year-old net minder felt team adjusted near flawlessly in front of him.

“Especially on the big ice I felt our guys cleared a lot of lanes,” he said, “I was able to see a lot of pucks.

“There were not a lot of Grade A (chances) against.”

After one day of play, the Mustangs sit atop Ground B with the Manitoba champions Winkley Flyers, who also won their game on the day.

The two prairie rivals will face off in Melfort’s next contest on Saturday morning, puck drops at 10:00 A.M. Saskatchewan Time, noon Eastern.

Find the full schedule of the event here.

Find updated standings here.

2024 Centennial Cup – Oakville, ON., May 9-19

Winkler Flyers 4, Sioux Lookout Bombers 2

Dalton Andrew (Brandon, MB) scored all four goals in the Flyers’ win.
Trent Penner (Winkler, MB) and James Richards (Port Williams, NS) added a pair of assists each.
Jack Osmond (Edmonton, AB) made 44 saves for the Bombers.

Collingwood Blues 5, Calgary Canucks 4

Spencer Young (Elmira, ON) had a goal and three assists for the Blues.
Dylan Hudon (Rockwood, ON) chipped in with three points (1-2—3)
Julien Gervais (Windsor, ON) tallied a hat trick for the Canucks.

Melfort Mustangs 4, Miramichi Timberwolves 1

Aidyn Hutchinson (St. Albert, SK) had two goals and an assist for the Mustangs.
Logan Belton (Winnipeg, MB) and Chase Friedt-Mohr (Prince Albert, SK) registered a goal and an assist each for Melfort.
Ludovic Dufort (Laval, QC) scored the lone goal for the Timberwolves.

Next Games (Friday, May 10):

Collège Français de Longueuil vs. Navan Grads – 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT

Greater Sudbury Cubs vs. Collingwood Blues – 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT

Miramichi Timberwolves vs. Oakville Blades – 7:30 p.m. ET/4 :30 p.m. PT